Monday, April 04, 2005

You'll Never Walk Alone

This week sees the first competitive meeting of Liverpool and Juventus in 20 years - 20 years after the disaster that was Heysel. I remember that night vaguely. I was seven years old and had decided at some point in the previous 18 months that I was a Liverpool fan. I don't remember exactly why, but the fact that they had won the League, League Cup and European Cup in 1984 probably had something to do with it! (although at that age I had no way of grasping what winning a "European Cup" meant). What I remember the most, though, was being upset that Liverpool lost, which I'm still slightly ashamed of - even if I was only seven.

This month's Observer Sport Monthly has an excellent treatment of the disaster, its aftermath and the memories 20 years on. It has absorbed a lot of my thought over the last 24 hours and in advance of tomorrow night's game. I really hope Liverpool Football Club handle the occasion with dignity and respect.

However I'm not sure I've ever quite seen a journalist screw an interviewee over quite as completely as Jamie Jackson has Phil Neal - Liverpool's captain that night. Don't get me wrong, Neal deserves it if that's his attitude - making money off the backs of dead people. It reads absolutely terribly and Phil Neal should be ashamed of himself. I wonder if that's the last we'll hear of it?...

On a side note the egg-chasing is over for another year and nice and early too for good measure. Simon Heald on articulates the relief.
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