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Fire kills 50 at soccer stadium

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Fifty people die in a fire in the grandstand at a soccer stadium in Bradford, England, on May 11, 1985. The wooden roof that burned was scheduled to be replaced by a steel roof later that same week.

Bradford was playing Lincoln City on the afternoon of May 11. Many fans were there to celebrate Bradford’s two-year rise from bankruptcy to the league championship and promotion to the second division. Near the end of the first half, a fire broke out at one end of the main stands. Although several fans moved onto the field to escape the flames, there was no immediate general concern.

Within minutes, though, the fire spread up the wooden roof and quickly engulfed the fans underneath. It took only four minutes for the entire roof to burn. Hundreds of people were injured in addition to the 56 who were killed. "It spread like a flash. I’ve never seen anything like it. The smoke was choking. You could hardly breathe," said survivor Geoffrey Mitchell.

Still, many in the crowd did not realize the enormity of the disaster. Some young fans reportedly danced and sang in front of the raging fire while others threw stones at a television crew.

The official inquiry into the cause of the fire blamed an accumulation of garbage beneath the stands. Most likely, the fire was sparked by a cigarette. It quickly lit the old and dilapidated structure that the formerly struggling team had just found the money to replace.

Fire kills 50 at soccer stadium - May 11, 1985 - HISTORY.com

TSgt Joe C.

Fifty people die in a fire in the grandstand at a soccer stadium in Bradford, England, on this day in 1985. The wooden roof that burned was scheduled to be replaced by a steel roof later that same week.

Bradford was playing Lincoln City on the afternoon of May 11. Many fans were there to celebrate Bradford’s two-year rise from bankruptcy to the league championship and promotion to the second division. Near the end of the first half, a fire broke out at one end of the main stands. Although several fans moved onto the field to escape the flames, there was no immediate general concern.

Within minutes, though, the fire spread up the wooden roof and quickly engulfed the fans underneath. It took only four minutes for the entire roof to burn. Hundreds of people were injured in addition to the 56 who were killed. It spread like a flash. I’ve never seen anything like it. The smoke was choking. You could hardly breathe, said survivor Geoffrey Mitchell.

Still, many in the crowd did not realize the enormity of the disaster. Some young fans reportedly danced and sang in front of the raging fire while others threw stones at a television crew.

The official inquiry into the cause of the fire blamed an accumulation of garbage beneath the stands. Most likely, the fire was sparked by a cigarette. It quickly lit the old and dilapidated structure that the formerly struggling team had just found the money to replace.

Football Stadiums

Football stadiums were initially very primitive. Therefore, the first FA Cup final was held in 1872 at the Kennington Oval, a cricket ground built in 1845. The Oval hosted the final until 1892. The following year, the final between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Everton was held at Fallowfield in Manchester.

Goodison Park was the first purpose built football stadium in England. It cost £8,090, and was officially opened on 24th August 1892. It consisted of two uncovered stands, each to accommodate 4,000 and a covered stand to accommodate 3,000 people. In 1894 it hosted the FA Cup final between Notts County and Bolton Wanderers, a match with an attendance of 37,000.

Women were initially allowed in free at some grounds as it was believed that it would improve the behaviour of make fans. When Preston North End introduced free tickets in April, 1885, over 2,000 women turned up for the game. Free entry for women was so popular that by the late 1890s all the football clubs had discontinued the scheme.

In 1896 Arnold Hills, the chairman of West Ham United, announced that he had purchased land at Canning Town, Hills built what became known as the Memorial Grounds. It cost £20,000 to build and was considered to be one of the best stadiums in the country. Hills claimed it could hold 133,000 spectators and applied to hold an FA Cup Final at the Memorial Grounds. This only allowed 16 inches for each person and the Football Association turned the idea down.

Early map showing the location of the Memorial Grounds

Arnold Hills wanted to hold other sporting events, including cycling and athletics. As well as a football arena, it also had a cinder running track, tennis courts and an outdoor swimming pool. According to one report, the 100 feet (30.4m) long pool was the largest in England. The Memorial Grounds was opened in June, 1897. Hills made a speech where he pointed out that it had "the largest cycle track in London where they would hold such monster meetings that the attention of the Metropolis would be called to the Thames Ironworks".

The site had been chosen because it was planned to build Manor Road railway station close to the stadium. Unfortunately the project was delayed and it was not finished until four years later. This meant that attendances at the ground were much lower than expected.

Season tickets for the 1897-98 were fixed at 5 shillings (25p). Tickets for individual matches cost 4d. However, attendances at games were very disappointing. Only 200 people saw the first game against Northfleet. This is not surprising when you compare this with the price of other forms of entertainment. It usually cost only 3d. to visit the musical hall or the cinema. It has to be remembered that at this time skilled tradesmen usually received less than £2 a week.

As Dave Russell points out in Football and the English: A Social History of Association Football in England (1997): "in terms of social class, crowds at Football League matches were predominantly drawn from the skilled working and lower-middle classes. Social groups below that level were largely excluded by the admission price." Russell adds "the Football League, quite possibly in a deliberate attempt to limit the access of poorer (and this supposedly "rowdier") supporters, raised the minimum adult male admission price to 6d".

In the 1899-1900 West Ham United was promoted to the top division of the Southern League and it was decided to increase season ticket prices. It was now 10s. 6d (52.5p) for the grandstand and 7s. 6d. (37.5p) for the rest of the ground. The first home game was against Chatham. The attendance of 1,000 was lower than most games the previous season and was probably a reaction to the price rise. However, for a FA Cup game against local rivals, Millwall, an estimated 13,000 people turned up to see the game.

The most important figure in the design of football stadiums was Archibald Leitch. In 1899 he was commissioned to build Ibrox Park, the new home ground of Rangers. The new stadium comprised large wooden terraces and a stand accommodating some 4,500 spectators. However, people began to question Leitch's safety features when on 5th April, 1902, when 25 people were killed and 517 injured as part of the west terracing collapsed during the annual international game with England.

Despite this disaster Archibald Leitch was commissioned to build other football grounds. In 1909 John Henry Davies, the chairman of Manchester United, decided to loan the club £60,000 in order that they could build a new stadium with an 80,000 capacity. The Old Trafford ground featured seating in the south stand under cover, while the remaining three stands were left as terraces and uncovered. When it was completed the stadium had the largest grandstand in the Football League. It also had a gymnasium, massage room, plunge baths, bars, lifts and tearooms.

The Empire Stadium at Wembley was built by Robert McAlpine for the British Empire Exhibition of 1923, at a cost of £750,000. It was originally intended intended to be demolished at the end of the Exhibition. However, it was later decided to keep the building to host football matches. The first match at Wembley, the 1923 FA Cup Final between West Ham United and Bolton Wanderers, took place only four days after the stadium was completed.

The Empire Stadium had a capacity of 125,000 and so the Football Association did not consider making it an all-ticket match. After all, both teams only had an average attendance of around 20,000 for league games. However, it was rare for a club from London to make the final of the FA Cup and supporters of other clubs in the city saw it as a North v South game. It is estimated that 300,000 people attempted to get into the ground. Over a thousand people were injured getting in and out of the stadium.

8 Corralejas Bullring Stadium CollapseColumbia, 1980

When the hastily prepared three tier-stands at the Corralejas bullring in Columbia collapsed on January 20, 1980, the tragic loss of life was enough to halt the traditional festivities for two decades.

The makeshift stands were erected in the immediate lead-in to the festival each year and then taken down again afterward. Heavy rain had battered the area, and during the bullfighting that afternoon, a sudden thunderstorm hit the area. People in the stands quickly rushed to escape the rain. With the ground underneath already reduced to a mud bath, the stand gave way.

Some people leaped from the stands in an effort to save themselves, while others ran in any direction they could, including the bull ring itself, which contained four large and angry bulls. Many people, including young children, were trampled to death in the panic. In total, 222 people lost their lives, with hundreds more injured.

Around 40,000 people were in the stadium or at nearby concession stands when the disaster occurred. The aftermath was complete carnage. One witness described seeing &ldquoblood everywhere&rdquo and corpses left where they had fallen.


In May 1985, Liverpool were the defending European Champions' Cup winners, having won the competition after defeating Roma in the penalty shootout in the final of the previous season. Again, they would face Italian opposition, Juventus, which had won unbeaten the 1983–84 Cup Winners' Cup. Juventus had a team of many of Italy's 1982 World Cup winning team, which played for Juventus for many years, and its playmaker, Michel Platini, was considered the best footballer in Europe and was named Footballer of The Year by the magazine France Football for the second year in a row in December 1984. Both teams were placed in the two first positions in the UEFA club ranking at the end of the previous season [9] and were regarded by the specialist press as the two best teams on the continent. [10] Both teams had contested the 1984 European Super Cup four months earlier, with a 2-0 victory for the Italian team.

Despite its status as Belgium's national stadium, the Heysel Stadium was in a poor state of repair by the 1985 European Final. The 55-year-old stadium had not been sufficiently maintained for several years, and large parts of the facility were literally crumbling. For example, the outer wall had been made of cinder block, and fans who did not have tickets were seen to kick holes in the wall to get in. [11] In some areas of the stadium, there was only one turnstile, and some fans attending the game claimed that they were never searched or asked for their tickets. [12]

Liverpool players and fans later said that they were shocked at Heysel's abject condition, despite reports from Arsenal fans that the ground was a "dump" when Arsenal had played there a few years earlier. They were also surprised that Heysel was chosen despite its poor condition, especially since Barcelona's Camp Nou and Madrid's Santiago Bernabéu were both available. Juventus President Giampiero Boniperti and Liverpool CEO Peter Robinson urged the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to choose another venue and claimed that Heysel was not in any condition to host a European Final, especially one involving two of the largest and most powerful clubs in Europe. However, UEFA refused to consider a move. [13] [14] It was later discovered that UEFA's inspection of the stadium had lasted just thirty minutes. [15]

The stadium was crammed with 58,000 to 60,000 supporters, with more than 25,000 for each team. The two ends behind the goals comprised all-standing terraces, each end split into three zones. The Juventus end was O, N, and M, and the Liverpool end was X, Y, and Z, as deemed by the Belgian court after the disaster. However, the tickets for the Z section were reserved for neutral Belgian fans in addition to the rest of the stadium. That meant the Juventus fans had more sections than the Liverpool fans with the Z section, which was nominally reserved for neutrals. The idea of the large neutral area was opposed by both Liverpool and Juventus, [16] as it would provide an opportunity for fans of both clubs to obtain tickets from agencies or from ticket touts outside the ground and so create a dangerous mix of fans. [14]

At the time, Belgium already had a large Italian community, and many expatriate Juventus fans from Brussels, Liège and Charleroi fans bought Section Z tickets. [17] [12] Also, many tickets were bought up and sold by travel agents, mainly to Juventus fans. Reportedly, Liverpool fans were still smarting from being attacked by Roma ultras at the 1984 European Final and placed next to what amounted to another Juventus section heightened tensions before the match. [12] A small percentage of the tickets ended up in the hands of Liverpool fans.

