Football pundit Steve 'Tommo' Thompson suspended by BBC for describing players' scuffle as 'handbags'

A FOOTBALL pundit has been suspended by the BBC — for describing a scuffle between two players as “handbags”.

Steve “Tommo” Thompson was relieved of his duties for using the common-or-garden matchday phrase after listeners complained.

He made the comment on BBC Radio Lincolnshire during Lincoln City’s 1-0 win at Swindon Town in the Sky Bet League One on Tuesday night.

It is so common it appears in the Collins Dictionary as “an incident in which people, especially sportsmen, fight or threaten to fight, but without real intent to inflict harm”.

Freelancer Steve, 65, below, who played for and managed Lincoln, was said to be “devastated” by the BBC’s decision.

Lincoln fan Bernard O’Mahoney is campaigning for his reinstatement. He said: “As any football fan knows, ‘handbags’ is an incredibly well-known saying.

“I can’t begin to think who’d be offended by it. The BBC has lost touch with the public.”

Fan Marcus Greatorex added: “It’s just an old term. The BBC should pay more attention to songs on their stations promoting knife crime and drug use.”

The BBC said: “After listeners raised concerns, Steve acknowledged some of his comments on air didn’t meet the standards we expect. He is taking a break but will be back in the New Year.”

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