In Memoria e Amicizia

This display was made in 2005, when LFC played Juventus for the first time since the disaster.

Today marks the thirty-sixth anniversary of the Heysel Stadium disaster which took place on 29 May, 1985 and which cost the lives of 39 football fans (32 Italians, 4 Belgians, 2 French and 1 from Northern Ireland). The responsibility for the deaths has to be shouldered by the LFC fans who attacked the Italian supporters, fourteen of whom were found guilty of manslaughter and received three-year jail sentences . Having acknowledged that fact, it’s also right to point out that a Belgian Judge, following an 18-month investigation into the events, concluded that responsibility also lay with UEFA for their controversial and contested decision to stage the event in a structurally unstable stadium in the first place; the sale of ‘neutral zone’ tickets adjacent to the LFC fans’ zone which predictably ended up largely in Italian fans’ hands, many of whom were living and working in Belgium, and, almost inevitably, poor and inadequate policing also played a part. (For a fuller account see this report on the LFC website)

There is a memorial plaque at Anfield:

And this banner, made by Peter Carney, also represents an attempt by LFC fans to reach out to the Juventus supporters. It places the colours and emblems of the two teams side by side with the words ‘friendship’ and ‘Youll never walk alone’ spanning the two.

Whilst it’s fair to say that there has been some reconciliation in the intervening years, there is inevitably a degree of rancour from Juventus fans, many of whom still who feel the events of that day and their dead have not been properly remembered, leading to actions like this very moving display at a game against Napoli in 2015 in which the names of the victims were displayed on the terraces:

As we’ve seen with Hillsborough, Ibrox and Bradford, this sort of memorialisation plays an incredibly important part not only in remembering and honouring the dead but also in providing solace and healing and, less comfortably, a vent for the unmet demands for justice and accountability, for the victims’ families, friends and survivors of these disasters.

But today, in a week that has brought bitter disappointment to the Hillsborough families and survivors with the failure of the course of justice to to serve a just cause, it is right to remember the 39 victims of the Heysel disaster, their families and friends and to continue to extend the hand of friendship.

In memoria e amicizia:

Rocco Acerra 29
Bruno Balli 50
Alfons Bos 35
Giancarlo Bruschera 21
Andrea Casula 11
Giovanni Casula 44
Nino Cerullo 24
Willy Chielens 41
Giuseppina Conti 17
Dirk Daeninckx 38
Dionisio Fabbro 51
Jacques François 45
Eugenio Gagliano 35
Francesco Galli 24
Giancarlo Gonnelli 20
Alberto Guarini 21
Giovacchino Landini 50
Roberto Lorentini 31
Barbara Lusci 58
Franco Martelli 22
Loris Messore 28
Gianni Mastroiaco 20
Sergio Bastino Mazzino 38
Luciano Rocco Papaluca 38
Luigi Pidone 31
Benito Pistolato 50
Patrick Radcliffe 38
Domenico Ragazzi 44
Antonio Ragnanese 49
Claude Robert 27
Mario Ronchi 43
Domenico Russo 28
Tarcisio Salvi 49
Gianfranco Sarto 47
Amedeo Giuseppe Spolaore 55
Mario Spanu 41
Tarcisio Venturin 23
Jean Michel Walla 32
Claudio Zavaroni 28

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