Geoff Shreeves launches personal attack on Gary Lineker in bitter Twitter row over Jamie Carragher joke

Jack de Menezes
The Independent

Geoff Shreeves and Gary Lineker have been involved in a bitter row on social media after the BBC Match of the Day presenter made a joke at Jamie Carragher’s expense, following the former Liverpool defender’s suspension from Sky Sports.

Carragher apologised repeatedly on Monday after he was filmed spitting from his car at a Manchester United fan who was taunting him on Saturday about Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat by their rivals, with the man’s 14-year-old daughter also being caught up in the sickening incident.

The ex-England international has spoken to the family and the daughter to personally apologise, but the incident has triggered widespread debate about whether or not Carragher should lose his job as a football analyst, with Sky Sports taking the immediate decision to suspend him pending further talks.

A number of fellow ex-professional players, as well as those who have worked with Carragher in the media, have come out in support of the disgraced Liverpudlian, and while they have not condoned what he did, they have stressed that it is not a true reflection of the real Jamie Carragher and hoped that it would not lead to his sacking.

But Lineker, who works for both BT Sport and the BBC, posted a joke on Twitter about Carragher’s removal from Sky Sports’ coverage of the Monday night Premier League encounter between Stoke City and Manchester City.

“Seems @Carra23 can’t do it on a cold, damp Monday night at Stoke,” Lineker said on Twitter.

The tweet received more than 20,000 likes and nearly 4,000 retweets, but it also triggered a fierce response from Sky Sports reporter Shreeves, a colleague of Carragher’s, who took aim at the former England captain.

“Good luck with your halo. Threw your toys out the pram when @mrjakehumphrey commented on a graphics mistake,” Shreeves wrote.

Lineker replied: “You’ve gone too early with that one. Read next tweet.”

Lineker has followed his initial tweet with a more serious message in support of Carragher, which read: “On a serious note, we all make mistakes, @Carra23 made a big one. He’s apologised and is clearly contrite. Sure he’ll be back soon and rightly so.”

But Shreeves refused to back down and launched a personal attack on Lineker, responding: “No I haven’t. Never right and never funny.”

The incident appeared to come out of nowhere, with the two falling out over a joke that is commonly used by football fans and pundits after it was first used in a discussion about Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi between former Sky presenters Richard Keys and Andy Gray back in 2010.

Carragher meanwhile will not feature on Sky Sports’ upcoming coverage until a decision is made on his suspension, with talks set to continue in an effort to save his job with the broadcaster. The 40-year-old, who also received support from his Sky Sports colleague Gary Neville, has said publicly that he will accept any decision from Sky if they choose to dismiss him, but confirmed that he has not handed in a letter of resignation.

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