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Former Lord Mayor of York forced to apologise after welcoming death of fieldsports fan and World Cup hero Jack Charlton

The Green Party councillor posted controversial comments after the Leeds United and England star died, aged 85.

Jack Charlton

Jack Charlton warming up before playing for Leeds United.

Keen Shot and fisherman Jack Charlton died on 10 July, prompting an offensive response by York councillor and former Lord Mayor Dave Taylor who wrote on his Facebook page: “Jack ‘Bloodsports’ Charlton is dead. Good.”

When somebody commented on his remark he responded: “I didn’t advocate being cruel to him, I just don’t think he should be lauded as some sort of hero. F*** him.”


Readers of Facebook were appalled and the council was contacted by those wishing to make a formal complaint about Councillor Taylor’s behaviour.

They said: “This is an appalling and offensive lack of respect for the dead by a former Lord Mayor and serving council member who should resign immediately.”

Cllr Taylor has apologised, posting: “I’ve clearly upset a lot of people with my comment about Jack Charlton’s involvement in bloodsports. I apologise for causing offence.”

York Green Party responded in a statement: “We would like to apologise to the family of Jack Charlton for any additional upset this has caused at what is clearly an already upsetting time,” it said.

“We would also like to apologise to any fans who were also offended by these comments.

“Animal rights and hunting bring out strong emotions in people and Cllr Taylor made his comments in relation to Jack Charlton’s past involvement and promotion of hunting.

“However, Cllr Taylor now acknowledges that his comments and timing were inappropriate.

“The Green Party has strong values and it is clear that Cllr Taylor’s comments fall short of these values and what we expect from our elected officials.

“York Green Party will be taking forward our internal investigation in relation to this.”

 Cllr Taylor apologised again, saying:”It must’ve been upsetting. I apologise. I always hated his involvement in bloodsports, but it was insensitive to mention it now.”

Jack Charlton was a keen countryman and enjoyed fishing and shooting. In the 1970s he took part in his own TV series – Go Fishing with Jack Charlton – and when he was manager of Newcastle in the 1980s he announced to the team that he was going off grouse shooting after a match.

Dr Conor O’Gorman, BASC’s head of policy and campaigns, said: “Hate speech should not be tolerated in any form in UK society and it is unacceptable that Green Party Councillor Dave Taylor has labelled the late Jack Charlton an animal abuser because of his lifelong interest in shooting and fishing.

“Shooting is a legal activity conducted by four million people in accordance with animal welfare laws and codes of practice and shooting benefits conservation and the economy. We have written to the leader of City of York Council to formally register our concerns and written to the co-leaders of the Green Party seeking their position on their members calling people that shoot or fish ‘animal abusers’. We have also reported Cllr Dave Taylor to Facebook requesting that his account be removed due to hate speech.”