Heysel still haunts Platini

A collapsing wall at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels before the start of the??European Cup final between Juventus and Liverpool on May 29, 1985 caused 39??deaths and over 600 injuries.

The match went ahead and Platini, then a Juventus midfielder, scored??his side’s winner from the penalty spot – but his memories of the night are??overwhelmed by the pre-match tragedy.

In a statement released on UEFA’s website on Friday morning, Platini wrote:??”Thirty years ago, I played in a European Champion Clubs’ Cup final at the??Heysel Stadium in Brussels. And I continue to play in that final.

“It hasn’t left me, just like it hasn’t left anyone else who was there that??night, and remains with all those who lost a loved one, for whom everything??changed in a few terrible minutes.

“Thirty years later, I am the president of UEFA, the organisation that??organised the match, and I am working every day with all my colleagues and friends at the national associations, leagues and clubs to ensure that we will never again experience the horror of such a night.

“We have been working unceasingly for the last 30 years to guarantee safety??and security at sporting venues across Europe.

“On the 30th anniversary of that fateful night, my thoughts are with the 39??people who lost their lives and, of course, with their friends and families. I??can only express my deepest sympathy and reiterate that I am still doing??everything in my power to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.”

Survivors and relatives of the victims marked the anniversary at the King Baudouin Stadium,??which was renovated and renamed after the tragedy, by laying flowers and wreaths as a??remembrance.

Juventus are holding an evening mass as a tribute at Turin’s Chiesa della Gran??Madre di Dio Church, while Liverpool held an early-morning memorial service at Anfield.

Phil Neal, Liverpool’s captain at the time of the disaster, laid a floral tribute at the??foot of the Heysel memorial plaque in the Centenary Stand.

Neal said: “It was an honour for me to lay a wreath at the Heysel memorial in remembrance of those who lost their lives.

“What happened at Heysel will always be with me and everybody else who was??there on that terrible day – we will never forget.”

Juve’s sporting director??Gianluca Pessotto and former player Massimo Bonini laid 39 white lilies at Anfield, one??for each life lost.

Ian Rush, who was part of Liverpool’s team in the final and also played for??Juventus during his career, will reciprocate by representing the Reds in Turin.

Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre said: “This is – and always will be – a hugely important day in the history of Liverpool Football Club. I thank Juventus Football Club for inviting us to attend their mass in Turin and for their ongoing friendship.”

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