European Cup winner Graeme Souness has loaned his winners’ medals from Liverpool’s victorious campaigns in ’78, ’81, and ’84 to be part of a new display at Wembley Stadium – the Exhibition of Champions.
Souness played a pivotal part in his inaugural European Cup final against FC Bruges at Wembley Stadium in 1978. It was Souness’ clever pass that put Kenny Dalglish through to score the winning goal of the match.
Now Souness’ medals will sit alongside a vast array of other prize artefacts at the exhibition which celebrates 56 years of glorious European Football history. Supported by UEFA, the display forms part of the Wembley Stadium Tour and features exhibits such as Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard’s 2005 captain’s armband, David Beckham’s jersey from Manchester United’s triumphant 1999 campaign and the very boots worn by Zinedine Zidane in Real Madrid’s 2002 victory campaign.
Speaking at the exhibition, Souness said: “To win my very first European Cup in my very first season at Liverpool was an amazing feeling and the fact that it took place at Wembley Stadium just made it all the more special. I will always have great memories of playing at Wembley which is why I have donated my medals to the Exhibition of Champions.”
The UEFA Champions League Final is the most prestigious event in European club football and since 1963 Wembley Stadium has hosted a total of six finals including the most recent final in May. A record breaking audience of over 300 million people tuned in worldwide to see Barcelona take on Manchester United at Wembley and TV ratings in the UK reached a high of 11.1 million. History was made in the US when the final drew in an audience of 4.2 million, a 91% increase on figures from 2010.
Following the success of this year’s final, widely recognised as one of the very best in Champions League history, Wembley was again chosen by UEFA to be hosts of the final in 2013 – the 150th anniversary year of The Football Association.
The ‘Exhibition of Champions’ supported by UEFA through content and memorabilia is open now to the public and features over 700 artefacts including:
The match balls from the last seven finals
The Original Intercontinental Cup – valued at approximately £225,000
Johan Cruyff’s jersey from the 1972 final
David Villa’s signed shirt from the 2011 final
Celtic signed frame from their 1967 victory
Di Stefano’s 1964 jersey
Van Basten’s jersey from 1990
McGovern’s shirt from 1979
Original European Cup Trophy (replica)
1963 Eusebio match worn final shirt
Many gold winning medals – including Suarez (Inter), Muhren (2, Ajax), Belodedici (Steaua & Red Star), Allan Evans (Aston Villa), Jansen (PSV), Garry Birtles (NF)
Schevchenko match worn 2003 shirt
The Wembley Stadium Tour has welcomed millions of sports fans since it first opened in 1978 and now from Monday visitors will be able to enjoy the ‘Exhibition of Champions’ as well as the England changing rooms, players tunnel, trophy winner’s steps, press conference rooms and Wembley’s famous Royal Box.
To book a place on the Wembley Tour and see the ‘Exhibition of Champions’ visit www.wembleystadium.com/tours or call 0844 800 2755.