Sky Sports has apologised over “insensitive and regrettable” jokes from commentators about Sean Dyche’s black armband during Everton’s defeat at Aston Villa.

Dyche and the players were paying tribute to Michael Jones, the 26-year-old killed while working at their new stadium development at Bramley Moore Dock.

However, Bill Leslie and co-commentator Andy Hinchcliffe prompted viewer anger by comparing Dyche to “a croupier” because of his white shirt and black armband.

“Comments made during the Aston Villa v Everton game were insensitive and regrettable,” a Sky spokesman has now said in response. “We have spoken to everyone involved in the coverage including both the commentators and have reminded them of their responsibilities and the need for care and sensitivity. We apologise for any upset or distress caused by these comments.”

Jones, 26, from Kirkby, died following an accident at the construction site last week. Sky coverage at the match on Sunday was otherwise sensitive, with cameras showing a 26th-minute tribute among fans. Sources said both Leslie and Hinchcliffe have expressed regret at their comments.

Everton announced in recent days that the club is working with the family of Mr Jones on an “appropriate and lasting tribute”. “The loss of Michael Jones, a lifelong Evertonian who followed the Blues home and away, has left us all devastated,” the club said.

“The thoughts of everyone at Everton remain with Michael’s family, friends and colleagues. We will now be working with Michael’s family on an appropriate and lasting tribute. Michael Jones, forever in our hearts.”

His family said their ‘beloved son, brother and uncle’ would be ‘missed beyond words’. A statement added: “He was a lifelong Blue who was so happy to be working on the new stadium. We want to thank the NHS staff and work colleagues who did their best for Michael.”