Almanack: Mum has last word

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The Independent Online
A SOURCE at Broadcasting House tells Almanack that the BBC has incurred the wrath of one of British sport's most formidable mums, Mrs Angela Keown, who is the mother of Arsenal's Martin. It seems that Mrs K was sitting at home listening to the Radio Five commentary on the Newcastle match when she heard her son accused of pushing Philippe Albert, and described as 'unprofessional'. She was furious, and got on the blower to the BBC straight away.

So upset was Mrs Keown by this unwarranted slur on her son that she had still not calmed down on Friday when we telephoned her to commiserate. 'It was that Mark Lawrenson,' she said. 'I rang the manager at Radio Five and I told her. I was really annoyed. Martin was nowhere near the man.' How does she know? 'I was watching the game on BSkyB as well.'

Mr Keown senior joined in the tirade in the background. We caught the gist of his feelings if not their precise expression. 'Mark Lawrenson said that he would have to query Martin's - what was it? - integrity or something,' Mrs Keown continued. 'Martin was very upset when we told him about it. I'm surprised at Mark Lawrenson saying that because he knows Martin as well.'

Mrs Keown is concerned that the BBC did not respond to her complaint in the appropriate manner. 'They never came back on the air with an apology or anything,' she said. 'Martin was very annoyed. And everybody heard it. Everybody at work the next morning told me about it. Martin was nowhere near the guy that got pushed.' A matter for the Director-General?