Sky pair blasted by Wigan ref

Sky Sports presenters Andy Gray (left) and Richard Keys
Sky Sports presenters Andy Gray (left) and Richard Keys

SEND ‘em off! That’s the message a female referee from Wigan is sending to Sky Sports regarding presenters Richard Keys and Andy Gray.

The duo made derogatory remarks about assistant referee Sian Massey who was running the lines during Liverpool’s trip to Wolves.

Football referee Melissa Anglesea, from Standish, before officiating in the Pemberton v Scholes match at Robin Park.'Phil Wilkinson.

Football referee Melissa Anglesea, from Standish, before officiating in the Pemberton v Scholes match at Robin Park.'Phil Wilkinson.

Speaking to each other in the studio before the game, believing their microphones were off, Keys said: “Somebody better get down there and explain offside to her.”

Former Scotland striker Gray replied: “Can you believe that?

“A female linesman. Women don’t know the offside rule.”

To which Keys said: “Course they don’t. I can guarantee you there will be a big one today. Kenny (Dalglish) will go potty.

“This isn’t the first time, is it? Didn’t we have one before?”

And Gray then described her as “useless”, using a profanity in the process.

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The comments sparked outrage throughout the footballing world and the pair were axed from presenting last night’s game between Bolton and Chelsea.

Melissa Anglesea referees in the Wigan amateur league and says she generally receives respect wherever she goes in the town.

However, she was so disgusted about the remarks she is calling for the axe to fall on the heads of two of the most well-known faces in football media.

“It’s disgusting,” she told the Evening Post.

“They should be severely punished and I’d say sack them.

“You can’t go around saying such remarks. There is sexism in everything nowadays, you get it in my line of work in the army.

“Sky won’t be so ruthless, though, because they know somebody like the BBC will just snap them up.”

Melissa, who has been refereeing for five years, believes comments like the ones made by Keys and Gray will only generate fear amongst female officials.

She added: “People seem to pick on women referees as an easy target and that’s exactly what these two are doing.

“I really hope Sky make a show of them now, we need to eradicate it from the game. So long as people know the rules, what does it matter about the gender?”

This isn’t the first time Keys and Gray have sparked controversy.

In one appearance, they were laughing so hard at mistakes made in women’s football that they were unable to speak.

Keys also lashed out at Karren Brady who had that day written a column in a national paper about sexism in sport.

Keys raged: “Did you hear charming Karren Brady complaining about sexism?

“Do me a favour, love.”

Brady yesterday lashed out at Keys saying it proved everything she said in her column to be true.

A Sky Sports spokesman said: “The comments reported are not acceptable.

“They were not made on air or broadcast in any way but we have spoken to Richard and Andy and told them our views.

“They have apologised and expressed their regret.”