Blackpool fans furious over 'donkey botherers' jibe

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The Independent Online

A Labour politician was urged to resign today after branding his own constituents "Donkey botherers" on Facebook during a Barclays Premier League match.

Councillor Simon Blackburn made the light-hearted remark while watching Premier League rivals Blackpool and Blackburn battle out a keenly-contested 2-2 draw in their Lancashire derby on Saturday.

The 37-year-old politician, though leader of the Labour group on Blackpool Council, is a life-long fan of rivals and near-neighbours Rovers.

The councillor made the remark via his phone and posted it on his Facebook page, as his side went 2-0 down.

The comment read: "Oh my actual God...the donkey-botherers are 2-0 up thanks to two of the worst refereeing decisions ever!"

He is understood to have believed it would only be seen by friends.

But in fact his privacy settings meant it could be seen by anyone - and it was soon picked up on by Blackpool fans.

The gaffe has been seized upon by rival Tories who have called for him to resign, one source claiming it is a clear reference to: "Having sex with ruddy donkeys!"

Peter Callow, leader of the Tory-run council, said: "What an unbelievably stupid, ridiculous, crass thing to say.

"He's just committed political suicide.

"He has stabbed the people of Blackpool in the back and he needs to resign immediately."

Mr Blackburn, who is up for election in May, is now regretting making the remark.

"I was alarmed to discover that what I had intended to be private comments, made in a very light-hearted way to a friend, have been made public," he said.

"I am hugely proud of Blackpool FC and their supporters, both of whom are a huge asset to the town and I apologise for any offence caused.

"I hope and trust that there will be many more enjoyable meetings between Blackpool and Blackburn in the top flight and I'm horrified that my remarks may have caused offence."

Glenn Bowley, chairman of Blackpool FC Supporters Association, added: "It's not really an appropriate comment to make and it could put himself in a position where he is going to have a very difficult May, on election day on the 5th and on the 22nd, when his team might get relegated."

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