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29th May


Will

Heysel: a black day in our history
1985 - If April 15th is the saddest day in the club’s history, May 29th is surely the lowest. 39 football fans died at the Heysel stadium in Brussels before our European Cup Final against Juventus. Although many factors contributed to the tragedy, it is inescapable that violence by reds fans played a major role in the deaths of 32 Italians, four Belgians, two Frenchmen and one man from Northern Ireland.

R.I.P. Rocco Acerra (aged 29), Bruno Balli (50), Alfons Bos, Giancarlo Bruschera (21), Andrea Casula (11), Giovanni Casula (44), Nino Cerullo (24), Willy Chielens, Giuseppina Conto (17), Dirk Daenecky, Dionisio Fabbro (51), Jacques François, Eugenio Gagliano (35), Francesco Galli (25), Giancarlo Gonnelli (20), Alberto Guarini (21), Giovacchino Landini (50), Roberto Lorentini (31), Barbara Lusci (58),  Franco Martelli (22), Loris Messore (28), Gianni Mastroiaco (20), Sergio Bastino Mazzino (38), Luciano Rocco Papaluca (38), Luigi Pidone (31), Benito Pistolato (50), Patrick Radcliffe, Domenico Ragazzi (44), Antonio Ragnanese (49), Claude Robert, Mario Ronchi (43), Domenico Russo (28), Tarcisio Salvi (49), Gianfranco Sarto (47), Amedeo Giuseppe Spolaore (55), Mario Spanu (41), Tarcisio Venturin (23), Jean Michel Walla, Claudio Zavaroni (28).

The match eventually kicked off late, and was played in a surreal atmosphere, with the reds losing Mark Lawrenson to injury after just two minutes, and then Paul Walsh before half-time. A Michel Platini penalty was the only score, converted after Zbigniew Boniek was brought down by Gary Gillespie outside the box. This was Joe Fagan’s final game in charge and remains our only first-class game on this day in history.

Stevie the best
2009 - Steven Gerrard was presented with the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year award at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London.

In the Middle East
1980 - David Fairclough bagged a treble as we thumped Al Nasr Club 8-0 in a friendly in the Three Fives Gulf Football Tour in the United Arab Emirates. Terry McDermott grabbed a brace, with Ray Kennedy, Sammy Lee and Graeme Souness also on the scoresheet.

Happy birthday Lee
1973 - Former reserves forward Lee Jones was born in Wrexham. He signed from his hometown club for £300,000 in March 1992, making four senior reds appearances before moving to Tranmere Rovers for £100,000 in May 1997, following several loan spells back with the Robins.

Sami for Finland
1996 - Sami Hyypiä won his eighth cap, and first as a Willem II player, as Finland lost 2-0 to France in a friendly in Strasbourg. Fellow future red Jari Litmanen also played. On the same day, ex-red Jim Magilton and future reds Patrik Berger, Vladimír Šmicer and Christian Ziege all also represented their countries in friendlies.

International skippers
Three reds have captained their countries on this day over the years, all away from home.
1974 - Emlyn Hughes wore the armband as England drew 1-1 with East Germany in a friendly in Leipzig. Fellow reds Ray Clemence, Kevin Keegan and Alec Lindsay all also played.
1982 - Southampton’s Kevin Keegan led England out at Hampden Park where they beat Scotland 1-0 in the British International Championships. Kenny Dalglish, Alan Hansen, Terry McDermott, Graeme Souness and Phil Thompson all also featured.
1996 - Future red Gary McAllister skippered Scotland as they beat Colombia 1-0 in a friendly in the Orange Bowl, Miami.

In charge
2005 - Gérard Houllier was appointed Manager of Olympique Lyonnais. He led them to their fifth and sixth consecutive Ligue 1 titles in his two seasons in charge, as well as the knock-out stages of the Champions League.
2012 – John Toshack took charge of his last game as FYR Macedonia boss as they drew 0-0 with Angola in Portugal. Future red Nuri Şahin featured as Turkey beat Montenegro 1-0 in a friendly in Antalya.
2012 – Şahin also played as Turkey beat Bulgaria 2-0 in a friendly in Salzburg.
2014 - Former reds Assistant Manager Pako Ayestarán resigned as Manager of Tecos, having failed to clinch promotion in his only season in charge.

Half a century for Ronnie
1994 - Ronnie Whelan won his fiftieth cap for the Republic of Ireland as they beat Germany 2-0 in a friendly in Hannover. Future reds Phil Babb, Jason McAteer and Karl-Heinz Riedle also played, as did ex-reds Ray Houghton and Steve Staunton.

