O L Y M P I A C O S   1 9 2 5
O L Y M P I A C O S   1 9 2 5
Gate 7 – February 8th, 1981

Gate 7 – February 8th, 1981

Today marks 34 years since the tragedy of Gate 7. Olympiacos.org commemorates the 21 fans who have unjustly lost their lives in 1981.

That day, joy turned to sadness and despair. No one imagined that such devastation could occur on this day. Until that moment, it was a day of “red and white”, but all of a sudden turned black. The date was February 8th, 1981. Now, 34 years have passed…

It was the 20th matchday of that season, fighting for the championship trophy once more. That day brought Olympiacos in a derby match against the “yellow and black” of AEK Athens at the Karaiskakis Stadium.

34,450 tickets had been sold for this decisive match which kicked off at 15:15. Fans began flocking to the stadium around noon, with them their scarves, flags, and drums with anticipation, and anxiety as well. It was a derby, afterall. The stadium was filled an hour before kick-off. The songs, slogans, and drums created the lovely atmosphere that we are used to at Karaiskakis.

Olympiacos had lined up with the following players: Sargkanis, Kyrastas, Vamvakoulas, Papadapoulos, Novoselats, Kousoulakis, Persias, Nikoloudis, Anastopoulos, Orfanos and Galakos. AEK lined up with: Oikonompoulos, Ardizoglou, Manolas, Karavitis, Paraprastanitis, Thodis, Vlachos, Eleftherakis, Kottis, Bajevic and Mavros.

With 30 minutes of play, Olympiacos took the lead from a Galakos strike, Karaiskakis erupted in joy! The first half ends with a 1-0 lead.

The second half would prove to be more entertaining as Olympiacos scores again at 53’ (Galakos), 68’ (Kousoulakis), 75’ (Orfanos), 80’ (Vamvakoulas), and 84’ (Galakos), sealing a 6-0 victory! The celebrations started long before the final whistle, with fans chanting “Olympiacos! Olympiacos!” But fate, that day, had other plans…

Many of the fans of The Legend were in Gate 7, who ran before the final whistle to greet their heroes at Gate 1 after the massive victory. The time was 16:58, two minutes before full-time…
One of the fans, followed by others, slipped on the stairs, the doors of the gate were only partially open. The fans continued to flock towards the exit, unaware of what is happening in front of them, people in the dozens were on top of each other, trampled.

The tragedy timeline:

17:03 – The police were able to open the turnstiles and free some of the people trapped inside the gate.

17:15 – The dead and wounded were carried by ambulances and police patrol to the Tzaneio Hospital in Piraeus.

17:30 – Many fans gathered outside the hospital, their faces painted with anguish.

17:50 – Television networks (ERT and YENED) broadcast the event and called on doctors to come to Tzaneio and for people to make blood donations. Additional staff were mobilized to deal with the events as they unfolded.

18:20 – The Minister of Social Affairs and the deputy minister gave the order for more mobilization of doctors to deal with the situation.

18:30 – The Emergency centre asked patrol crew and police to donate blood, hundreds of policemen did so.

18:50 – The Minister of Public Order arrives at Tzaneio Hospital, as well as senior police officers and members of management from Olympiacos and AEK.

19:00 – By order of the director of KAB, Mr. Karava, hospitals were on high alert and for the KAT to accept wounded needing neurosurgical attention.

19:15 – Hundreds gathered outside Tzaneio anxiously seeking to learn the names of the dead and the wounded.

19:40 – Prime Minister Rallis is informed about what has occurred, who informs the Greek President of the events, who instructs to take the necessary measures.

19:45 – Riot police remove people from the main entrance of the hospital to make it more accessible to doctors and donors.

20:00 – The first three victims are recognized: Yannis Kanellopoulos, Giannis Dialinas, and Vasilis Machas. Their families were informed. Unfortunately, the death toll would later reach 21 people.

20:15 – The police begin investigating the causes of the Gate 7 tragedy.

20:30 – Prime Minister Georgios Rallis arrives at Tzaneio, those seriously wounded were transferred to the General State Hospital in Piraeus.

20:50 – Television networks interrupt their programs to transmit mournful music.

21:00 – 300-400 people try to reach Karaiskakis stadium to find those responsible for what has occurred, the riot police step in and remove them.

21:15 – The director of Tzaneio Hospital, Mr. Apergis, calls on people to move away from the entrance and hallways as their presence hinders the movement of the doctors, police and staff.

22:00 – People slowly begin to leave from the two hospitals…

One of the injured, then 18 years old, Elias Litras, who was among the first to fall on the steps of Gate 7, said: “The door was partially open. When I reached the last steps, I slipped and fell. All of a sudden people began to fall over me, one, two, three…a hundred”.

Unforgotten, immortal. They are:

Panagiotis Toumanidis (14 years)

Kostas Sklavounis (16 years)

Elias Panagoulis (17 years)

Gerasimos Amitsis (18 years)

Giannis Kanellopoulos (18 years)

Spyros Leonidakis (18 years)

Giannis Spiliopoulos (19 years)

Nikos Filos (19 years)

Giannis Dialinas (20 years)

Vasilis Machas (20 years)

Efstratios Loupos (20 years)

Michalis Kostopoulos (21 years)

Zografoula Chairatidou (23 years)

Spyros Andriotis (24 years)

Kostas Karanikolas (26 years)

Michalis Markou (27 years)

Kostas Bilas (28 years)

Anastasios Pitsolis (30 years)

Antonis Kouroupakis (34 years)

Christos Chatzigeorgiou (34 years)

Dimitrios Adamopoulos (41 years)

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