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Van der Kuylen: A wonderful gesture (PSV.nl)

28 apr 2006 - Source: PSV.nl

This newsitem has been supplied by PSV.nl

Willy van der Kuylen has joined the PSV squad on their trip to Halle in Germany, 35 years after the goalless draw in the first round of the European Cup III tournament. The PSV icon thinks the memorial game is a wonderful gesture. 35 year "I don’t remember that much of that game", admits Van der Kuylen during the flight to Leipzig. "I do know we had come together after the hotel fire in Eindhoven to cope with the disaster. Some Chemie Halle officials were also present. But it was the boards of the two clubs that kept in touch. We resumed training soon afterwards and we did not have much contact with the players themselves", says Van der Kuylen 35 years after. "It’s such a long time ago. I can’t remember that much of the first leg we played in East Germany. I was a substitute and was brought on fifteen minutes from final time, when Guus Hiddink was taken off. I wonder if I’ll remember the stadium, but then again I have seen so many pitches in my life. I do know, though, that Wolfgang Hoffmann, the player that died in the fire, was generally regarded as one of the most talented youngsters of East Germany. He was a 20-year-young lad. The hotel fire was past belief. There were sheets and shirts hanging out of the windows. I believe someone had fallen through a roof, when he attempted to reach safety.Van der Kuylen thinks the memorial game is a wonderful gesture for Hallescher FC. "Guus Hiddink has taken a wonderful initiative. It is great we do not have a hectic schedule in the build-up to the Cup final. But I am not sure whether another coach would have agreed to play such a memorial. Hiddink made an appearance at the time and he knows very well what has been going on."Van der Kuylen is looking forward to seeing the game and in particular to the post-match reception that all Halle players of those days will attend. "We’ll have a wonderful opportunity to hear from them what has taken place in those days and how they coped with the tragic events. I am really looking forward to it; it means so much to the people in Halle."Van der Kuylen and Guus Hiddink represent the PSV squad of years ago.