At approximately 7 p.m. local time, an hour before kickoff, the initial disturbance started. [18] The Liverpool and Juventus supporters in Sections X and Z stood merely yards apart. The boundary between the two was marked by temporary chain link fencing and a central thinly-policed no man's land. [19] Hooligans began to throw flares, bottles and stones across the divide and picked up stones from the crumbling terraces beneath them. [12]

As kickoff approached, the throwing became more intense. Several groups of Liverpool hooligans broke through the boundary between Section X and Z, overpowered the police and charged at the Juventus fans. The fans in the neutral Section Z who were mainly Italian and Belgium families with young children, began to flee toward the perimeter wall of Section Z. The wall could not withstand the force of the fleeing Juventus fans, and a lower portion collapsed.

In retaliation for the events in Section Z, many Juventus fans rioted at their end of the stadium. They advanced down the stadium running track to help other Juventus supporters, but police intervention stopped the advance. A large group of Juventus fans fought the police with rocks, bottles and stones for two hours. One Juventus fan was also seen firing a starting gun at Belgian police. [20]

Despite the scale of the disaster and the state of siege in the City of Brussels consequently declared by the Belgian government, [5] UEFA officials, the Italian, English and Belgian national associations—the latter being responsible for organising the event—as well as the country's Ministry of Interior led by local Premier Wilfried Martens, Brussels Mayor Hervé Brouhon, and the city's police force decided jointly that the match eventually kicked off for public policy doctrine reasons [21] because that abandoning the match would have risked inciting further disturbances [4] notwithstanding Juventus' explicit request that the match not be played. [22] [21] After the captains of both sides spoke to the crowd and appealed for calm, [23] the players took the field knowing that people had died. Years later, Liverpool captain Phil Neal said that in hindsight, it would have been "a better decision" to call off the game. [14]

Juventus won the match 1–0 thanks to a penalty scored by Platini, which was awarded by the Swiss referee, Daina, for a foul against Zbigniew Boniek. [24]

At the end of the game, the trophy was given in front of the stadium's Honor Stand by UEFA President Jacques Georges to Juventus Captain Gaetano Scirea. Collective hysteria generated by the massive invasion of the pitch by journalists and fans at the end of the match [25] and the chants of fans of both teams in the stands [26] all made some Italian club players celebrate the title in the middle of the pitch among them and in front of their fans in the M section, and some Liverpool players applauded their fans between the X and Z sections, the stadium's section affected. [27]

Liverpool players only realised the extent of the tragedy when they boarded their bus at a Brussels hotel to go to the airport, when a crowd of Juventus supporters surrounded the bus. Police had to escort the bus out of the lot. [14] The police allowed Liverpool's bus to drive directly onto the tarmac at Brussels Airport in hopes of avoiding a confrontation at the terminal. [12]

Criminal proceedings Edit

The blame for the incident was laid on the fans of Liverpool. On 30 May, official UEFA observer Gunter Schneider said, "Only the English fans were responsible. Of that there is no doubt." UEFA, the organiser of the event, the owners of Heysel Stadium and the Belgian police were investigated for culpability. After an eighteen-month investigation, the dossier of leading Belgian judge Marina Coppieters was finally published. It concluded that blame should rest solely with the Liverpool fans.

British police undertook a thorough investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice. Some seventeen minutes of film and many still photographs were examined. TV Eye produced an hour-long programme featuring the footage while British newspapers published the photographs.

A total of 34 people were arrested and questioned with 26 Liverpool fans being charged with manslaughter—the only extraditable offence applicable to events at Heysel. An extradition hearing in London in February–March 1987 ruled all 26 were to be extradited to stand trial in Belgium for the death of Juventus fan Mario Ronchi. In September 1987 they were extradited and formally charged with manslaughter applying to all 39 deaths and further charges of assault. Initially, all were held at a Belgian prison but over the subsequent months judges permitted their release as the start of the trial was further delayed.

The trial eventually began in October 1988, with three Belgians also standing trial for their role in the disaster: Albert Roosens, the head of the Belgian Football Association, for allowing tickets for the Liverpool section of the stadium to be sold to Juventus fans and two police chiefs—Michel Kensier and Johann Mahieu—who were in charge of policing at the stadium that night. Two of the 26 Liverpool fans were in custody in Britain at the time and stood trial later. In April 1989, fourteen fans were convicted and given three-year sentences, half of which were suspended for five years, allowing them to return to the UK. [28] One man who was acquitted was Ronnie Jepson, who would go on to make 414 appearances over a thirteen-year career in the English Football League. [29]

Stadium investigation Edit

Gerry Clarkson, Deputy Chief of the London Fire Brigade (LFB), was sent by the British Government to report on the condition of the stadium. He concluded that the deaths were "Attributable very, very largely to the appalling state of [the] stadium." [30] [12] Clarkson discovered that the crush barriers were unable to contain the weight of the crowd and had the reinforcement in the concrete exposed, the wall's piers had been built the wrong way around and that there was a small building at the top of the terrace that contained long plastic tubing underneath. [30] His report was never used in any inquiry for the disaster. [30]

English club ban Edit

Pressure mounted to ban English clubs from European competition. On 31 May 1985, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher asked The Football Association (the FA) to withdraw English clubs from European competition before they were banned, [31] but two days later, UEFA banned English clubs for "an indeterminate period of time." On 6 June, the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) extended this ban to all worldwide matches, but this was modified a week later to allow friendly matches outside of Europe to take place. In December 1985, FIFA announced that English clubs were also free to play friendly games in Europe, though the Belgian government banned any English clubs playing in their country.

Though the English national team was not subjected to any bans, English club sides were banned indefinitely from European club competitions, with Liverpool being provisionally subject to a further three years suspension as well. In April 1990, following years of campaigning from the English football authorities, UEFA confirmed the reintroduction of English clubs (with the exception of Liverpool) into its competitions from the 1990–91 season onward in April 1991 UEFA's Executive Committee voted to allow Liverpool back into European competition from the 1991–92 season onward, a year later than their compatriots, but two years earlier than initially foreseen. In the end, all English clubs served a five-year-ban, while Liverpool were excluded for six years.

According to former Liverpool striker Ian Rush, who signed with Juventus a year later, he saw pronounced improvement in the institutional relationships between both the clubs and their fans during his career in Italy. [13]

England's UEFA coefficient Edit

Prior to the introduction of the ban, England were ranked first in the UEFA coefficient ranking due to the performance of English clubs in European competition in the previous five seasons. [32] Throughout the ban, England's points were kept in the ranking until they would have naturally been replaced.

The places vacated by English clubs in the UEFA Cup were reallocated to the best countries who would usually only have two spots in the competition—countries ranked between ninth and twenty-first. For the 1985–86 UEFA Cup, the Soviet Union, France, Czechoslovakia, and the Netherlands were granted an additional spot each, while in 1986–87, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, France, and East Germany were the recipients. The 1987–88 season saw Portugal, Austria, and Sweden gain an additional place, with Sweden and Yugoslavia gaining the places for the 1988–89 competition. The final year of the English ban, 1989–90 saw Austria receive a spot, while a play-off round was played between a French and a Yugoslav side for the final space—due to the two countries having the same number of points in the ranking. [33]

England was removed from the rankings in 1990 due to having no points. [34] England did not return to the top of the coefficient rankings until 2008. [35]

Banned clubs Edit

The following clubs were denied entry to European competitions during this period:

Seasons European Cup European Cup Winners' Cup UEFA Cup
1985–86 Everton Manchester United (4th) Liverpool (2nd)
Tottenham Hotspur (3rd)
Southampton (5th)
Norwich City (League Cup winners 20th)
1986–87 Liverpool Everton (2nd) West Ham United (3rd)
Manchester United (4th)
Sheffield Wednesday (5th)
Oxford United (League Cup winners 18th)
1987–88 Everton Coventry City (10th) Liverpool (2nd)
Tottenham Hotspur (3rd)
Arsenal (4th League Cup winners)
Norwich City (5th)
1988–89 Liverpool Wimbledon (6th) Manchester United (2nd)
Nottingham Forest (3rd)
Everton (4th)
Luton Town (League Cup winners 9th)
1989–90 Arsenal Liverpool (2nd) Nottingham Forest (3rd League Cup winners)
Norwich City (4th)
Derby County (5th)
Tottenham Hotspur (6th)
1990–91 Liverpool Tottenham Hotspur (3rd)
Arsenal (4th)
Nottingham Forest (9th League Cup winners).
UEFA Cup only
1991–92 Crystal Palace (3rd)
Leeds United (4th)
Sheffield Wednesday (Second Division 3rd League Cup winners)
1992–93 Arsenal (4th)
Manchester City (5th)
1993–94 Blackburn Rovers (4th)
Queens Park Rangers (5th)
1994–95 Leeds United (5th)

The number of places available to English clubs in the UEFA Cup would however have been reduced had English teams been eliminated early in the competition. By the time of the re-admittance of all English clubs except Liverpool in 1990–91, England was only granted one UEFA Cup entrant (awarded to the league runners-up) prior to the ban, they had four entry slots, a number not awarded to England again under regular means.

