Friday, September 09, 2011

Richard Williams: Juventus open doors to new home with Notts County as starstruck guests

They could have invited Barcelona, Real Madrid or Manchester United to inaugurate their fine new stadium. Instead a great Italian institution summoned the club standing 12th in the third tier of English football to join Thursday's opening ceremony and, if there has been a more elegant gesture in the history of football, it would be good to hear of it.

For it was Notts County, in 1903, who answered the call of a Juventus member, an Englishman named John Savage, to send a set of the club's black and white striped shirts to replace the pink numbers worn by the players of the Italian club since their founding by a group of students six years earlier. Thus did Notts, who were then midway through a spell in the old First Division, save Juventus from a century of being confused with pink-shirted Palermo.

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