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Clubs mark Heysel 27th year anniversary
Published : 29 May 2012 10:17:03
Juventus and Liverpool are marking the 27th anniversary of the Heysel Stadium disaster which claimed the lives of 39 supporters prior to the 1985 European Cup final.
The tragedy occurred when trouble broke out between supporters before kick-off at the stadium in Brussels.
Liverpool fans were widely blamed and UEFA banned English clubs from European competition for five years as a result.
A strongly-worded Juve statement, on the English section of the club's website, read: "It was a crazy night which swept away a joyful event to celebrate football and claimed 39 innocent victims. This tragedy occurred 27 years ago, exactly on 29 May 1985, but those sad, disastrous events in Brussels are still alive in our hearts.
"The Heysel Stadium hosted Juventus and Liverpool for the European Champion Clubs' Cup final. However, before the kick-off, the English hooligans caused an absurdly violent uproar against the Italian supporters.
"The facility suffered from serious structural problems and the Sector Z collapsed while the Bianconeri fans were looking for an escape route: 39 people died and 600 were injured. Since then, every year on 29 May we've been living this commemoration day with deep grief and sorrow."
A Liverpool statement read: "Liverpool Football Club today remembers the 39 football fans who died when a wall collapsed at the Heysel Stadium in Belgium on this day 27 years ago.
"Managing director Ian Ayre will lay the club's floral tribute at the foot of the Heysel Memorial Plaque in the Centenary Stand this morning.
"The tragedy unfolded on May 29, 1985, at the European Cup final between Liverpool and Juventus, when what should have been one of the greatest nights in the club's history turned into a nightmare.
"Instead of leaving Brussels having seen our team lift a fifth European Cup, Liverpool supporters travelled back to England having witnessed the deaths of 39 football supporters including 32 Italian fans of Juventus, four Belgians, two from France and one man from Northern Ireland."