Welsh clubs playing in the English league system, who could qualify for the European Cup Winners' Cup via the Welsh Cup, were unaffected by the ban. Bangor City (1985–86) [note 1] , Wrexham (1986–87), Merthyr Tydfil (1987–88), Cardiff City (1988–89), and Swansea City (1989–90) all competed in the Cup Winners' Cup during the ban on English clubs, despite playing in the English league system.

In the meantime, many other clubs missed out on a place in the UEFA Cup due to the return of English clubs to European competitions only being gradual—in 1990, the league had no UEFA coefficient points used to calculate the number of teams, and even though Manchester United won the Cup Winners' Cup in the first season of returning in 1990–91, it took several more years for England to build up the points to the previous level, due to the coefficient being calculated over a five-year period and there being a one-year delay between the publication of the rankings and their impact on club allocation.

Liverpool's additional year of exclusion from Europe meant that there was no English representation in the 1990–91 European Cup, as they were 1989–90 Football League First Division champions.

Repercussions on UEFA Cup qualification Edit

Due to the weak coefficient, Football League Cup winners Nottingham Forest also missed out on UEFA Cup places in 1990–91, along with Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal. The teams who missed out on the 1991–92 UEFA Cup, for the same reason were Sheffield Wednesday, Crystal Palace and Leeds United. Arsenal and Manchester City were unable to take part for the 1992–93 competition. For 1993–94, Blackburn Rovers and Queens Park Rangers would have qualified.

Leeds United missed out in 1994–95 and initially 1995–96, though they qualified for the latter via the new UEFA Fair Play ranking, which at the time gave their three top-ranking associations' highest-placed team who've not already qualified for Europe a UEFA Cup spot. Remaining outside the top three of the coefficient rankings, England retained its three UEFA Cup berths instead of four. Sixth-placed Everton were denied a Fair Play berth for 1996–97 by UEFA, as punishment for the FA due to Tottenham Hotspur and Wimbledon fielding weakened teams in the 1995 UEFA Intertoto Cup. [36]

By this point England's coefficient was no longer directly affected by the ban due to it being outside of the five-year window, their coefficient continued to be affected by years of under-representation in the competition. As a result, Aston Villa missed out via their league position for 1997–98 and 1998–99 but qualified for both through Fair Play. Restructuring of UEFA competitions for 1999–2000 gave the top six associations of the coefficient ranking three UEFA Cup berths (the top three gained four Champions League berths, whilst 4–6 got three), which England now reached, whilst associations ranked seventh and eighth were given four berths for the competition.

Impact on stadiums Edit

After Heysel, English clubs began to impose stricter rules intended to make it easier to prevent troublemakers from attending domestic games, with legal provision to exclude troublemakers for three months introduced in 1986, and the Football (Disorder) Act 2000 introduced in 1991.

Serious progress on legal banning orders preventing foreign travel to matches was arguably not made until the violence involving England fans (allegedly mainly involving neo-Nazi groups, such as Combat 18) at a match against Ireland on 15 February 1995 and violent scenes at the 1998 FIFA World Cup. Rioting at UEFA Euro 2000 saw introduction of new legislation and wider use of police powers—by 2004, 2,000 banning orders were in place, compared to fewer than 100 before Euro 2000. [37] [38]

The main reforms to English stadiums came after the Taylor Report into the Hillsborough disaster in which 96 people died in 1989. All-seater stadiums became a requirement for clubs in the top two divisions while pitch-side fencing was removed and closed-circuit cameras have been installed. Fans who misbehave can have their tickets revoked and be legally barred from attending games at any English stadium.

The Heysel Stadium itself continued to be used for some matches of the Belgian national team until 1990, when UEFA banned Belgium from hosting a European final until at least 2000. In 1994, the stadium was almost completely rebuilt as the King Baudouin Stadium. On 28 August 1995 the new stadium welcomed the return of football to Heysel in the form of a friendly match between Belgium and Germany. It then hosted a major European final on 8 May 1996 when Paris Saint-Germain defeated Rapid Vienna 1–0 to win the Cup Winners' Cup.

In 1985, a memorial was presented to the victims at the Juventus headquarters in Piazza Crimea, Turin. The monument includes an epitaph written by Torinese journalist Giovanni Arpino. Since 2001 to 2017 it has been situated in front of the club's headquarters in Corso Galileo Ferraris and since then in Juventus Headquarter. [39]

In 1985, Belgian studio project Shady Vision recorded "Just A Game" (Indisc DID 127754) which addressed the tragic event. In Germany, this recording was distributed by SPV GmbH as a charity single under the title "39 (Just A Game)". [40]

In 1986, the band Revolting Cocks, founded in part by Al Jourgensen of Ministry, released a song by the name of "38" on the album Big Sexy Land, in commemoration of the deaths.

A memorial service for those killed in the disaster was held before Liverpool's match with Arsenal at Anfield on 18 August 1985, their first fixture after the disaster. However, according to The Sydney Morning Herald, it was "drowned out" by chanting. [41]

In 1991, a memorial monument for the 39 victims of the disaster, the only one on Italian soil, was inaugurated in Reggio Emilia, the hometown of the victim Claudio Zavaroni, in front of Stadio Mirabello: every year the committee "Per non dimenticare Heysel" (In order not to forget Heysel) holds a ceremony on 29 May with relatives of the victims, representatives of Juventus, survivors and various supporters clubs from various football clubs, including Inter Milan, AC Milan, Reggiana and Torino. [42]

During Euro 2000, members of the Italian team left flowers on the site in honour of the victims.

On 29 May 2005, a £140,000 sculpture was unveiled at the new Heysel stadium, to commemorate the disaster. The monument is a sundial designed by French artist Patrick Rimoux and includes Italian and Belgian stone and the poem "Funeral Blues" by Englishman W. H. Auden to symbolise the sorrow of the three countries. Thirty-nine lights shine, one for each who died that night. [43]

Juventus and Liverpool were drawn together in the quarter-finals of the 2005 Champions League, their first meeting since Heysel. Before the first leg at Anfield, Liverpool fans held up placards to form a banner saying "amicizia" ("friendship" in Italian). Many of the Juventus fans applauded the gesture, although a significant number chose to turn their backs on it. [44] In the return leg in Turin, Juventus fans displayed banners reading Easy to speak, difficult to pardon: Murders and 15-4-89. Sheffield. God exists, the latter a reference to the Hillsborough disaster, in which 96 Liverpool fans were killed in a crush. A number of Liverpool fans were attacked in the city by Juventus ultras. [45]

British composer Michael Nyman wrote a piece called "Memorial" which was originally part of a larger work of the same name written in 1985 in memory of the Juventus fans who died at Heysel Stadium.

On Wednesday 26 May 2010, a permanent plaque was unveiled on the Centenary Stand at Anfield to honour the Juventus fans who died 25 years earlier. This plaque is one of two permanent memorials to be found at Anfield, along with one for the 96 fans killed in the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.

In May 2012, a Heysel Memorial was unveiled in the J-Museum at Turin. There is also a tribute to the disaster's victims in the club's Walk of Fame in front of the Juventus Stadium. Two years later Juventus' officials announced a memorial in the Continassa headquarter.

In February 2014, an exhibition in Turin was dedicated both to the Heysel tragedy and Superga air disaster. The name of the exhibition was "Settanta angeli in un unico cielo – Superga e Heysel tragedie sorelle" (70 angels in the one same heaven – Superga and Heysel sister tragedies) and gathered material from 4 May 1949 and 29 May 1985. [46]

In May 2015, during a Serie A match between Juventus and Napoli at Turin, Juventus fans held up placards to form a banner saying "+39 Rispetto" ("respect +39" in Italian) including the names of the victims of the disaster. [47]

On 12 November 2015 Italian Football Federation (FIGC), Juventus' representatives led by Mariella Scirea and J-Museum president Paolo Garimberti and members of the Italian victims association held a ceremony in front of the Heysel monument in King Baudouin Stadium for the 30th anniversary of the event. [48] The following day, FIGC president Carlo Tavecchio announced the retirement of Squadra Azzurra's number 39 shirt prior to the friendly match between Italy and Belgium. [49]

Of the 39 people killed, 32 were Italian (including two minors), four Belgian, two French, and one from Northern Ireland. [50] [51] [52]


Bloody Sunday was one of the most significant events to take place during the Irish War of Independence, which followed the declaration of an Irish Republic and founding of its parliament, Dáil Éireann. The Irish Republican Army (IRA) waged a guerrilla war against British forces: the Royal Irish Constabulary and the British Army, who were tasked with suppressing it. [9]

In response to increasing IRA activity, the British government began bolstering the RIC with recruits from Britain, who became known as "Black and Tans" due to their mixture of black police and khaki military uniforms. It also formed an RIC paramilitary unit, the Auxiliary Division (or "Auxiliaries"). Both groups soon became notorious for their brutal treatment of the civilian population. In Dublin, the conflict largely took the form of assassinations and reprisals on both sides. [7]

The events on the morning of 21 November were an effort by the IRA in Dublin, under Michael Collins and Richard Mulcahy, to destroy the British intelligence network in the city. [7]

Collins's plan Edit

Michael Collins was the IRA's Chief of Intelligence and Finance Minister of the Irish Republic. Since 1919 he had operated a clandestine "Squad" of IRA members in Dublin (a.k.a. "The Twelve Apostles"), who were tasked with assassinating prominent RIC officers and British agents, including suspected informers. [10]

By late 1920, British Intelligence in Dublin had established an extensive network of spies and informers around the city. This included eighteen purported British Intelligence agents known as the "Cairo Gang" a nickname which came from their patronage of the Cairo Café on Grafton Street and from their service in British military intelligence in Egypt and Palestine during the First World War. [11] [12] Mulcahy, the IRA Chief of Staff, described it as, "a very dangerous and cleverly placed spy organisation". [13]

In early November 1920, some prominent IRA members in Dublin were almost captured. On 10 November, Mulcahy narrowly evaded capture in a raid, but British forces seized documents which included names and addresses of 200 IRA members. [14] Shortly after, Collins ordered the assassination of British agents in the city, judging that if they did not do this, the IRA's organisation in the capital would be in grave danger. The IRA also believed that British forces were implementing a coordinated policy of assassination of leading republicans. [15]

