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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 22 October, 2002, 14:43 GMT 15:43 UK
Magazine withdrawn over tragedy 'insult'
Scarves of remembrance for Hillsborough victims
Six photos appeared with "flippant" captions
The Australian edition of men's magazine FHM has been withdrawn from sale after complaints about photo captions which made jokes about the Hillsborough disaster.

The photographs accompanied a serious article about the1989 tragedy which claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans.

In a statement, Geoff Campbell, publishing director of FHM Australia "unreservedly" apologised for the anguish and pain the article had caused.

"We deeply regret the photograph captions published in the edition," he said.

A scene from the Hillsborough disaster
Ninety six Liverpool fans died in the tragedy

"The right course of action is to withdraw this edition from sale - which we will be doing."

He added FHM had been in touch with the families of the victims and would be making a donation to the support groups.

"A full apology will be published in the next Australian edition, and although the offending article was not published in the UK, the apology will also appear in the UK edition."

The move follows an apology issued by editor John Bastick on Monday.

Mr Bastick told the BBC: "We have acted without sensitivity and in a totally inappropriate manner.

"To the family and friends of those who died in this tragedy, we are truly sorry."

Six photographs of the tragedy appeared in the edition, with captions making light of the disaster appearing underneath.


It is appalling and nothing to do with us in the UK

David Davies, UK editor

Liverpool fan Phil Mercer, who lives in Sydney, said he was shocked when he saw the "flippant" caption.

"There were pictures of the Hillsborough tragedy and the main picture was of that awful image of the fans being crushed," he said.

"The caption reads, 'Shoppers waited for the doors to open for the end of year sales'.

"I would imagine many people in Liverpool would find this very upsetting."

David Davies, who edits the UK edition of the top selling magazine, distanced the magazine from the Australian article.

"It is appalling and nothing to do with us in the UK. We would never do that kind of thing," he said.

'Very poor taste'

"It is ridiculous and we are extremely embarrassed. I don't know what came over them.

"If we are in any way associated with this I would want to apologise. It is in very poor taste and disgraceful."

Millions of people watched the disaster happen live on television as the fans desperately tried to escape the crush.

The report which followed Hillsborough led to the introduction of all-seater stadia.

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 ON THIS STORY
Editor of FHM UK David Davies
"I think it is shocking and in very bad taste"

Click here to go to Liverpool
See also:

21 Oct 02 | England
15 Apr 02 | UK
11 Jan 02 | Politics
16 Apr 99 | Hillsborough
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