The Heysel Stadium Disaster refers to the deaths of 39 (and injury of some 600 more) people, mostly fans of Juventus F.C., before the 1985 European Cup Final held in the Heysel Stadium, Brussels. The disaster is one of the most high profile and one of the worst cases of football hooliganism in European and world football. It was the first of two stadium related disasters of which Liverpool fanatics were involved; the second was at Hillsborough, Sheffield on 15 April 1989.
Approximately an hour before the scheduled kick-off time a group of supporters of English Liverpool F.C. breached a fence separating them from rival supporters of Juventus F.C. and charged at and attacked the Italian supporters. Juventus fans were forced to retreat, putting pressure on a dilapidated retaining wall, which collapsed away from them. The crush of fans against the wall and its collapse led to many deaths and hundreds of injuries. The game was played despite the disaster in order to prevent further violence.
The tragedy resulted in all English football clubs being placed under an indefinite ban by UEFA from all European competitions (lifted in 1990-91), with Liverpool F.C. being excluded for an additional year and a number of Liverpool fans prosecuted for manslaughter. The disaster has been called "the darkest hour in the history of the UEFA competitions."