One year on – fans unite in grief


Thursday, May 29 – 1986
Thousands of football fans in Brussels, Turin and Liverpool yesterday mourned the deaths of their 39 friends crushed in the riot exactly a year ago at the European Cup Final.

United in prayer, tears and grief, rival supporters of the Juventus and Liverpool clubs remembered the evening of terror at Brussel’s Heysel stadium on May 29, 1985.

Huge wreaths were carried by weeping Italians – their floral tributes made up of the colours of the national flag.

The Belgiun ground was closed so fans tossed bunches of flowers into the stadium where supporters were trampled to death when a small number of hooligan Britons charged Italian supporters.

German Thomas Niederberger, 27, of Solingen, on the Rhine, a fervent Liverpool supporter attended the Brussel ceremony wearing a Liverpool shirt.

Juventus fans applauded him when he laid a wreath by the stadium wall. Its message read: “In memory of the victims of Stand Z – from Liverpudlians and Thomas.”

They cheered when he said: “Good supporters must show the way of peace. Not every Liverpool supporter is a hooligan.”

Liverpool officials attended a memorial ceremony in Turin at the invitation of Juventus.

Chairman John Smith, chief executive Peter Robinson and former manager Joe Fagan, joined in the unveiling of a memorial before attending a special mass at Turin Cathedral.

At the same moment a special mass was held at Liverpool’s Metropolitian Cathedral. The city’s Roman Catholic Bishop, the Most Rev Derek Worlock, prayed that the “horrific lessons” of a year ago would never be forgotten.

The Anglican Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Rev David Sheppard, took part in the service, and lessons were read by Liverpool city council chairman Hugh Dalton and Liverpool Football Club vice-chairman Douglas Corkish.

** Belgium asked yesterday for the extradition of 26 British fans alleged to have taken part in the rioting. The British courts will now decide whether to grant the request.
(Daily Express, 30-05-1986)

Heysel 1987 1

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