Dick McKee was put in charge of planning the operation. The addresses of the British agents were discovered from a variety of sources, including sympathetic maids and other servants, careless talk from some of the British, [16] and an IRA informant in the RIC (Sergeant Mannix) based in Donnybrook barracks. Collins's plan had initially been to kill more than 50 suspected British intelligence officers and informers, but the list was reduced to thirty-five on the insistence of Cathal Brugha, the Minister for Defence for the Irish Republic, reportedly on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence against some of those named. The number was eventually lowered again, to 20. [10]

On the night of 20 November, the leaders of the assassination teams, which included the Squad and members of the IRA's Dublin Brigade, were briefed on their targets, which included twenty agents at eight different locations in Dublin. [13] Two of those who attended the meeting—Dick McKee and Peadar Clancy—were arrested in a raid a few hours later, and Collins narrowly evaded capture in another raid. [17]

Morning: IRA assassinations Edit

  • 9 British Army officers
  • 1 RIC sergeant
  • 2 Auxiliaries
  • 2 civilians
  • 1 uncertain (probably a British agent)

Early on the morning of 21 November, the IRA teams mounted the operation. Most of the assassinations occurred within a small middle-class area of south inner-city Dublin, with the exception of two shootings at the Gresham Hotel on Sackville Street (now O'Connell Street). At 28 Upper Pembroke Street, six British Army officers were shot. Two Intelligence officers were killed outright, a fourth (Lieutenant-Colonel Hugh Montgomery) died of his wounds on 10 December, while the rest survived. Another successful attack took place at 38 Upper Mount Street, where another two Intelligence officers were killed. [18] [19] A British Army dispatch rider stumbled upon the operation on Upper Mount Street and was held at gunpoint by the IRA. As they left the scene they exchanged fire with a British major who had spotted them from a nearby house. [20]

At 22 Lower Mount Street, one Intelligence officer was killed, but another escaped. A third, surnamed "Peel", managed to keep the assassins from entering his room. [21] [22] The building was then surrounded by members of the Auxiliary Division, who happened to be passing by, and the IRA team was forced to shoot its way out. One IRA volunteer, Frank Teeling, was shot and captured as the team fled the building. In the meantime, two of the Auxiliaries had been sent on foot to bring reinforcements from the nearby barracks. They were captured by an IRA team on Mount Street Bridge and marched to a house on Northumberland Road where they were interrogated and shot dead. [23] They were the first Auxiliaries to be killed on active duty. [24]

At 117 Morehampton Road, the IRA killed a sixth Intelligence officer, but also shot his civilian landlord, presumably by mistake. [25] [26] While at the Gresham Hotel, they killed another two men who were apparently civilians, both of them former British officers who served in the First World War. The IRA team ordered a hotel porter to take them to the specific rooms. One of them (MacCormack) was apparently not the intended target. The status of the other (Wilde) is unclear. [27] [28] According to one of the IRA team, James Cahill, Wilde told the IRA he was an Intelligence officer when asked his name, apparently mistaking them for a police raiding party. [29]

One of the IRA volunteers who took part in these attacks, Seán Lemass, would later become a prominent Irish politician and serve as Taoiseach. On the morning of Bloody Sunday, he took part in the assassination of a British court-martial officer at 119 Lower Baggot Street. [30] [31] Another court-martial officer was killed at another address on the same street. [32] At 28 Earlsfort Terrace, an RIC sergeant named Fitzgerald was killed, but apparently the target was a British lieutenant-colonel Fitzpatrick. [33]

There has been confusion and disagreement about the status of the IRA's victims on the morning of Bloody Sunday. At the time, the British government said that the men killed were ordinary British officers or (in some cases) innocent civilians. The IRA were convinced that most of their targets had been British Intelligence agents. In a 1972 article, historian Tom Bowden concluded that "the officers shot by the IRA were, in the main, involved in some aspect of British intelligence". [34] Charles Townshend disagreed: in a response published in 1979, he criticized Bowden's work, while presenting evidence from the Collins Papers to show that "several of the 21st November cases were just regular officers". [35] The most recent research, by Irish military historian Jane Leonard, concluded that, of the nine British officers who were killed, six had been undertaking intelligence work two had been court-martial officers another was a senior staff officer serving with Irish Command, but unconnected with military intelligence. One of the two men shot at the Gresham Hotel (Wilde) was probably on secret service, but the other was an innocent civilian, killed because the assassins went to the wrong room. [36] [28]

In all, 14 men were killed outright, and another was mortally wounded, while five others were wounded but survived. Only one Squad member was captured, Frank Teeling, but he managed to escape from jail soon after. [37] [38] Another IRA volunteer was slightly wounded in the hand. IRA volunteer and future Irish politician, Todd Andrews, said later that "the fact is that the majority of the IRA raids were abortive. The men sought were not in their digs or in several cases, the men looking for them bungled their jobs". [39]

Collins justified the killings in this way:

My one intention was the destruction of the undesirables who continued to make miserable the lives of ordinary decent citizens. I have proof enough to assure myself of the atrocities which this gang of spies and informers have committed. If I had a second motive it was no more than a feeling such as I would have for a dangerous reptile. By their destruction the very air is made sweeter. For myself, my conscience is clear. There is no crime in detecting in wartime the spy and the informer. They have destroyed without trial. I have paid them back in their own coin. [40]

    (British Army Intelligence Officer) – Upper Mount Street
  • Lieutenant Henry Angliss (cover name 'Patrick McMahon', British Army Intelligence Officer) – Lower Mount Street
  • Lieutenant Geoffrey Baggallay (British Army Court-Martial Officer) – 119 Lower Baggot St
  • Lieutenant George Bennett (British Army Intelligence Officer) – Upper Mount Street
  • Major Charles Dowling (British Army Intelligence Officer) – Pembroke Street
  • Sergeant John Fitzgerald (RIC officer) – Earlsfort Terrace
  • Auxiliary Frank Garniss (RIC Auxiliary, former British Army lieutenant) – Northumberland Road
  • Lieutenant Donald MacLean (British Army Intelligence Officer) – Morehampton Road
  • Patrick MacCormack (civilian, former British Army RAVC captain) – Gresham Hotel (British Army Staff Officer) – Pembroke Street (died on 10 December)
  • Auxiliary Cecil Morris (RIC Auxiliary, former British Army captain) – Northumberland Road
  • Captain William Newberry (British Army Court-Martial Officer) – 92 Lower Baggot Street
  • Captain Leonard Price (British Army Intelligence Officer) – Pembroke Street
  • Thomas Smith (civilian, landlord of MacLean) – Morehampton Road
  • Leonard Wilde (civilian and possible Intelligence agent, former British Army lieutenant) – Gresham Hotel

Afternoon: Croke Park massacre Edit

The Dublin Gaelic football team was scheduled to play the Tipperary team later the same day in Croke Park, the Gaelic Athletic Association's major football ground. Money raised from ticket sales would go to the Republican Prisoners' Dependents' Fund. [43] Despite the general unease in Dublin as news broke of the assassinations, a war-weary populace continued with life. At least 5,000 spectators went to Croke Park for the match, which began thirty minutes late, at 3:15 p.m. [44]

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the crowd, British forces were approaching and preparing to raid the match. A convoy of troops in trucks and three armoured cars drove in from the north and halted along Clonliffe Road. A convoy of RIC police drove in from the southwest, along Russell Street–Jones's Road. It comprised twelve trucks of Black and Tans in front and six trucks of Auxiliaries behind. Several plain-clothes Auxiliaries also rode in front with the Black and Tans. Their orders were to surround Croke Park, guard the exits, and search every man. The authorities later stated that their intention was to announce by megaphone that all males leaving the grounds would be searched and that anyone leaving by other means would be shot. However, for some reason, shots were fired by police as soon as they reached the southwest gate at the Royal Canal end of Croke Park, at 3:25 pm. [45]

Some of the police later claimed they were fired on first as they arrived outside Croke Park, [46] allegedly by IRA sentries but other police at the front of the convoy did not corroborate this, [47] and there is no convincing evidence for it. [43] Civilian witnesses all agreed that the RIC opened fire without provocation as they ran into the grounds. [43] Two Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP) constables on duty near the Canal gate did not report the RIC being fired on. Another DMP constable testified that an RIC group also arrived at the Main gate and began firing in the air. [40] Correspondents for the Manchester Guardian and Britain's Daily News interviewed witnesses, and concluded that the "IRA sentries" were actually ticket-sellers:

It is the custom at this football ground for tickets to be sold outside the gates by recognised ticket-sellers, who would probably present the appearance of pickets, and would naturally run inside at the approach of a dozen military lorries. No man exposes himself needlessly in Ireland when a military lorry passes by. [48]

The police in the convoy's leading trucks appear to have jumped out, run down the passage to the Canal end gate, forced their way through the turnstiles, and started firing rapidly with rifles and revolvers. Ireland's Freeman's Journal reported that

The spectators were startled by a volley of shots fired from inside the turnstile entrances. Armed and uniformed men were seen entering the field, and immediately after the firing broke out scenes of the wildest confusion took place. The spectators made a rush for the far side of Croke Park and shots were fired over their heads and into the crowd. [49]

The police kept shooting for about ninety seconds. Their commander, Major Mills, later admitted that his men were "excited and out of hand". [50] Some police fired into the fleeing crowd from the pitch, while others, outside the grounds, opened fire from the Canal Bridge at spectators who climbed over the Canal Wall trying to escape. At the other side of the Park, soldiers on Clonliffe Road were startled first by the sound of the fusillade, then by the sight of panicked people fleeing the grounds. As the spectators streamed out, an armoured car on St James Avenue fired its machine guns over the heads of the crowd, trying to halt them. [49]

By the time Major Mills got his men back under control, the police had fired 114 rounds of rifle ammunition, while fifty rounds were fired from the armoured car outside the Park. [51] Seven people had been shot to death, and five more had been shot and wounded so badly that they later died another two people had died in the crowd crush. The dead included Jane Boyle, the only woman killed, who had gone to the match with her fiancé and was due to be married five days later. Two boys aged ten and eleven were shot dead. Two football players, Michael Hogan and Jim Egan, had been shot Egan survived but Hogan was killed, the only player fatality. There were dozens of other wounded and injured. The police raiding party suffered no casualties. [52]

