Why Falklands veterans are at war, with Collymore.

military, veterans, forces, falklands war, writer, author, screenwriting, Thatcher, football, talksport

Last weekend, ex-footballer and radio pundit Stan Collymore posted the tweet you can see on the left of this page.

Now aside from being factually inaccurate, it is also offensive. Not just to me as a Falklands veteran, but to a sizeable number of the veteran community, their families and a great many ‘civilians’ who support the UK’s Armed Forces. For it was tweeted on the 32nd anniversary of the sinking of both HMS Coventry and The Atlantic Conveyor together with the loss of 31 souls.

Although Mr. Collymore deleted it fairly soon afterwards, along with a number of other equally offensive if not illegal tweets, he was too late for it had already been screen grabbed and widely circulated. Many people, including The Falkland Islands government, became angry at the disrespect shown to the 255 who died during the South Atlantic conflict and began voicing that anger on twitter with many asking for an apology.

However, despite being someone who has been quite vociferous in his call for personal accountability with regard to the use of social media, ironically as a result of offence aimed at him via twitter, these requests were met with distain and even an accusation that we, as a group, were in the wrong for taking the tweet out of context.

Now I could go on, but I don’t need to. The background (and whole lot more!) to this can be found in these two blogs. I would urge you to read them both.

Veteran to Veteran

Mad Doggers and British Men

Now, as I type this over a week later, over 20,000 veterans and equally outraged citizens are have come together on Facebook and are waging an online war against both Mr. Collymore and his primary employer, Talksport.

bbc, falklands, match of the day, MOTDI have been told that on the two occasions he has appeared on air, the station’s twitter and email feeds almost went into meltdown whilst the phone lines were blocked with angry callers. In addition, news that he had been signed to appear on BBC’s Match of the Day 2 next season resulted in the corporation being deluged with complaints to such an extent that it was forced to issue a statement that contrary to reports, Mr. Collymore had not been booked for any appearances.

Many people simply want an apology (and possibly a donation to a suitable military charity) but the majority want his removal from the airwaves altogether. But thus far, aside from threats of legal action from Mr. Collymore against all sorts of people including ironically the BBC, the silence has been deafening.

Quite what happens next will be interesting to say the least. But one thing is certain, the veteran community is coming together like never before and they are seriously pissed.

Watch this space.

If you would like to know more, you can hear Simon Weston and myself discussing the issue by clicking on this link to BBC Three Counties Radio. I am on at 2:06.00


military, veteran, forces, falklands war, writer, author, screenwriting, Thatcher, football, talksport, world cup, Brazil

23 thoughts on “Why Falklands veterans are at war, with Collymore.”

  1. Has anyone made an official complaint to his employers and or a complaints body so that he can officially be ‘punished’?

    1. As I said in the blog Stephen, all kinds of people including Talksport are being bombarded constantly. Talksports only response thus far has been to state that it does not comment on individuals twitter accounts.

      Oddly, when he posted the tweet Collymore has the Talksport logo as his header which suggests a connection but in addition, his tweets relating to Northern Ireland (as mentioned in the other blogs linked) MUST have breached the companies social media policy.

      So why no action??

    2. Yes, I did, Ii emailed TalkSport the next day. When I got a reply it was short, standard, and essentially said his views did not reflect those of TalkSport, and that was it. I replied, explaining that Ii did not consider my complaint to be resolved by this standardised response, and asked if TalkSsport woud be speaking to him or issuing a statement as his employer. I still await a reply. That was over a week ago.

  2. he beats women. I really don’t know why people are surprised that he is a prize dickhead. as I say, he beats women.

  3. We are a family, and will ALWAYS come together to defend ours against such moronic nonsense; which I might add flows in a constant stream from this numpty.

  4. Talksport were quick enough to sack Jon Gaunt over off the cuff remarks,so why is Mr Collymore still there?.What he tweeted even made me stand back and I am usually a Big Fan of his Sports Show.He hasn,t shown any class in this matter…

  5. William Morgenstein

    President at Marquesa Funding & Consulting Corp


    I read your blog with interest and I remember at the time most of those in the Falklands preferred British rule. In my auto-bio I write about the stupidity of the Argentine government. The stories are at times funny but they are all true.


    In any case your vets should be honored and not demeaned.


  6. Awful station…which I will never listen to again….as for Collymore….just a coward and ill informed idiot.

  7. 255 souls lost, many still suffering from the conflict and not forgetting the soldiers lost and still suffering for the Argentinian military. Insulting both nations.

  8. I think my irony meter has just exploded. Your mission statement at the top of this page contains the statement: “However, if you take offence to something you read or is inferred, too bad.” yet here you are posting an extended rant because someone has dared to express an opinion that you don’t agree with and so have taken offence. How utterly idiotic.

    Personally I agree with this Mr Collymore. The Falkland Islands are an embarrassing relic of Britain’s colonial past, a sheep-ridden hell hole in the middle of nowhere that has no strategic, economic or status value but which someone seems to be held up as a representation of the former might of Britain. Well screw that, it is an embarrassment, as is the way the campaign of 1982 which deprived mothers on all sides of their sons for no particular gain is somehow something that is beyond criticism.

    Everyone here needs to grow up, pipe down and gain a sense of perspective. And understand that everyone is entitled to their opinion. Even me. Even a former footballer. The idea that his employers should give a damn is just laughable.

