Former Newcastle United coach makes controversial claim over departure from media role

The former Liverpool defender was a familar face on television screens.

Former Newcastle United coach Mark Lawrenson has suggested he was let go by the BBC because he was ‘a white male’.

Lawrenson spent a short time as the Magpies defensive coach during the mid-90s as he worked under United legend Kevin Keegan.

However, he has became as well known for his media work as he was for all of his achievements throughout his playing career.

Lawrenson was a familiar face on the BBC after working on the likes of Match of the Day and Football Focus over the last 25 years.

But he departed from the Beeb earlier this year after changes were made on Saturday preview show Football Focus and he made a controversial claim over the decision.

He told The Sunday Times: “The Beeb are probably the worst at giving you bad news. It was just, ‘We are going on the road next season with Focus. We don’t think it is really something for you.’

“I just wish they had said to me at the start of my contract last year, ‘You’ve had a great run, thanks very much and you are not working next season.’”

When asked why he was let go, he replied: “Well, I’m 65 and a white male. So, you know...

“In all my time at the BBC, nobody ever said you can’t say this or that, but the woke thing drives me bonkers.

“Whereas normally you would say the first thing that comes into your head, you’re now thinking, ‘If I say that will I get into trouble?’

“It was a bit like playing with your legs tied together. The BBC is the national broadcaster and I get that, but they are frightened to death of upsetting anybody.”