Once the firing stopped, the security forces searched the remaining men in the crowd before letting them go. The military raiding party recovered one revolver: a local householder testified that a fleeing spectator had thrown it away in his garden. The British authorities stated that 30–40 discarded revolvers were found in the grounds. [53] [54] [55] However, Major Mills stated that no weapons were found on the spectators or in the grounds. [56]

The actions of the police were officially unauthorised and were greeted with horror by the British authorities at Dublin Castle. In an effort to cover up the nature of the behaviour by British forces, a press release was issued which claimed:

A number of men came to Dublin on Saturday under the guise of asking to attend a football match between Tipperary and Dublin. But their real intention was to take part in the series of murderous outrages which took place in Dublin that morning. Learning on Saturday that a number of these gunmen were present in Croke Park, the Crown forces went to raid the field. It was the original intention that an officer would go to the centre of the field and speaking from a megaphone, invite the assassins to come forward. But on their approach, armed pickets gave warning. Shots were fired to warn the wanted men, who caused a stampede and escaped in the confusion. [57]

The Times, which during the war was a pro-Unionist publication, ridiculed Dublin Castle's version of events, [57] as did a British Labour Party delegation visiting Ireland at the time. British Brigadier Frank Percy Crozier, overall commander of the Auxiliary Division, later resigned over what he believed was the official condoning of the unjustified actions of the Auxiliaries in Croke Park. One of his officers told him that "Black and Tans fired into the crowd without any provocation whatsoever". [58] Major Mills stated: "I did not see any need for any firing at all". [43]

List of the Croke Park victims [59]

  • Jane Boyle (26), Dublin
  • James Burke (44), Dublin
  • Daniel Carroll (31), Tipperary (died 23 November)
  • Michael Feery (40), Dublin
  • Michael 'Mick' Hogan (24), Tipperary
  • Tom Hogan (19), Limerick (died 26 November)
  • James Matthews (38), Dublin
  • Patrick O'Dowd (57), Dublin
  • Jerome O'Leary (10), Dublin
  • William Robinson (11), Dublin
  • Tom Ryan (27), Wexford
  • John William Scott (14), Dublin
  • James Teehan (26), Tipperary
  • Joe Traynor (21), Dublin

Evening: Dublin Castle killings Edit

Later that night, two high-ranking IRA officers, Dick McKee and Peadar Clancy, together with another man, Conor Clune, were killed while being held and interrogated in Dublin Castle. [60] McKee and Clancy had been involved in planning the assassinations of the British agents, and had been captured in a raid hours before they took place. Clune, a nephew of Patrick Clune, Archbishop of Perth, Australia, had joined the Irish Volunteers shortly after it was founded, but it is unclear if he was ever active. [60] He had been arrested in another raid on a hotel that IRA members had just left. [17]

Their captors said that, because there was no room in the cells, the prisoners were placed in a guardroom containing arms, and were killed while trying to escape. [61] They allegedly threw grenades, which did not detonate, then fired at the guards with a rifle, but missed. They were shot by Auxiliaries. [62] Medical examination found broken bones and abrasions consistent with prolonged assaults, and bullet wounds to the head and body. Their faces were covered in cuts and bruises, and McKee had an apparent bayonet wound in his side. [60] However, Clune's employer, Edward MacLysaght, who viewed the corpses at King George V Hospital, stated that the claim "that their faces were so battered about as to be unrecognisable and horrible to look at is quite untrue. I remember those pale dead faces as if I had looked at them yesterday, they were not disfigured". [63] [64] [65] An army doctor who examined the bodies found signs of discolouring on the skin, but stated this could have been the result of how the bodies were left lying. He found numerous bullet wounds as did a private doctor hired by Edward MacLysaght but no signs of any other injuries such as bayoneting. IRA mole David Neligan was also adamant about this fact. [66] Head of British Intelligence Brigadier General Ormonde Winter carried out his own private investigation, interviewing the guards and inspecting the scene, pronouncing himself happy with their account, noting "One of the rebels was lying on his back near the fireplace, with a grenade in his right hand, and the other two were close by. And on a form in front of the fireplace I found a deep cut that had been made by the spade when it had been used to attack the auxiliary. I extracted the bullet from the door and at once reported to Sir John Anderson who, somewhat dubious of the accuracy of my information, accompanied me to the guardroom. He listened to the statements of the auxiliaries and I was able to show him ocular and tangible proof of them". [67]

Together, the attacks on the British agents, and the British massacre of civilians, damaged British authority and increased support for the IRA. [8] The killings of the match-goers (including a woman, several children, and a player) made international headlines, damaging British credibility and further turning the Irish public against the British authorities. Some contemporary newspapers, including the nationalist Freeman's Journal, likened the shootings in Croke Park to the Amritsar massacre, which had taken place in India in April 1919. [68] Later commentators also did likewise. [69]

When Joseph Devlin, an Irish Parliamentary Party Member of Parliament (MP), tried to bring up the Croke Park massacre at Westminster, he was shouted down and physically assaulted by his fellow MPs [40] the sitting had to be suspended. There was no public inquiry into the Croke Park massacre. Instead, two British military courts of inquiry into the massacre were held behind closed doors, at the Mater Hospital and at Jervis Street Hospital. More than thirty people gave evidence, most of them anonymous Black and Tans, Auxiliaries and British soldiers. One inquiry concluded that unknown civilians probably fired first, either as a warning of the raid or to create panic. But it also concluded: "the fire of the RIC was carried out without orders and exceeded the demands of the situation". Major General Boyd, the British officer commanding Dublin District, added that in his opinion, the firing on the crowd "was indiscriminate, and unjustifiable, with the exception of any shooting which took place inside the enclosure". The findings of these inquiries were suppressed by the British Government, and only came to light in 2000. [70]

The IRA assassinations sparked panic among the British military authorities, and numerous British agents fled to Dublin Castle for safety. [71] In Britain and in the short term, the killings of the British Army officers received more attention. The bodies of nine of the Army officers assassinated were brought in procession through the streets of London en route to their funerals. [72] The fate of the British agents was seen in Dublin as an IRA intelligence victory, but British Prime Minister David Lloyd George commented dismissively that his men "got what they deserved, beaten by counter-jumpers". Winston Churchill added that the agents were "careless fellows . who ought to have taken precautions". [73]

One IRA member had been captured during the assassinations that morning, and several others were arrested in the following days. Frank Teeling (who had been captured) was tried for the killing of Lieutenant Angliss along with William Conway, Edward Potter and Daniel Healy. Teeling, Conway and Potter were convicted and sentenced to death. Teeling escaped from prison and the other two were later reprieved. Thomas Whelan, James Boyce, James McNamara and Michael Tobin were arrested for the killing of Lieutenant Baggallay. Only Whelan was convicted he was executed on 14 March 1921. [74] Patrick Moran was sentenced to death for Gresham Hotel killings and also executed on 14 March. [75]

The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) named one of the stands in Croke Park as the Hogan Stand in memory of Michael Hogan, the football player killed in the incident. [76]

James "Shanker" Ryan, who had informed on Clancy and McKee, was shot and killed by the IRA in February 1921. [77]

IRA assassinations continued in Dublin for the remainder of the war, in addition to more large scale urban guerrilla actions by the Dublin Brigade. By the spring of 1921, the British had rebuilt their intelligence organisation in Dublin, and the IRA were planning another assassination attempt on British agents in the summer of that year. However, many of these plans were called off because of the truce that ended the war in July 1921. [78]

The trial for the Lower Mount Street killings was held as a Field General Court-martial at City Hall in Dublin, on Tuesday 25 January 1921. The four accused men were William Conway, Daniel Healy, Edward Potter, and Frank Teeling. Daniel Healy was excused by the prosecution and given a separate trial after a petition by counsel that the evidence against the other prisoners would embarrass his client. The trial of the three other prisoners proceeded. They were charged with the murder of Lieutenant H. Angliss of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, otherwise known as Mr. McMahon of 22 Lower Mount Street. The whole of Ireland was enthralled by the trial, with most Irish newspapers and international newspapers reporting it. [79] [80] [81]

The prosecution opened with an account of the start of the incident:

At about 9 o'clock two men came to the front door, one of whom asked for Mr. McMahon and the second for Mr. B. The men dashed upstairs and one of them, the prisoner Conway, went to Mr. B.'s room. The other man went to Mr. McMahon's door. The men knocked at the doors, and more men with revolvers came into the house and ran up the stairs. The servant called out to warn Mr. McMahon, and she saw Teeling enter the room followed by others. He called out "Hands up," and Mr. McMahon and a companion occupying the same room were covered with revolvers by five men, two of whom would be identified as Teeling and Potter. Mr B. barricaded his door, and Conway fired shots through it . Mr. McMahon's companion got under the bed while Mr. McMahon was being shot, and the men left. It was then found that Mr. McMahon was dead, having been wounded in four parts of the body. [82]

Mr "C" [83] was brought forward as a witness on 28 January and was identified as the man sleeping in the same bed who escaped by jumping out the window when the attackers came into the room. Mr "C" was identified as Lieutenant John Joseph Connolly.

Mr "B" [84] was another trial witness, and he was later identified as Lt Charles R. Peel. His description of the incident during the trial was reported in Hansard:

The maid opened the door, twenty men rushed in [the IRA say 11 men], and demanded to know the bedrooms of Mr. Mahon [sic] . and Mr. Peel. Mr. Mahon [sic]'s room was pointed out. They entered, and five shots were fired immediately at a few inches range. Mr. Mahon [sic] was killed. At the same time others attempted to enter Mr. Peel's room. The door was locked. Seventeen shots were fired through the panels. Mr. Peel escaped uninjured. Meanwhile another servant, hearing the shots, shouted from an upper window to a party of officers of the Auxiliary Division who had left Beggars Bush Barracks to catch an early train southward for duty.

