On This Day (29th May): The Heysel Disaster

Posted on May 29 2015 - 2:20pm by Tom Burford

Football Express News’ Tom Burford looks at the Heysel disaster which happened 30 years ago today.

Today marks the 30th Anniversary of the Heysel disaster, where escaping fans were crushed against a collapsing wall at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels before the start of the European Cup Final between Liverpool and Juventus.

It started when Liverpool fans broke into the neutral area of the stadium, the majority of which were fans of Juventus, and chased them towards a concrete wall where some fans were already sitting. Those sat were crushed as the wall collapsed, with some able to climb over the rubble and escape.

39 people died and over 600 were injured.

The game was played despite the trouble with Juventus winning 1-0.

This tragedy led to all English clubs being banned from European Competition for 5 seasons, Liverpool were excluded for a further 3 (later reduced to 1). 14 fans were found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to three years imprisonment. UEFA Chief Executive Lars-Christer Olsson described it as “the darkest hour in the history of the UEFA competitions”

If it wasn’t for the ban, teams such as Oxford United and Luton Town would have qualified for Europe for winning the League Cup in 1987 and 1989 respectively.

Birthdays: Andrei Arshavin – 1981 (33), David Meyler 1989 (26), Jean Makoun 1983 (31), Roberto Di Matteo 1970 – (45)