On this day in 1971, 66 football (soccer) fans were killed in a stampede at Ibrox Park in Glasgow, Scotland. The tragedy was the result of hundreds of spectators leaving at the same time on the same stairway. It was not the first time that disaster had struck the stadium. The first serious incident at Ibrox occurred in 1902, when the weight of the fans on the stadium’s wooden west terrace caused a partial collapse of the two-year-old structure. Dozens of spectators fell 45 feet to the ground; 26 people were killed and hundreds injured in the subsequent rush to the exits. Crushes on stairways in 1961, 1967, and 1969 caused additional fatalities and many injuries.
Still, no design or safety changes had been made to Stairway 13, the site of the 1960s disasters, by the time the Rangers played a home match against Celtic on January 2, 1971. It was the worst soccer disaster in Scottish history.
The Bible says, “Like a dog that returns to its vomit, a fool does the same foolish things again and again. People who think they are wise when they are not are worse than fools” (Proverbs 26:11-12).
It’s okay to make mistakes. What is not okay is to not learn from those mistakes.