The Irish Independent (26 January 1921) reported that "Cross examined by a witness at the house, Mr. Bewley said 'he did not see Teeling in the house.' He saw him being carried out from the yard. One witness stated that he took the first witness Nellie Stapleton to Wellington Barracks on 17 December. She was put into a corridor in which there 3 or 4 windows covered with brown paper. Eight prisoners were brought out and the lady pointed out Potter. The man who shared McMahons room, Mr. 'C' also identified Potter." [85]

Frank Teeling managed to escape from Kilmainham in a daring raid organised by Collins. [86]

The Irish Times reported that on 6 March 1921, the death sentences of Conway and Potter were commuted by the Viceroy of Ireland to penal servitude. Daniel Healy was eventually acquitted. [87]


The fire began at 2:15 pm local time (06:15 UTC) [18] [19] around the tenth floor. [ citation needed ] The building, constructed in 1997, [1] was located at the intersection of Jiaozhou Road and Yuyao Road in Shanghai's Jing'an District, [20] and was being renovated at the time of the fire. [21] Witnesses said that the fire started with construction materials and spread throughout the building. It took over 80 fire engines and several hours to contain the fire. [21] Shanghai residents were able to see smoke from the fire several kilometres away. [22] Firefighters were unable to hose water on the top of the 85 metres (279 ft)-tall building from the ground. [ citation needed ]

China Youth Daily reported that the contractor for the construction said the cause of the fire was probably sparks caused by welding work done on the 20th floor. [23] Qiu Jingshu, a worker on the 18th floor, said sparks from welding being done on another building flew over and caused the scaffolding to catch fire. [24] Afterward, it was "established" that the fire "was caused by unlicensed welders improperly operating their equipment", and several welders were arrested. [8]

Rescue efforts Edit

Firefighters were able to save over 100 people out of the 180 [25] families inhabiting the high-rise apartment building. [26] According to Al Jazeera, the fire began at the scaffolding that surrounded the building, but spread to the complex's main building of around 500 apartments. [27] [28] Xinhua News Agency said the fire was contained at about 6:30 p.m. local time (10:30 UTC), more than four hours after it began. [18]

Three helicopters had been called in to assist in the rescue, [29] but were prevented by thick smoke generated by the fire. [30] The upper portion of the building was beyond the reach of fire apparatus the blaze was brought under control only after firefighters set up hoses atop a nearby building. [18] In all, 25 fire stations and over 100 fire appliances were mobilised in response to the incident. [2] [7] [31]

Television coverage of the event showed people holding on to scaffolding around the building, [21] and some were able to climb down to safety. One worker on the 28th floor said that workers were adding insulation to the building when the fire broke out. [32]

Victims not in hospitals, as well as evacuees from three surrounding city blocks, were sent to public buildings, including a school and a stadium, until their housing situation could be addressed. [18]

The building housed around 440 people, [1] mainly retired teachers. [18] [21] An early report showed that the ages of those injured in the fire range from 3 to 85, with the majority (64.5%) over the age of 50. [33] Most of the injured appeared to be elderly residents or children, [18] and it was confirmed that the youngest victim of the fire was 16 months old. [5] [34] A firefighter said that 57 of the 58 killed had died inside the building. [ citation needed ]

Earliest reports put the death toll at eight, but Xinhua later revised the count several times, [18] [35] and then confirmed 53 deaths by 16 November. [36] 26 bodies were identified using DNA tests. [37] Some media outlets reported 79 fatalities by adding the number of identified victims to the number of previously reported fatalities, [38] although Xinhua later said that the 26 identified were included amongst the 53. [37]

As of 24 November 58 people (22 males and 36 females) were officially reported dead [3] [4] while 56 people remained missing. [39] Of the deceased, 57 were identified by DNA tests early on, while one male, from Japan, [ citation needed ] was still being identified when the official death count was released. [12]

A doctor at Shanghai's Jing'an Hospital said that over 20 people injured in the fire had been admitted, many suffering from asphyxia caused by smoke inhalation. [32] State media reports said the hospital was treating 55 survivors, including nine in serious condition. [27] At least 70 people, [5] and possibly more than 120 people were reported to have been injured. [6] According to BBC News, people who survived the blaze were searching hospitals for missing family and friends. [21] As of 24 November 66 wounded people, 14 of which were in critical condition, were being treated at seven area medical centers. [3] In all, nine hospitals received victims of the fire. [7]

The list of the dead was not released as the victims' families wanted privacy. [3] Authorities said more than one-third of the families did not want the names of the deceased published. However, several newspapers listed some of the names of the dead. The artist Ai Weiwei compiled an unofficial list of the victims' names by contacting their relatives, along with officials and journalists. [40] He claimed that the actual death toll was two more than the official count, but authorities did not provide access to the list of casualties. [ citation needed ]

Investigation Edit

Meng Jianzhu, the Minister of Public Security, went to Shanghai to manage rescue operations. [2] Jing'an officials set up temporary lodging and food at area hotels, [7] and some survivors stayed at a gymnasium overnight. [41] After the flames were extinguished, the Shanghai Municipal Government held a press conference about the damage caused by the fire. [42] Liu Jinguo, Vice Minister of Public Security, described the firefighting as "a successful model", [43] leading to a dispute by Chinese netizens. Later in the week of the fire, government officials began a drive to increase fire and safety inspections at buildings and construction sites. [15] They also said that improvements would be made to the city's firefighting capabilities. [5]

Local residents said that fire safety requirements at the high-rise were lax, and that workers often tossed used cigarettes into the building's hallways. [26] Week-long safety inspections were done on the two other buildings of the apartment complex, both of which were unharmed. The several hundred people living in those buildings were expected to be allowed to move back on 20 December 2010. Until then, the survivors would live in 17 nearby hotels. [44]

According to Ming Pao, family members of the victims were dissatisfied with the official investigation and held a sit-in protest, calling for a fair judgement. Some locals blamed the official rescue work by comparing it with a large emergency response exercise on a 330-meter building several days before, [17] and the successful firefighting for a blaze at Shanghai World Financial Center in 2007. [45] [46] Others blamed an ineffective firefighting system for the high death toll, and were dissatisfied that they were not given more details about the fire. [ citation needed ]

In Beijing, authorities halted renovation projects similar to the one being done on the apartment in Shanghai shortly after the blaze. The projects, intended to save energy by installing insulation, were stopped on 19 November, pending safety evaluations of the work. The insulation is still flammable, despite the use of fire retardants. Shanghai officials temporarily stopped such renovations after the fire, but later allowed them to resume. [47]

On 20 December 2010, the mayor of Shanghai, Han Zheng, said that the city would crack down on unfair practices of construction companies and contracting firms. Han said that there is little regulation of the construction industry and that certain companies have had advantages over other companies when being awarded contracts. [13] On 11 January 2011, Shanghai authorities placed into effect a new set of regulations aimed at better official supervision of construction companies. [14] The city will also require that such companies will not be permitted to have any non-official relationship with local government offices after one year. [48] Some media organizations had been questioning the connections between Jing'an District's government and the contracting groups involved in the fire, leading to accusations of corruption. [49]

Compensation Edit

On 23 November, it was announced that the families of each victim of the fire would receive 960,000 yuan in compensation for the ordeal. [50] The compensation would include 650,000 yuan for every death and 310,000 yuan in financial assistance from the government and charities. Zhang Renliang, the top official of Jing'an District, said that Shanghai residents and foreign workers would be compensated equally. [3] Survivors of the blaze would be fully compensated for the loss of possessions and property. [15] [51] Some who lost relatives in the disaster, however, were not satisfied with the announcement. They said that the compensation plan was not enough to pay for another apartment in the district, and that they would rather have a new apartment than the money. [12]

Media censorship allegations Edit

Hong Kong-based Sing Tao Daily and Singapore-based Lianhe Zaobao reported that four journalists from Xinjing News (新京报), China Daily, Reuters and a local newspaper were detained for one hour as security forces demanded a guarantee for positive news coverage by the journalists, before they were to interview families of the victims at a funeral parlour. [52] The reporters wrote about their detainment on two websites. [16]

A Chinese webmaster said that the authorities demanded for Chinese websites to cut down on their reporting of the fire, and only allowed usage of the official Xinhua news source. [52] The New York Times reported that Chinese website Huasheng Online was blocked by government censors after criticizing the country's real-estate industry. [16]

Han Zheng said on 22 November that the city was largely responsible for the disaster. He said, "Poor supervision of the city's construction industry was one of the causes behind the high-rise apartment building fire. And we are responsible for that." [51] Willy Wo-Lap Lam, a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said Han was trying "to do some damage control to dispel anger and to comfort the families of the victims and the Shanghai people." [15] Luo Lin, chief of the PRC State Administration of Work Safety, blamed the fire on illegal employment methods, poor project oversight, and incompetent, inexperienced workers. [9] [47]

On the day following the fire, Meng Jianzhu said he wanted an investigation into the fire to determine who was responsible for it, so those at fault could be punished appropriately. He told rescue officials to be meticulous in their efforts and that information regarding the fire should be released to the public. He also asked local governments across China to take preventative measures against such fires, including building inspections. [7] A team of investigators, led by the State Administration of Work Safety, [9] was formed under the PRC State Council to look into the incident. [53] Many details about the "November 15 Relief and Rehabilitation Working Team" have not been publicly announced. [ citation needed ]

The investigation into the fire made a preliminary conclusion that negligence by unlicensed welders on the tenth floor caused the bamboo scaffolding and attached nylon netting to catch fire, which subsequently spread to the entire structure. Shanghai authorities detained eight individuals on 16 November, at least four of whom were accused of being unlicensed welders. [8] [54] As of 19 November, a total of twelve individuals were being held by officials in connection to the blaze, [15] [51] including four more who were detained that day. The four were representatives of Jiayi Building Decoration, a part of renovation contractor Jing'an Construction, Shanghai Jing'an Construction Supervision, and the apartment management company. [10]

On 24 December 2010, Shanghai officials announced that three government employees had been taken into custody in connection with the fire. Those detained were accused of abusing their authority to permit illicit construction practices to occur. The three were reported to be Gao Weizhong, director of Jing'an's construction and transportation commission Zhang Quan, of the commission's main office and Zhou Jianmin, of the organization's construction department. [5] [11]

