Italian fan reveals his Baggies experiences
WELCOME back to My Albion, our weekly feature on wba.co.uk where you, the fans, the heartbeat of this football club, tell us why you love the Baggies and why they mean so much to you.
Fronting up week three is an Italian supporter who fell in love with Albion during a year-long stay in England as a 17-year-old.
Let’s crack on.
Lorenzo Felicetti, you are a 19-year-old Albion fan living in Rome. How did you come to support the club all the way from Italy?
Well as a 17-year-old I enjoyed a year abroad in England. My host grandfather took me to see Albion’s game against Villa in 2013. I remember that Shane Long had scored two goals after just a few minutes and Albion were 2-0 up. I simply loved the atmosphere and the colours were similar to my home team, Lazio. The stadium was incredible. We sat in the Brummie Road and we were so close to the pitch. I could see the players from only a few yards away. The Olympic Stadium in Rome has a running track between the pitch and the stands so you can barely see the ball. Watching the Baggies from such a close distance was outstanding. I couldn’t help but fall in love with it, but I do find it very weird to have started supporting a club at such a late age.
When was the last time you were at The Hawthorns?
The last time was for the final game of the 2013/14 season when Stoke beat us 2-1 which was a shame. We were already safe so overall it wasn’t such a bad day out I suppose. I am planning on coming back to The Hawthorns very soon.
How do you follow our games from Italy?
I live very far away from West Bromwich so I usually follow the latest news on the club’s Facebook page. I am lucky because I can watch Albion’s matches on Sky Italy which has full coverage of the Barclays Premier League. When I can’t be in front of the television, I listen to the radio on my phone. I could never miss out on Albion. I have to follow, one way or another.
Do many people in Italy talk about West Bromwich Albion?
I wouldn’t say so. Plenty of Italians are interested in English football but hardly anyone supports a team other than the big clubs. I reckon a day at The Hawthorns would convince anyone that Albion is a special club. I personally feel privileged to support Albion. It’s the same thing in Rome. Almost everyone supports Roma and Lazio fans are the minority. I’m proud to support the Baggies.
Do you have a favourite player?
My favourite player ever is Jeff Astle. How could I reply in any other way? My host grandfather told me countless stories about him. He was such a brave, strong striker and he scored the decisive goal in the 1968 FA Cup Final. I felt really connected to his story and his cause too. I really liked the Astle Day initiative last season. I feel as though it is our duty to remember a legend like Jeff, both on and off the pitch.
What about a favourite kit?
I love the navy and white stripes kit, I find it beautiful. I also really like the 1968 FA Cup Final kit, especially the badge. I wish our away kit could be that one. I’m not a massive fan of our red one at the moment to be honest. The green and yellow stripes would be great. However, at the end of the day, all that matters is Albion and not the shirt the players play in.
What has been the best match you have seen us play in your time supporting the club?
Definitely the 2-1 win at Old Trafford. Two quality goals by two quality players and three vital points.
And finally Lorenzo, what does West Bromwich Albion mean to you?
The club represents an important part in my life. I spent a year in England experiencing a new culture and improving my English, but it didn’t stop there. Once I started feeling committed to the club, I couldn’t just walk away as soon as my time in the West Midlands was over. I still follow all of the latest news and all of the matches. I very much look forward to coming back to The Hawthorns and visiting my host family. I feel lucky to be an Albion fan and I think my love will last a lifetime.
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