Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Rush says time is right to move on

On the 25th anniversary of the Heysel disaster former Liverpool and Juventus striker Ian Rush believes both clubs have done a great deal to put any past animosity behind them.

Five years ago a section of Juve fans, at Anfield for a Champions League tie, turned their backs on a tribute to the 39 fans who died at the 1985 European Cup final when a wall collapsed after trouble flared between supporters, with the Liverpool contingent receiving most of the criticism.

Rush, who with ex-Juventus star Michel Platini led the tributes that night, said he did not blame those Italians for their actions

But he feels it is now time to move on.

“We should never forget it happened but we need to move on as well,” he said. “Five years ago, when I went on the pitch with Michel Platini, some of them turned their backs but they have their reasons.

“There were lots of lives lost so you have to see their point of view. Slowly things are changing but you are never going to be completely there and you have to respect what they believe in.

“I think more work has been done (between the clubs) and it is getting better and better.”

Even 25 years on Rush is still critical of UEFA and the Belgian authorities for their staging of the match at a dilapidated Heysel.

“There should never have been a European final played there because the ground was not up to it and the segregation was not good enough,” said Rush.

“I don't remember much of that night, it is one of those things that is all a blur.

“We were waiting quite a long time for the game to start and we weren't sure whether it would go ahead.

“I remember Joe Fagan (manager) and Phil Neal (captain) going out to speak to the supporters but the rest of us were inside trying to prepare for the game and we weren't sure what was going on.”

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