First and last caps
2011 – Luis Suárez won his first cap as a reds player as Uruguay lost a friendly 2-1 in Germany. Meanwhile, Charlie Adam played his last international while with Blackpool in their 1-0 defeat by the Republic of Ireland in the Carling Nations Cup in Dublin, with ex-red Robbie Keane on target.
2010 – Krisztián Németh made his senior international debut as a substitute as Hungary lost 3-0 to Germany in a friendly in Budapest, his only cap as a reds player. Martin Kelly, Martin Škrtel and ex-red Jari Litmanen also represented their countries, with John Toshack taking charge of Wales.
2016 – Škrtel played for Slovakia again, with ex-red Mikel San José also in international action.

2014 – Yossi Benayoun played his first game for Israel while with Queens Park Rangers, in their 3-0 friendly defeat in Mexico. Lloyd Jones and ex-red Charles Itandje both also represented their countries on that day.
2013 – Simon Mignolet won his twelfth cap, and last as a Sunderland player, with Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke bagging a brace in Belgium’s 4-2 friendly win over the USA in Cleveland. Glen Johnson, Daniel Sturridge and future reds James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain faced ex-red Robbie Keane on the same day as the Republic of Ireland held Roy Hodgson’s England to a 1-1 friendly draw at Wembley.
2009 – Future red Joe Allen won his first senior cap as John Toshack’s Wales beat Estonia 1-0 in a friendly in Cardiff.
1973 - Future red David Johnson made his debut for England Under-23’s in their 1-0 defeat by the Netherlands in Maastricht. Fellow future red Ray Kennedy also played.

Robbie’s farewell
2008 – Future red Robbie Keane skippered the Republic of Ireland and scored the only goal of their friendly encounter with Colombia at Craven Cottage, while winning his final cap in his first spell with Tottenham Hotspur.  Christian Poulsen netted his only goal as a Sevilla player as Denmark drew 1-1 with the Netherlands in Eindhoven, with Ryan Babel and Dirk Kuyt both featuring. Ex-red Jari Litmanen also played in a friendly that day.
2009 – Keane also scored for his country as they drew 1-1 with Nigeria in a friendly at Loftus Road. Ex-red Xabi Alonso netted as Spain beat Saudi Arabia in another friendly in Austria, with Álvaro Arbeloa also in action.

Gordon again
1932 – Gordon Gunson scored in his fourth consecutive game of our Danish tour as we beat a Copenhagen Select side consisting of players based in the city 4-1. We fell behind to a spot-kick, with Dave Wright bagging a brace and Robert Done also on target.

Thumping Rovers
1940 - We trounced Tranmere Rovers 8-3 in a Wartime League match at Anfield. Berry Nieuwenhuys, Peter Doherty and Len Carney all bagged braces, with Billy Liddell and Alf Hanson also on target.

Going home
2008 - Patrik Berger signed for Sparta Praha on a free transfer, having been released by Aston Villa earlier that month. He netted eight times in 31 games before retiring in January 2010.

Reds youngsters for the Under-21’s
1994 - Robbie Fowler and Jamie Redknapp both played as England beat Russia 2-0 in the Toulon Tournament in Bandol.
1991 - Steve McManaman and future red David James featured as Mexico were trounced 6-1 in the same competition in Vitrolles.

2000 - Jamie Carragher, Danny Murphy and David Thompson all played as England thumped Turkey 6-0 in a European Championships Finals group game in Slovakia. Meanwhile, future red Milan Baroš was booked while playing for the Czech Republic in their 3-1 defeat of the Netherlands in the same competition.
2006 - Daniel Agger played as Denmark were knocked out of the European Championships in Portugal by losing 2-1 to Ukraine.

For Omagh
1999 - Phil Babb and future reds Robbie Keane and Mark Kennedy both played for the Republic of Ireland in a friendly at Lansdowne Road in aid of the Omagh Fund. Northern Ireland won the game 1-0.

A happy day for Zico
1971 - Phil Neal married Sue at Cogenhoe, near Northampton. He was then twenty, and three years away from his big move from Northampton Town to Anfield.

In South Africa
1994 – We held Iwisa Kaizer Chiefs to a goalless draw at Ellis Park in Johannesburg. Phil Neal’s son Ashley suffered knee ligament damage in the game and had to be replaced by the South African-born Andy Harris, while Iain Brunskill made a rare first-team appearance.

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