The Day Italian Football Died: Torino and the Tragedy of Superga
SynopsisAT just after 5pm on 4 May 1949, a Fiat aircraft carrying 31 people, among them the Torino football squad, crashed into a 2,200ft-high peak called Superga on the outskirts of Turin. The Grande Torino, as they were known,had won the previous three Serie A titles and had almost clinched a fourthwhen their aircraft disappeared from the sullen skies over their home city.They had also dominated the Italian national team, providing as many asnine players for one international alone. In an instant the dominant forcein Italian football was destroyed. It was a tragedy unparalleled insporting history and still affecting the club today. Unlike ManchesterUnited after Munich, the Torino club has never been able to recover fromthat awful moment. Fifty years after the tragedy of Superga, AlexandraManna and Mike Gibbs revisited Turin to see an entire city pay homage tothe memory of those who died. The experience made a profound impressionupon them and they resolved to find out more. The result is this book. TheDay Italian Football Died tells not only of the Superga tragedy itself andthe events leading up to it, but also of how Torino emerged in the daysbefore World War One, how they became such a powerful organisation, howthey attempted to deal with the aftermath of an air crash in which theirfirst-team squad, as well as reserves, coaching and training staff anddirectors perished, and how the disaster has affected the Torino club tothe present-day. The story begins and ends in Turin, 50 years after thetragedy of Superga, and the result is a compelling work, telling of adisaster which is little-known outside Italy but which had a huge impact onfootball in that country.
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