Cause of fire Edit

The fire may have been caused by the accidental ignition of polyurethane foam insulation used on the building's outer walls. [12] In China, the foam is commonly used as insulation material without the addition of flame retardants, and the foam produces toxic gases such as hydrogen cyanide and carbon monoxide when burned. The Beijing Television Cultural Center was said to have used polyurethane insulation, which magnified the ferocity of a 2009 fire that consumed the center. [55] In a 24 November press conference, local authorities said that the two apartments next to the destroyed building would be renovated as well, and that foam cladding on their exteriors would be switched out in favor of fire-resistant materials. [3] Chinese citizens have also questioned the lack of an indoor fire sprinkler system in high rise buildings. [56]

Local citizens put flowers and wreaths near the site, and offered prayers around the destroyed building. [57] Mourners, including Government officials, came bearing chrysanthemums. At one point, the crowd stretched around 250 metres (820 ft) down the road. [1]

According to Xinhua, about 10,000 people attended a public mourning at the site on 21 November, seven days after the fire mourners left large amounts of flowers surrounding the burnt building. [58] [59] The seventh day after death is the day that Chinese people believe the souls of the dead return to their relatives before departing, and mourners at the site burned paper and made a feast for the deceased, in accordance with Chinese tradition. During the event, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra played "Ave Maria" and monks recited sūtras at a local temple. [1]

On 19 December 2010, the 35th day following the fire, authorities were reported to be detaining mourners who were visiting the site. According to Chinese legend, souls of the dead also visit humans 35 days after death, but police were taking mourners away on buses. Local officials did not provide an explanation for the event. [5] [60]

History’s Top 15 Worst Soccer Disasters

There are a lot of soccer stadium disasters in the history of the sport. This is probably due to the fact that football is the most popular sport in the world. Hooliganism may play a small part in some, but we think the problems are mostly because stadiums are old, and they can’t keep up with the increasing amount of spectators. There is usually no orderly or logical setup for efficiently moving people inside them. It’s basically a free-for-all, and if the match is big enough, that could end in tragedy.

Sources for this article include: Wikipedia

Top 15 Worst Soccer Disasters

15. Burnden Park Disaster
Date: 9 March 1946
Location: Burnden Park, Bolton, Manchester, England
Death Toll: 33

At Burnden Park, a game between the Bolton Wanderers and Stoke City was taking place when a wall collapsed, crushing spectators and starting a stampede which killed 33 people. More than 400 others were injured. The crowd was more than 85,000 people. The tragedy was thought to have started when some 20,000 fans locked outside broke down the gates and forced their way in. At the time, this was the biggest tragedy in British football history, until the Ibrox Park disaster at Rangers’ home ground in 1971 (see #8 below).

14. The Heysel Disaster
Date: 29 May 1985
Location: Heysel Stadium, Brussels, Belgium
Death Toll: 39

Hooliganism was the trigger for this tragedy among the worst soccer disasters. Back in 1984, when Liverpool F.C. (England) defeated Roma, the Liverpool fans were attacked by the Roma fans. So there was already bad blood between England and Italy when Liverpool faced off against Italy’s Juventus F.C. the following year. As for Heysel Stadium, it was old and outdated. Build in 1930, parts of the stadium were crumbling. But the 1985 European Cup Final was played there anyway, and about 60,000 fans crammed in the place.

About an hour before kickoff, Liverpool fans broke through a fence and attacked Juventus supporters. The Italian fans retreated, but there was a wall behind them, which soon collapsed. The retaining wall collapse killed 39 people and hurting hundreds more.

Juventus fans then started to riot, fighting against police with rocks and bottles. The game was still played despite what was going on, with Juventus eventually winning 1-0.

After the disaster, all English football clubs were placed under indefinite ban by the UEFA from all European competitions (lifted in 1990-91). The disaster has been called “the darkest hour in the history of the UEFA competitions.”

In 1995 the Heysel Stadium was demolished and the King Baudouin Stadium built in its place.

Trivia: the disaster was the subject of a song titled 󈬖” by the group Revolting Cocks.

13. Orkney Disaster
Date: 13 January 1991
Location: Oppenheimer Stadium, Orkney, South Africa
Death Toll: 42

South Africa is not immune from some of the worst soccer disasters. In the mining town of Orkney, during a pre-season game between the Kaizer Chiefs (the South African football club, not the British band!) and the Orlando Pirates, (from the township of Orlando in the South African city of Johannesburg, not the Florida town where people go to see Mickey Mouse!), 42 people died in a stampede after a Pirates fan attacked Chiefs supporters in the crowd with a knife. (They called the match a “friendly” – we’d hate to see what an unfriendly game looks like!) Most of the victims were trampled along riot-control fences that surround the field when panic set in and people tried to get away.

12. Ellis Park Stadium Disaster
Date: 11 April 2001
Location: Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa
Death Toll: 43

The lesson of the Orkney tragedy was not learned. Ten years after that event, on April 11th, 2001, spectators poured into the Ellis Park Stadium for another match between the Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates. There was already a 60,000 capacity crowd in the stadium, but reports suggest a further 30,000 fans were still trying to gain entry to the stadium. Reports also suggest that 120,000 fans were admitted.

As the crowd surged to gain seats, they spilled into the press boxes. The resulting stampede crushed 43 people to death. Apparently untrained security guards fired tear gas at the crowd, making the situation worse.

When it became apparent what had happened the match was halted and the crowd was dispersed. It was the worst sporting accident in South African history, beating out the Orkney incident by just one body. Hopefully, these two teams will stop trying to break their records.

11. Kayseri Ataturk Stadium Tragedy
Date: 17 September 1968
Location: Kayseri Ataturk Stadium, Kayseri, Turkey
Death Toll: 44

The match: Kayseri Erciyesspor Turkish Sports Club vs Sivasspor Turkish sports club. Victims were caught up in rioting following incidents on the field between fans from neighboring Sivas and the home crowd from Kayseri. 44 were killed and 600 injured. Apparently, guns, knives, and other weapons were used.

From Soccer and Disaster: International Perspectives (Sport in the Global Society) by Paul Darby:

The Kayseri vs. Sivas football disaster is perhaps one of the most defining events to affect Turkish society during the late 1960s. Football teams were more than tools in the challenge of the provincial cities to Istanbul’s hegemony. They also contributed to symbolic forms of rivalry between the mid-sized cities, which competed to be regional centres. Conflict was more intense between cities like Kayseri and Sivas. Kayseri was more developed and wealthier than Sivas. Moreover, merchants of Kayseri origin dominated the economy of Sivas. Therefore, while football matches represented for Sivas the idea of challenging the traditional hegemony of Kayseri, for Kayseri it meant resistance to this challenge. Prompted by this strained social and economic background, several fights broke out between the amateur teams of Kayseri and Sivas.

Nearly 21,000 people attended the first league meeting between Kayserispor and Sivasspor. As the level of tension during the match escalated, fans began to throw rocks at each other. A group of people on the Sivas side, seeking to escape from the rocks, rushed toward the field and the exit gates. Those who tried to enter the field were met by police batons and turned back. In a panic, thousands of Sivas fans pressed towards the nearest gates, crushing their fellow supporters against the fencing at the front of the terrace. When the human wave drew back, the scene was horrific: 40 people were dead and at least 300 were injured.

As the violence on the ground grew, the referee cancelled the match. The players of both teams fled into the dressing rooms in fear of their own lives. All of the members of the Sivas team were locked in their dressing room and a policeman was charged with guarding them. Yusuf Ziya Özler, one of the of Sivasspor players, is sure today that if the Kayseri fans had seen that only one policeman was guarding the team, they would have been killed mercilessly. Once the Sivas fans had made their way out on to the streets, they destroyed around 60 private cars and the city’s gymnasium. They then left Kayseri in a convoy, but 50 kilometres out on the Kayseri-Sivas highway they stopped and began to set fire to cars, buses and trucks whose license plate numbers indicated that they were from Kayseri.

Major soccer stadium disasters

Egyptian state TV said Wednesday that at least 73 were killed as fans of rival soccer teams Al-Masry and Al-Ahly rushed the field following Al-Masry's 3-1 upset victory.

Here is a list of other fatal disasters at soccer stadiums around the world.

April 5, 1902 — Glasgow, Scotland 25 killed and 517 injured when the West Stand at Ibrox Park collapses during an international between England and Scotland. The game ends in a 1-1 draw but is later stricken from official records.

March 9, 1946 — Bolton, England 33 people are killed and over 400 injured when a wall collapses at Burden Park before an English FA Cup match between Bolton Wanderers and Stoke City. The collapse crushes fans together and sparks a stampede.

March 30, 1955 — Santiago, Chile Six died when 70,000 tried to jam into the stadium for the finals of the South American soccer tournament. Argentina beat Chile 1-0.

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May 24, 1964 — Lima, Peru 318 people are killed and another 500 injured in riots at National Stadium after Argentina beats Peru in an Olympic qualifying match. The pandemonium breaks out when the referee disallows a Peruvian goal in the final two minutes.

June 23, 1968 — Buenos Aires, Argentina 74 people are killed and over 150 injured following a first-division game between River Plate and Boca Juniors when fans trying to leave the stadium mistakenly head toward a closed exit and are crushed against the doors by other fans unaware of the closed passageway.

Jan. 2, 1971 — Glasgow, Scotland 66 people are killed and 140 are injured when barriers in Ibrox Stadium collapse near the end of a match between Celtic and Rangers and fans are crushed. The incident occurs when fans leaving the stadium are met by a group trying to return after hearing that Rangers had scored an equalizer.

March 4, 1971 — Salvador, Brazil A fight and a wild rush broke out in the grandstands, killing four and injuring 1,500.

Feb. 17, 1974 — Cairo, Egypt Crowds attempting to enter a club game broke down barriers and 49 people were trampled to death.

Oct. 31, 1976 — Yaounde, Cameroon After a penalty kick was awarded to Cameroon in a World Cup qualifying match vs. the Congo, the Congolese goalie attacked the Gambian referee. A fight broke out and the president of Cameroon, watching the game at home on television, sent in paratroopers by helicopter. Two bystanders died.

