Just five days remain until Cliftonville face Barry Town United in the Preliminary Round of the Europa League and our mini series of continental anniversaries continues by turning the clock back 23 years.
For it was on this very day in 1996 that the Reds enjoyed just their second ever venture into Europe and became the Irish League’s inaugural representatives in the old InterToto Cup when Belgian giants Standard Liege arrived at Solitude for an eagerly-anticipated First Round clash.
The visitors eased to a 3-0 success thanks to a double from Belgium international Michael Goossens and a strike from compatriot Roberto Bisconti en route to winning Group 1 before eliminating FC Nantes – Cliftonville’s only prior European opponents – in the Quarter Finals, only to lose out to Karlsruhe of Germany in the last four.
Cliftonville: Smyth, Hill, Flynn, Tabb, Small, Strang, McCann, O’Neill, O’Connor, Stokes, Donnelly.
Subs: Collins (for Small), Rice, Davey, Feehan, Heath (for O’Connor).