Five Most Tragic Events in English Football

Football, being the epically loved global sport it is, has produced some of the finest moments in history.

From large fan anti racism banner displays to sold out charity matches, from breathtaking displays of the sportsmanship spirit to the togetherness that comes with supporting the same team, Football’s beautiful moments are just innumerable to count.

However, there are some few times when the game has seen a few tragic events that we would all like to put behind us. An example of such moment is what we are currently going through.

The world was thrown into mourning after it was confirmed yesterday that the plane carrying just its pilot and former Nantes FC forward, Emiliano Sala (he had just signed a new deal with English premiership team Cardiff City) was found at the bottom of the English Channel. This has been described as a tragic event in the English League as both men are presumed dead.

This is not the first time something tragic is happening in England football but hopefully, it will be the last. A few heartbreaking happenings have occurred in the past in England notably before the 2000s. Just in case you are wondering, here are the top five most tragic events ever to happen in English Football:

  1. The 1902 Ibrox Stadium Disaster

On Saturday 5th April 1902, the Ibrox Park (Rangers FC home stadium) played host to the Scotland v England clash, the most prestigious international in the football calendar in the UK at that time. Shortly after the match got under way in front of a crowd of 68,000, a huge hole opened in one part of the stadium’s wooden terracing and swallowed up hundreds of fans. Over 500 people were injured with 25 others killed.

  1. The Munich Air Disaster

On the 6th of February 1958, the world was hit by the sad news of the crash of a plane carrying the Manchester United team, club officials and journalists to England from Yugoslavia. The Bubsy Babes – aptly named due to their young age and after their coach, Mat Bubsy, were on their way back froma European Cup match against Red Star Belgrade. The tragedy claimed the lives of 23 people including 8 United first team players, and had 21 survivors.

  1. The 1971 Ibrox Disaster

69 years after the first disaster, the Ibrox park witnessed another tragic event when over 66 people lost their lives in a crush as supporters tried to leave the stadium. The tragedy happened on the 2nd of January, 1971 at the end of a match between Rangers and Celtic F.C. there were over 200 people who sustained different levels of injuries.

  1. Bradford City Stadium Fire

Right before the half time whistle in a Bradford City vs Lincoln City match at the Bradford stadium, a fire broke out and engulfed a full stand within minutes. This tragedy which happened on the 11th of May, 1985 and claimed the lives of 56 people, leaving almost 300 injured. This disaster made the use of wooden stands in stadiums banned across the U.K.

  1. Hillsborough Disaster

The worst sports related disaster in English Football happened on the 15th of April, 1989. 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death and several hundreds more were injured during a surge at the FA Cup Semi-final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. The match was played at the Hillsborough Stadium.

We do hope these kinds of happenings do not occur ever again.


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