Dec. 6, 1976 — Port-au-Prince, Haiti At a World Cup qualifier between Haiti and Cuba, the visitors scored and a Haitian fan set off a firecracker. Fans thought it was gunfire and panicked, knocking down a soldier, whose gun went off and killed a small boy and girl in the crowd. Further panic caused two people to be trampled to death, and one man died jumping over a wall. The soldier committed suicide.

Oct. 20, 1982 — Moscow 340 are reportedly killed at a European Cup match between Soviet club Spartak Moscow and Haarlem of the Netherlands. Police are blamed for pushing fans down a narrow, icy staircase before the end of the match. When a late goal is scored, exiting fans try to re-enter the stadium and create a "human mincer." Moscow officials dispute the claims made in the publication of the Soviet Sports Committee, saying only 61 died and police did not push fans.

May 11, 1985 — Bradford, England 56 people die when a cigarette stub ignites a stadium's wooden terrace section and fire engulfs the structure.

May 29, 1985 — Brussels, Belgium 39 people are killed at the European Champions Cup Final at Heysel Stadium when riots break out and a wall separating rival fans of England's Liverpool and Italy's Juventus of Turin collapses.

March 10, 1987 — Tripoli, Libya 20 people are killed when panic-stricken fans flee knife-wielding ruffians and trigger the collapse of a wall. (This report conflicted with those from the Libyan state news agency JANA, which said two people were killed and 16 were hospitalized.)

March 12, 1988 — Katmandu, Nepal At least 93 people are killed and more than 100 injured when fans fleeing a hailstorm stampede into locked stadium exits.

April 15, 1989 — Sheffield, England 96 people are crushed to death at an English FA Cup semifinal game between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, when police open gates to alleviate crowding outside Hillsborough Stadium. The resulting rush of people onto the already filled terrace sections traps fans against riot control fences ringing the field.

Jan. 13, 1991 — Orkney, South Africa at least 40 people are killed, most of them trampled or crushed along riot-control fences that surround the field, when fans panic and try to escape brawls that break out in the grandstand.

May 5, 1992 — Bastia, Corsica 17 people are killed and 1,900 injured when a temporary grandstand, erected to increase the capacity of the stadium from 8,500 to 18,000, collapses before a French Cup semifinal match between four-time defending league champion Olympique Marseille and second-division Bastia.

June 16, 1996 — Lusaka, Zambia Nine soccer fans were crushed to death and 78 others injured during a stampede following Zambia's victory over Sudan in a World Cup qualifying game.

July 14, 1996 — Tripoli, Libya A riot at a soccer match involving a team controlled by a son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi killed or injured up to 50 people. No exact figures were reported in the Libyan-controlled press.

Oct. 16, 1996 — Guatemala City At least 78 people died and about 180 others were injured during a stampede at a stadium before a World Cup qualifying match between Guatemala and Costa Rica.

April 6, 1997 — Lagos, Nigeria five fans were crushed to death and more than a dozen were hospitalized when, following Nigeria's 2-1 World Cup qualifying victory over Egypt, the crowd of 40,000 head for exits and three of the five main gates were locked.

April 23, 2000 — Monrovia, Liberia At least three reported dead and others injured as thousands of fans forced their way into an overcrowded stadium for a World Cup qualifier between Liberia and Chad.

July 9, 2000 — Harare, Zimbabwe Thirteen people died after a stampede at World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Zimbabwe.

April 11, 2001 — Johannesburg, South Africa 47 people were killed during a league match between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates in an overcrowded soccer stadium. People outside tried to push into Ellis Park stadium and were trapped against barbed wire. Police had earlier fired tear gas at people stampeding outside the stadium.

Feb. 1, 2012 — Port Said, Egypt Egyptian state TV says at least 73 were killed as fans of rival soccer teams Al-Masry and Al-Ahly rushed the field following Al-Masry's 3-1 upset victory. Fans hurled stones and sticks at each other, sparking a stampede.

First published on February 1, 2012 / 3:44 PM

© 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Disasters in soccer stadiums

LONDON, England - More than 100 people died in Ghana in the fourth soccer tragedy to strike Africa in a month.

The stampede at the Accra Stadium was the most deadly on the soccer-mad continent, but, as the following chronology shows, stampedes at games have claimed lives worldwide:

May 6 -- Fighting among fans at a soccer match in Ivory Coast claimed one life

April 29 -- Eight killed in a stampede in Lubumbashi, Congo

April 11 -- Forty-three people die in a crush at a stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa

July -- Thirteen die in stampede in Zimbabwae following a World Cup qualifier with South Africa

January -- Eleven killed in a stampede after a derby between Korm and Al Ittihad in Alexandria, Egypt

November -- Four die when troops open fire at Kinshasa derby between Vita Club and Motema Pembe at the Stade De Martyrs, Democratic Republic of Congo

December -- Two die in a stampede in Zaire's national stadium

Lagos, Nigeria - Five fans crushed to death as 40,000 try to leave National Stadium in Lagos after Nigeria/Guinea World Cup qualifier.

Tripoli, Liberia - Al Ahli v Al Ittihad. Eight fans killed and 39 injured as troops open fire to stop pro- and anti-Gadaffi sentiments being expressed in stadium.

October 16 -- Guatemala City - Up to 82 people die and at least 147 are injured when an avalanche of fans tumble down seats and a flight of stairs at a World Cup qualifying match between Guatemala and Costa Rica.

June 16 -- Zambia - At least seven killed during stampede at Zambia/Sudan World Cup qualifiers' match in Lusaka.

April 8 -- Freetown, Sierra Leone - At least 40 people injured, some seriously, when the main gate collapses on hundreds of fans scrambling for tickets outside a packed stadium in the capital.

July 19 -- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - At least 50 soccer fans are injured after falling five metres from the upper tier at Rio's Maracana stadium after part of the fence gives way.

May 5 -- Bastia, Corsica - At least 15 people die when a temporary stand at the Furiani stadium collapses minutes before the kick-off at the French Cup semifinal between second division Bastia and Marseille.

July 15 -- Nairobi, Kenya - One fan is killed and 24 injured in a stampede during an African Nations' Cup qualifying match between Kenya and Mozambique.

Jan 14 -- Johannesburg, South Africa - Forty people die after being crushed against a stadium fence, trampled underfoot or stabbed as thousands of fans surge towards a jammed exit to escape rival brawling spectators at a match south-west of Johannesburg.

April 15 -- Sheffield, England - Ninety-five people are killed and at least 200 injured in Britain's worst sports disaster after a crowd surge crushes packed fans against barriers at the English F.A. Cup semifinal match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough stadium.

March 12 -- Kathmandu, Nepal - A stampede towards locked exits in a hailstorm at Nepal's national soccer stadium produces the country's worst civilian disaster when 70 fans are killed.

March -- Tripoli - Two fans die when a stand at Tripoli's international stadium collapses.

May 29 -- Brussels, Belgium - Thirty-nine fans, mostly Italians, die in rioting before the European Cup Final between Italy's Juventus and English club Liverpool at the Heysel Stadium.

May 26 -- Mexico City, Mexico - Ten people are trampled to death and 29 are injured when they try to force their way into a stadium to see a domestic match.

May 11 -- Bradford, England - Fifty-six people die and more than 200 are injured when fire engulfs the main stand at Valley Parade stadium.

November -- Cali, Colombia - Twenty-four people die and 250 are hurt when drunken fans provoke a stampede at a soccer match.

November -- Algiers, Algeria - A concrete roof at a stadium collapses, killing 10 spectators.

July -- Moscow - Up to 340 people are crushed to death when fans leaving the stadium try to re-enter the stands after a last-minute goal in a UEFA Cup tie between Moscow Spartak and Dutch side Haarlem at the Luzhniki stadium, according to Sovietsky Sport. The government newspaper Izvestia puts the death toll at 66.

February -- Piraeus, Greece - Twenty-four people die in a stampede as fans rush to leave the ground.

August -- Nigeria - Twenty-four fans die and 27 are injured in a stampede following floodlight failure.

May -- Ghana - Fifteen people die and 35 are injured when part of a wall collapsed.

January -- Glasgow - Sixty-six people die in a crowd crush at Ibrox stadium.

Argentina - Over 70 people die when crowds attending a match in Buenos Aires stampede after youths throw burning paper on to the terraces.

May -- Lima, Peru - More than 300 fans die in a riot during an Olympic qualifying match between Argentina and Peru.

San Jose Man Sentenced For Hacking Concession Stands At Earthquakes Stadium

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – A San Jose man has been sentenced to federal prison after admitting to a computer hack that brought down stadium concessions during a San Jose Earthquakes soccer match last year, prosecutors said.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, 41-year-old Salvatore La Rosa was sentenced to 20 months and was ordered to pay $268,733 in restitution after pleading guilty to the hack earlier this year. La Rosa was also sentenced to a three-year period of supervised release.

Prosecutors said La Rosa worked for the company Spectra Food Services & Hospitality, which provides concessions at Earthquakes games. The company uses tablets as point of sale terminals to sell food, drinks and other items.

After La Rosa was terminated from his job in early 2020, prosecutors said he logged into the administrative portal for Earthquakes Stadium from his home and deleted menu and payment selections.

The deletions caused the company’s tablets to stop working during the team’s home opener on February 29, 2020, prosecutors said. Workers were then forced to handwrite orders and use calculators to complete cash transactions, which led to delays, lost sales and anger among customers. Spectra also gave out free food to some club members, since they were not able to process credit card transactions.

Following the incident, Spectra offered a 50% discount on all concessions at the following home game on March 7, 2020, the last game at the stadium before the season was suspended several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to coronavirus restrictions at the time, the team’s remaining home games in 2020 were played without fans in attendance.

Prosecutors said that Spectra suffered $268,733 in damages due to lost revenue, concession discounts, employee time to repair damage, along with labor costs.

Following an FBI investigation, La Rosa was charged with intentional damage to a protected computer in October of last year. He pled guilty in February.

La Rosa remains out of custody on bond and will begin serving his sentence July 28, prosecutors said.

Watch the video: Hillsborough Disaster: How it Happened in 1989 (May 2022).