Thursday, August 09, 2007

A Very Moving Tribute . . .

. . .all the more so in view of what had happened at Heysel four years earlier. This European Cup semi-final between AC Milan and Real Madrid was played a few days after the Hillsborough disaster in April 1989. I was there, safely sitting down in a stand near the Nottingham Forest end. I saw everything happen though, in technicolor. The year before I'd been with a friend in the Leppings Lane End at the same stage in the competition against the same team, and spent the whole game standing on a partition, the crush being that bad.

Anyway, I digress. The Liverpool/Forest semi was stopped after six minutes as events gradually began to unfold. In the Milan/Madrid match, the referee stopped play after six minutes for a minutes silence. Amazingly the San Siro was filled with the sound of Italian and Spanish fans singing "You'll Never Walk Alone." A wonderful gesture of solidarity that brings a tear to the eye if you're a sentimental old git like me. Could you imagine anything like that happening now? Doubt it.

And here are the goals from one of the most comprehensive demolishings in European Cup history. The Milan of Rijkaard, Gullit, van Basten, Ancelotti, Baresi, Maldini et al. One of the best teams to ever grace the Earth.

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