Former Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson has been branded "vile" after calling Everton fans "poisonous cancer" in the wake of Bill Kenwright's death.
The ex-Toffees chairman passed away at the age of 78 on Monday following a lengthy stint in intensive care after having a tumour on his liver removed earlier in the year. His death was announced on Tuesday afternoon, prompting an outpouring of sympathy on social media.
Anderson, who is a lifelong Everton supporter, slammed the club's fanbase for their recent treatment of Kenwright amid the team's on-field struggles and frigidly suggested they were at fault for his declining health. He wrote on X: "Bill Kenwright died having fought brain and recently liver cancer with bravery and dignity. But I know it was the poisonous cancer of so called fans personally attacking him that hurt most and broke his heart."
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The post immediately drew the ire of users who urged Anderson to delete it. One fan replied: "This is as inappropriate as his detractors commenting negatively. Show the man some respect and delete this abhorrence."
Another wrote: "What a vile comment. You should be ashamed of yourself." A third added: "I’ve seen some insensitive tweets in my time, but this is one of the worst, what are you thinking?"
What do you make of Anderson's comments? Let us know in the comments section below.
Despite the backlash, Anderson stuck to his guns and sent out a follow-up message shortly after, which read: "The vitriol from the few is expected. Let me tell you, that I spoke to him as I did regularly and did so hours before his operation. I will say more, not now but later, to the angry brigade I send you my love and prayers."
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Anderson, 65, became the first directly elected Mayor of Liverpool in 2012. He was in office for 11 years, but left in disgrace after being arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit bribery and witness intimidation in 2020. He was subsequently suspended from the Labour Party and later announced he wouldn't be running for re-election in 2021.
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