The Telegraph Apologise To Adam Johnson For Claiming ‘Aeroplane’ Goal Celebration Was Reference To Malaysia Airlines Crash

Chris Wright

27th, October 2015



When Adam Johnson scored for Sunderland in the Tyne-Wear derby on Sunday afternoon, the winger made a point of sprinting the entire length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the Newcastle fans, who had been goading him throughout the game for reasons of which we’re sure you’re aware.

However, a few folks on Twitter took Johnson’s arms-splayed celebration as a direct reference to the Malaysia Airlines plane that was shot down over Ukraine last year, killing two Newcastle fans as well as all other 281 passengers and 15 crew members on board.


Even stranger still was the Daily Telegraph’s decision to give credence to these ridiculous claims by including them in the online version of their match report.

The article initially read:

Some claimed the former England international was making a spiteful and provocative reference to the two Newcastle supporters who died when a Malaysia Airlines Flight was shot down over Ukraine last year.

Johnson should apologise for any offence caused, even if was not intended as it was perceived.

Thankfully, after finally coming to their senses almost 24 hours later, The Telegraph have since amended their match report to include an apologetic opening paragraph, which reads as follows:

Adam Johnson – an apology

In an earlier version of this report, we included the accusation that Adam Johnson had goaded Newcastle’s supporters with an aeroplane celebration after he scored his goal, which we suggested was a reference to the two Newcastle supporters who died when on the crashed Malaysia Airlines flight over Ukraine, last year.

We now accept that there was absolutely nothing in the goal celebration which could be sensibly taken to have been a reference to these tragic deaths.

We apologise unreservedly to Mr Johnson and have agreed to pay a sum of damages to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

The whole thing beggars belief, but at least The Telegraph have made humble and sincere reparations – which is a darn sight more than can be said for the cretins that barfed forth the weird, insular accusations in the first instance.

What is the world coming to, eh?

Posted in Newcastle Utd, Newsnow, Sunderland

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  1. Paul says:

    The below comment was sent to a Luke Edwards at the Telegraph. Edwards had written and sent the apology afterwards, but this can’t possibly be swept under the carpet….

    Luke Edwards, a message. Resign. Telegraph, a message. You have to let him go and replace him with a competent sports writer. Seriously, your paper has come to a new low which is unquantifiable with this controversial Adam Johnson accusation and backtrack. As much as anyone dislikes this, stating that Johnson lowered himself to the level of response to pedophile chanting by pretending to be the Malaysian plane that went down with NUFC supporters, agonisingly inept. Take the subject matter aside, the very fact that this paper under Luke Edwards’ behaviour lowered itself to a staggeringly new low this derby day which as you should know is disrespectful to all readers, transgressed the limits of what is permitted or deemed appropriate. It is quite simply journalistic suicide and it should be that Luke Edwards now commits his own hara kiri ritual by doing the right thing by moving on elsewhere. The damage is done and you can’t possibly think this will go away by. @Luke Edwards, I urge you please, do the right thing, resign!”

    • AndyMac says:

      For a start its paedophile and last time I looked Mr Johnson has been charged with sexual acts and grroming a 15 year old. That’s the subject matter that you seem keen to “take aside” ?

    • CP says:

      I’m an English teacher and your grammar is absolutely appalling. Where on earth did you attend school? Shameful.

  2. Liam says:

    I guess Henry Winter when he left the Telegraph took all the class with him

  3. jackie wilshere says:

    I guess Henry Winter took all the class with him when he left the Telegraph

  4. AndyMac says:

    “No smoke without fire” ! Why bother to race the length of the field ? Adebayor did the same thing against the Gooners, got him a 2 match suspension and 25K fine.

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