BY CHRIS MCNULTY
THIRTY years ago this week, Killea man Kevin McFadden headed off to watch his beloved Liverpool take on Juventus in the European Cup final in Brussels.
He joined the Liverpool Supporters Club in 1979 and was a regular at big games involving the Reds, including the 1981 European Cup final in Paris, where Liverpool defeated Real Madrid.
However, on May 29 1985, he watched Liverpool in the flesh for the last time. Events in the dilapidated Heysel Stadium in Brussels meant he couldn’t bring himself to go back.
That night, 39 fans – 32 Italians, four Belgians, two French fans and 37-year-old Belfast native Patrick Radcliffe, who worked in Brussels as an archivist for the EEC – lost their lives and 600 more were injured after disturbances broke out in section z, a supposedly neutral area in the stadium.
Supporters in the Liverpool end charged through the chicken wire dividing the sections, manned by a flimsy line of police officers.
McFadden was nearby in section y and watched in horror.
After a two-hour delay, the game was played and won 1-0 by Juventus, but football, by then, was an afterthought.
As they prepared to leave the stadium, a brick shattered a window on the bus right next to McFadden, a moment he recalls in the above video with Declan Doherty.
It was the night, he says, ‘football died’ for him.
This week, he recounted his story. Read his full fascinating interview with Chris McNulty in this week’s Donegal News.
“The individuals were disturbed and took off running through fields in Dunmore, between Carrigans and Killea.”