Soccer and Disaster: International Perspectives

Paul Darby, Martin Johnes, and Gavin Mellor


A sending off, the conceding of a vital goal, an untimely defeat: disaster is a much used term in sport.  Yet soccer has also been the victim of real disasters: events where people lost their lives.  When compared to tragedies such as the Munich air disaster and the Heysel stadium disaster, the results of games become insignificant.  Football is not more important than life and death.

This book looks at soccer disasters from across the globe.  From the loss of talented young players in air crashes in Munich and Zambia to fatal overcrowding in South Africa, Moscow, and the UK, the game and its fans and players have been the victims of negligence, complacency and misfortune.  The causes, consequences and legacies of these and other disasters are explored here in a book that reveals frightening parallels and important lessons.

This book is available to buy here.