Without condoning hooliganism, the tragic events at Heysel were directly linked to events at Roma one year earlier which the European press choose to ignore, after Liverpools victory.
What received rather less coverage than the match was the roaming scooter gangs hunting down Liverpool supporters, stabbing and slashing dozens, many of whom were family groups returning to hotels in the area. One 13-year-old boy was almost ripped apart, needing 200 stitches in his face alone. Many hoteliers refused to let their English guests in, either out of spite or for fear of subsequent attacks on their premises. There was little protection from the Police, who routinely attacked and robbed English supporters in revenge for the defeat of the local team. Before the match, stewards and gate attendants had taken hundreds of watches, cameras and items of jewellery from visiting supporters. That night, many desperate English fans, deserted by Italian coach drivers booked to drive them to Rome airport, sought sanctuary at the British Embassy.