Monday, April 18, 2005


Last night, the BBC showed a moving and yet frustrating documentary on the Heysel Stadium disaster which unfolded on TV screens across Europe 20 years ago. Thirty-eight people died in the crush caused as Liverpool soccer fans invaded the mass of Juventus supporters in an area originally reserved for "neutral" fans. After nearly two hours delay, the European Cup Final went ahead despite the carnage.

The night was a catalogue of disasters culminating in needless death and injury.

A crumbling stadium.
Poor fan segregation.
Chaotic policing.
Lack of communication.

But, hatred, pure hatred caused the deaths.

The documentary was a brave attempt to re-tell the story through the eyes of survivors. What it lacked, apart from the rather shallow reminisces of one convicted of manslaughter for his part in the evening, was much of a Liverpool perspective.

Last night brought back some of the horror of that balmy May evening. Unfortunately, the Juve-Liverpool re-match in this year's European Cup has, on much of the evidence, done very little to heal the wounds.

:: Posted by pete @ 20:49