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1984/85: Football mourns Heysel victims

Michel Platini's penalty won Juventus the European Champion Clubs' Cup final against Liverpool FC, but the match paled into insignificance after 39 fans were killed when a retaining wall gave way before kick-off at Heysel Stadium.

Heysel Stadium memorial
Heysel Stadium memorial ©Getty Images

Juventus 1-0 Liverpool FC
(Platini 58p)
Heysel, Brussels

It should have been a dream final: Liverpool FC against Juventus FC, European Champion Clubs' Cup holders against UEFA Cup Winners' Cup winners. Instead it was a nightmare. Thirty-nine Juventus fans died, crushed against or falling through a decaying retaining wall, after they were charged by Liverpool supporters before kick-off at Brussels' Heysel Stadium.

There were those who doubted whether the match should have gone ahead at all. In the event, it did, Michel Platini winning the cup for Juventus from the penalty spot. On another day, Joe Fagan's team might have disputed the referee's decision to award a spot-kick. Not, though, on 29 May 1985. Before the tragedy, Juventus, bidding to become the first side to lift all three UEFA trophies, had been too strong for Tampere United FC, Grasshopper-Club, AC Sparta Praha and FC Girondins de Bordeaux.

In fact, only the French club had asked real questions of Giovanni Trapattoni's side - missing out by the odd goal in five despite a 2-0 home success in the semi-final second leg. Liverpool, too, had marched inexorably towards the final. However, wins against Lech Poznán, SL Benfica, FK Austria Wien and Panathinaikos FC would be their last at this level for some time, due to a subsequent ban on English clubs from competing in European competitions.