The Week that Was May 31 - June 6, 1985

Spectators walk by debris and a Liverpool-Juventus banner which litter the stands after a disastrous clash between rival soccer fans at the European Cup Final at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels.
Spectators walk by debris and a Liverpool-Juventus banner which litter the stands after a disastrous clash between rival soccer fans at the European Cup Final at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels.
0
Have your say

The country was in a state of shock and shame over the Heysel stadium disaster, in which 39 fans, mostly Italians, were killed and 600 injured.

Before the European Cup Final against Juventus, Liverpool fans had charged towards opposing supporters and a dividing wall collapsed and crushed some who were trying to escape.

The blame for Heysel was initially laid entirely on Liverpool fans, and 14 were later found guilty of manslaughter and jailed. However, an investigation did concede that some culpability lay with the authorities, and the crumbling state of the Heysel stadium.

Swift action by the FA brought an indefinite ban from Europe for all English clubs – a measure which football chiefs generally welcomed, saying it gave them time to tackle the problem of violence.

Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said there was no excuse for hooliganism and football must change if it was to survive as a spectator sport.

A ban on alcohol at football grounds was part of a new package of measures to be enacted before the following season.

The largest shake-up of schools by any authority in the region in many years was announced for Hull this week. Education Secretary Sir Keith Joseph was set to approve the scheme to reorganise 150 schools in the city, which would mean replacing the existing three-tier systems of primary (five to nine-year-olds), junior (nine to 13) and senior schools (13-18) with a two-tier system and primary and high schools. Two
sixth-form colleges would also be created.

Humberside’s director of education John Bower said the reorganisation was necessary to cope with falling pupil numbers.

The measures were expected to come into force in 1988. They had been drawn up in 1982 by the then Labour-controlled council. The Conservatives, who now had administrative control in a hung council, had tried and failed to get the plan withdrawn.

In Westminster, Home Secretary Leon Brittan admitted the Conservatives were going through an “unpopular spell”, but warned members against voting for measures advocated by party rebels.

Jordan’s King Hussein warned that “the world can’t afford to miss what may be the final opportunity for peace in the Middle East.”

The King, on the final day of a visit to Washington, again pushed the idea of an international conference on the Middle East that would include the Soviet Union – something the US State Department had expressed great reservations about.

But Israel responded quickly and vehemently to the suggestion, saying it opposed such a conference if it served as a forum for direct negotiations between Israel and a joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation.

These developments came as Shi’ite Muslims and Palestinian guerrillas ignored a ceasefire and fought around Beirut’s refugee camps.

Geoff Boycott and his Yorkshire cricket captain David Bairstow were the surprise recipients of £2,000 each, left to them by a woman who had died in March.

Sussex captain John Barclay also benefited from the will of Anne Wright, 85, of Hove in Sussex, who left between £10,000 and £25,000.

Miss Wright, an avid cricket fan, said in the will that she had watched county cricket for many years and Boycott, Bairstow and Barclay had given her special pleasure.

In the will, she described Boycott as “that formidable Yorkshire batsman” and Bairstow as “the county’s ever-enthusiastic wicket-keeper”. Miss Wright was originally from Leeds.