    1. That is your opinion and you’re of course entitled to it.

      However, when I post something, in spite of what I say in my header, I am very careful to avoid causing offence and if I do, as long as that offence is genuine and was unintentional, I will always apologise unreservedly.

      Unfortunately, Mr. Collymore is not of the same thinking and whilst it is of course his right to post, say and think whatever he likes, when he not only causes offence by disrespecting the fallen but refuses to apologise for causing that offence, then he only has himself to blame for what comes his way in terms of a response.

      Indeed, I think the vast majority of people, myself included, were as angered by the timing of his tweet as by the stupidity and inaccuracy of his words.

      1. But here is the strange contradiction of your stance. You say it is my opinion and I am entitled to it. You are correct. Just as you are entitled to your opinion, regardless of how misguided I find it. Yet this is a privilege you do not seem to think should be extended to Mr Collymore. You feel he is not entitled to his opinion and instead should be persecuted and condemned for it.

        I struggle to see what he did wrong. He stated a point of view, one which is perfectly correct and historically accurate. His only crime seems to be to violate your right not to be offended. I hate to break it to you but there is no such thing. It does not exist. It never has and never will. One does not “cause offence”. Offence is not given, it is taken. If you have “taken offence” then that is entirely your problem. Not his. He has no obligation, need or requirement to extend an apology to you. Deal with it.

        I dislike military fetishism and feel the world would be a much better place without soliders or armies being trained to kill brothers and sons, but the one benefit you can argue they have brought to society is that soliders throughout history have put their lives on the line to defend freedoms and privileges that others would seek to deny us. The fact that you seem to be attempting to deny Mr Collymore his freedoms and privileges under the banner of “military veterans” and thus violating the spirit of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice is to me utterly abhorrent. You deserve to be condemned in the strongest possible terms for this. In fact I think you should apologise. I’ll be waiting.

  9. Mr Friendly said “He stated a point of view, one which is perfectly correct and historically accurate”

    Collymore’s point of view isn’t correct and isn’t accurate. That is the problem. Freedom of speech means he is entitled to open his mouth and spout nonsense but it also means that people are entitled to hold him to account.

    Mr Friendly, if you even had a cursory read of Falkland Islands history you would know that Collymore is wildly inaccurate in what he says. The Falklands weren’t stolen. There was no native population there when the British first arrived and settled there. It also wasn’t stolen from the Argentinians, who incidently did steal their land and commited genocide against the native population. Argentina’s claim of ‘theft’ is frequently and loudly proclaimed by them at the UN but is quite clearly a lie. There was no Argentinian population removed from there in 1833 as they claim, only a trespassing military penal garrison who, in the few weeks that they were there, committed mutiny, murdered their commanding officer and terrorised the islands population forcing them to seek shelter on a passing British ship. When the Royal Navy removed that garrision, without a shot being fired, the islands population were given the chance to stay or leave and all except four people chose to stay. The names of all those who left and stayed are recorded in Argentina’s own national archives from the records of the time so they are well aware of their lie but seem to think if they shout it loud enough and long enough it will believed. The islands were not stolen.

    This issue did not end in 1982. Argentina has since written their claim to the Falklands into their constitution, ripped up oil and fishing agreements after the Islanders extended the hand of friendship to them, attempted to destroy fishing stocks by instructing the Argentinian fleet to overfish migratory stocks, attempted to have air links to the islands from South America stopped and stopped cruise ships going to the Falklands from docking in Argentina in an attempt to destroy their tourism industry. After having failed at military warfare they are now attempting economic warfare. This is still an ongoing issue which is why people get worked up about it. Comments like Collymore’s are frequently jumped on by the Argentinian press as evidence of the rightfulness of their claim.

    The Falkland Islands do not belong to Britain anyway. They belong to the Falkland Islanders as was made quite clear through their recent referendum. They are self governing apart from defence and foreign affairs (which are only requuired because of Argentina), they pay tax to their own government which funds all necessary public services and they are quite free to cut loose from the UK anytime they want. They want to remain part of the UK and that is their choice.

    Collymore strikes me as very arrogant and the sort of person who would be unwilling to admit he is wrong. His failure to come out and defend his opinions indicates to me that he knows he can’t defend them. But rather than admit he was wrong he hides hoping it will go away. Yes, I agree that some of the calls to have him hung drawn and quartered are going a bit far but his silence is merely digging his own grave on this issue.

    1. Can’t argue with that.

      You’re also a bit of a tit if you think you can troll around the internet after me and then expect me to take you seriously when you preface a question with an insult.


  10. I fought and lost my mind in 82, pulled some of the boys of the Sir Galahad, subsequently destroyed the rest of my life… So I feel qualified. After 22 years defending the rights of my people at their behest, I do believe that they should be able to say what they will but I feel they can temper what they say with a bit of thought and respect, especially when they are privileged non combatants in the public eye. I asked myself a simple question when I found out I was going, if it was the Hebrides or Isle of White there would be no question, that if they wanted to remain British then we would fight for that right. So the issue seems to be distance and money, if that is what your life dictates then far from anger you have my pity. If you never served you will never know. A simple thank you for your service will do. Snide remarks about people who have died for you, just display the depth of your ignorance and again I feel sorry for you. Feeling your manhood is threatened because you don’t know if you have the ‘bottle’ to do what we did because you have never served is once again a sorry state to be in. Maybe a little self awareness might help? Take care and pray that when your way of life is threatened again there will be men and women ready to defend your sorry arse. RIP my friends, never forgotten. 8 June 1982.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *