In memory: The 39 victims of Heysel

The 1985 European Cup Final between Liverpool and Juventus ended in victory for Juventus. But it isn’t remembered for the winners of the famous trophy.

It was held in the Heysel Stadium in Brussels in Belgium. 39 people died, mainly Italian Juventus supporters.

39 needless, avoidable deaths.

Twenty-four years.

Thirty-nine deaths.


Rocco Acerra, Bruno Balli, Giancarlo Bruschera,
Andrea Casula, Giovanni Casula, Nino Cerullo,
Giuseppina Conti, Dionisio Fabbro, Eugenio Gagliano,
Francesco Galli, Giancarlo Gonnelli, Alberto Guarini,
Giovacchino Landini, Roberto Lorentini, Barbara Lusci,
Franco Martelli, Loris Massore, Gianni Mastroiaco,
Sergio Mazzino, Luciano Papaluca, Luigi Pidone,
Benito Pistolato, Domenico Ragazzi, Antonio Ragnanese,
Mario Ronchi, Domenico Russo, Tarcisio Salvi,
Gianfranco Sarto, Amedeo Spolaore, Mario Spanu,
Tarcisio Venturin, Claudio Zavaroni, Alfons Bos,
Willy Chielens, Dirk Daeninckx, Jeacques Francois,
Patrick Radcliffe, Claude Robert, Jean Michel Walla.


Xabi on bench as Reds aim to end season in style

Liverpool had to prepare for this game as if it the chance of the title would still be on, but with Manchester United getting the draw they wanted yesterday it is now of far more importance to the Baggies than to the Reds.

Liverpool still want three points, because they don’t want to add to their disappointment by dropping into third – victory today would all but ensure second spot. But West Brom still have an outside chance of top-flight survival, victory today would put them one point from safety – but they would still need to see Hull and Newcastle lose next weekend as well as winning themselves.

Rafa Benitez has put Xabi Alonso back in the squad, but after his recent Joey Barton inflicted injury he’s being kept on the bench today. Xabi apart, Rafa has picked what is pretty-much his ‘first-choice’ eleven.

Pepe Reina is in goal as always, Jamie Carragher in front of him as always. Whereas Martin Skrtel has often got the nod ahead of Daniel Agger alongside Carra this season, today Agger gets the nod – despite missing last week’s match after becoming a father. No hint of a grudge from Rafa there. Arbeloa and Insua get the full-back roles, although an earlier team-sheet had Aurelio in the side in place of Insua.

Lucas gets to play in place of Xabi, alongside Javier Mascherano. The Football Writers’ player of the season Steven Gerrard is captain as always and will be looking to boost his goal tally for the season, as will Yossi Benayoun, Dirk Kuyt and Fernando Torres.

Former Liverpool goalkeeper Scott Carson is on the bench for West Brom.

West Brom: 1 Kiely, 22 Zuiverloon, 24 Martis, 26 Olsson, 30 Donk, 11 Brunt, 31 Mulumbu, 8 Greening, 7 Koren, 21 Menseguez, 32 Fortune
Subs: 19 Carson, 16 Moore, 20 Filipe Teixeira, 23 Meite, 28 Borja Valero, 29 Simpson, 39 Wood

Liverpool: 25 Reina, 17 Arbeloa, 5 Agger, 23 Carragher, 22 Insua, 21 Lucas, 20 Mascherano, 18 Kuyt, 8 Gerrard, 15 Benayoun, 9 Torres
Subs: 1 Cavalieri, 2 Dossena, 11 Riera, 14 Alonso, 24 Ngog, 37 Skrtel, 19 Babel

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Kick-off: 1:30pm BST

Torres returns for Reds

Liverpool play West Ham at Upton Park tonight in an early-evening kick-off, knowing they need all three points to keep the pressure on Manchester United. A win would actually put the Reds top on goal difference overnight, having played two games more.

Their chances of getting those three points are boosted by the presence of both Fernando Torres – back from a hamstring injury – and Steven Gerrard.

One important name missing from the teamsheet is Xabi Alonso. The Spaniard was injured by the reckless tackle that saw Joey Barton sent off in front of the Kop for Newcastle last weekend and so in comes Lucas. Javier Mascherano was also injured in that game but has recovered in time to start tonight.

Yossi Benayoun and Dirk Kuyt have been bagging goals of late for Liverpool and both start, with Yossi likely to play on the left.

Martin Skrtel partners Jamie Carragher at centre-back, with the long-serving and ever-reliable Sami Hyypia on the bench if required, in one of his last three chances to play for Reds before leaving at the end of the season.

West Ham’s hopes of finishing sixth were all-but dashed earlier in the afternoon when Everton got a point against Tottenham, but it is still mathematically possible. Seventh place would still give West Ham the chance of playing in the renamed UEFA Cup next season, and although the Tottenham draw helps them out in that respect, Fulham won earlier and so West Ham start the game in ninth. The East London side will be fighting for a win.

Today’s referee is Alan Wiley, as it was last season in this fixture when a late penalty gave the Hammers the points.

West Ham: 1 Green, 2 Neill, 30 Tomkins, 15 Upson, 3 Ilunga, 13 Boa Morte, 16 Noble, 14 Kovac, 46 Stanislas, 32 Di Michele, 25 Tristan
Subs: 24 Lastuvka, 5 Lopez, 10 Nsereko, 18 Spector, 31 Collison, 33 Sears, 35 Payne

Liverpool: 25 Reina, 17 Arbeloa, 37 Skrtel, 23 Carragher, 12 Aurelio, 20 Mascherano, 21 Lucas, 18 Kuyt, 8 Gerrard, 15 Benayoun, 9 Torres
Subs: 1 Cavalieri, 2 Dossena, 4 Hyypia, 19 Babel, 22 Insua, 24 Ngog, 27 Degen

Referee: Alan Wiley