Alan Kennedy has recounted the “very frightening” events that took place outside the Stade de France, with a fan who helped lift him and others out of the chaos sharing his story.
The accounts of those who were caught in the horrific events outside the Stade de France for the Champions League final grow increasingly harrowing.
French authorities continue to peddle lies and misinformation, looking to lay the blame at the feet of fans despite countless first-hand reports from fans and journalists alike.
Supporters were pepper-sprayed by authorities and targeted by local gangs while a dangerous kettling of fans led to crushes thanks to dangerous mismanagement of the event, which they are now blaming on a ridiculous number of fake tickets.
Liverpool legend Alan Kennedy, who was key in the 1981 European Cup triumph, was one of many to be in the middle of a frightening situation, needing to be hoisted over a fence to safety.
In an interview with BBC 5 Live Breakfast, 67-year-old Kennedy and Ted Harrison, the Liverpool fan who got him out of harm’s way, breaking fingers in the process, recounted the distressing evening.
“There were seven or eight different bottlenecks as we came into the ground,” Harrison explained. “This was just yet another bottleneck. There were young French lads coming the other way towards us and it just bottlenecked. It was absolutely horrific, to be honest.
“We were helping children and women over the fence to try and get them out of there. Alan came running over to us very upset.
“It was irrelevant if it was Alan Kennedy or anybody, we were just trying our hardest to get families out of that situation.
“We were lifting what we would call vulnerable [people] over the fence because it was getting tighter and tighter.
“The French police then got the word from a supervisor to come in and open one of the gates to allow the bottlenecks to move out of the way. But it was a very, very scary four or five minutes.
“I’ve probably been to 80 Champions League away games, five European finals, and I’ve never, ever had anything like that before. It was so badly managed, everything around the ground was so badly managed.”
As for Kennedy’s account, it was ‘absolute chaos’ and the crush was his biggest concern before he was given a helping hand by Harrison and other Liverpool supporters.
“Obviously we were supporting Liverpool and going towards the block that we should have gone to, but there was no way we could get there within that period of time before the kickoff,” Kennedy said.
“There were too many people, some were coming from sideways, some were going straight on, some were coming against us. These are fans who didn’t know where to go.
“Honestly, it was absolutely chaos at the time and it was very, very frightening for me from that point of view. I was following my son and he was taking me the right way, but unfortunately, we got pushed to one side.
“I ended up trying to get over the fence just to get out of the way of the crowd of people.
“That was the main concern. The crush was the main concern for me. Of course, I just wanted to get to one side.
“Suddenly I found myself being hauled over a fence. The fence must have been at least six or seven foot high.
“I ended up on a van and was taken to a point where I was given a glass of water – by Jason McAteer would you believe? – and fortunately, I was OK. There were a lot of fans in distress at that time.
“It’s being sensible in that situation. Forget about kickoffs, obviously the kickoff was delayed, it was just getting in safely and making sure that others around you can get in safely. That was the main point and certainly why I was helped over the barrier – to get to safety.”