A lightning of Parma glory days memories passes through a just released Dutch publication about the Vitesse European adventure “Vitesse Europa in”, by Ferry Reurink.
Ferry Reurink, journalist and Vitesse historitian, was our guest during past season to collect material and make some interviews about the two matches where Parma and Vitesse were involved in 1994/95 UEFA cup.
The book, full of unreleased pictures and memories, it a testify of a Football era that passed, when staying together was the essence of supporting, when traveling for an European cup match what the chance to discover places, to make friends (sometimes enemies), live adventures.
The Parma chapter has been completed thanks to the contribution of Andy Gardener (author of an english Parma supporters fanzine “One team in Emilia” during 90s), Giuseppe Squarcia (Parma Supporters Liaison Officer and former Boys) and Angelo Manfredini (president of Centro Coordinamento Parma Clubs). Inside you can find some Tardini and Piazza Garibaldi unseen pictures taken by Vitesse supporters.
We would like to thank Ferry for contacting us and for his professionality and kindness and all the Parma Family that, as usual, accept our invitations with an incredible enthusiasm.
Two months have passed since the last trip to Turin. Two months without headquarters, without parts, without aggregation. In the face we have the prospect of remaining for a long period without stages, with a thousand uncertainties as to what it will be like when they reopen, and if we could go back to experiencing them from Ultras as we have always done. The first step will be to reopen the headquarters, return to live and reason from the Group, find the incentives and motivations to survive, try to reach all our activities, those that we will manage a rate anyway, increasing those extra cheering, to get to next year to still have the stimuli and the need to continue to keep the headquarters open. In August there will be 43 years of the boys’ life, 43 years in which the boys became communities, developing belonging to the young Parmigiani and becoming the reference point for all Parma fans. Now it is everyone’s job to remain united, to continue to be a community, not individual fans, to preserve traditions and defend, we remember that what we have earned and where we have come in these years. We will try to organize aggregation moments, as soon as possible, in order to find ourselves again, and not to lose the sense of aggregation and friendship that has been created over the years, cheering together in the Curva Nord Matteo Bagnaresi.
On May 27th will be the thirty years of our first promotion in Serie A. We had plans to celebrate this day, but unfortunately nothing can be done, it is not the right time. However, we thought of a way to remember the 30 years of the promotion, a day like Vicenza, 4 May 86, Wembley, the Bologna playoff, the bankruptcy, the promotion in Spezia, the days that made our community great.
We decided to make a scarf for May 27, to fix one of the most important days lived by the boys and our city in history, a memory for those who come, despite everything, want to continue to keep our values, our traditions alive and the ideal Ultras of our city: THE BOYS PARMA 1977.
30 YEARS FROM 27TH MAY 1990
This date will always be special for Parma, from more than 30 years it is tattooed in our town history. A day that elevated Parma, his Ultras and his fans to a pure pleasure state, a day that gave us the first memorable promotion in Serie A, that launched us into following 30 years, full of satisfactions, from both ultras and football points of view. A day that gave us the most important trophy, the Ghetto banner, main symbol of hated Reggiana cousin. […] We were in Tardini, not in Wembley, but what Parma lives that 27th may 1990, it was maybe the best day for Boys Parma 1977 in our 43 years.
We decided to celebrate 30 years from 27th may 1990 with a scarf that could honor both conquers and keep those memories alive.
Boys Parma 1977 released a statement today to underline their dislike for a restart of Football with no fans in the stadium. Here is the document that has been singned by Boys and over 350 fans groups in Italy and all around Europe: from Bayern Munich to Juventus Ultras, from Curva Sur Madrid to Sporting Lisbon’s Torcida Verde.
“STOP FOOTBALL WITHOUT FANS
Europe is under Coronavirus attack. Government decided for a total lockdown, taking care of the most precious thing: public health. first target for everyone. So we think it is reasonable a total stop of European Football.
Football governance expressed since the beginning his only intention: RESTART. We are strongly sure that the only ones to step the field would be economical interests and this is confirmed by the fact that the League should have a closed doors restart, without the beating heart of this “popular sport”: FANS.
It reasonable to assume that, once again, money supremacy step up human life importance.
So, we firmly ask to who manage this decisions to keep the stop for football competitions, until fill the stadiums will be again a safe habit with no risks for human health.
Football- system is in a difficult situation, caused to the bad administration of last decades. Bad administration that we always tried to underline with the only target to protect the most beautiful sport in the world.
Nowadays Football is considered more an “industry” than a sport, where the pay-TV keep the control over Clubs throught TV rights letting them pay excessive salary to the players; fomenting the hunger of football agents who’s only target is to fill their bank accounts as much as possible. A system based only on business and personal interests that, if it will not be resized will bring to a only end: THE FOOTBALL DEATH.
We would like to underline that, if Ultras would have the minimum intention to make money on what it is out passion (as we could read on media during last days), we would push for a restart rather than fight for this option not becoming real.
All this have to change. We are ready to discuss with who needed to bring Football to the origin, to go back living our bigger passion firsthand, to let this be again A POPULAR SPORT.”
We translate this article from Gazzetta.it (thanks Mai Stata Storia Facebook page for the hint) because is a must-read, in our opinion. We ask sorry if with our non professional translation is not as accurate as Mario Salvini (that we thanks so much) piece deserves.
”Watching now videos on YouTube, you think it is a pity not have heard from inside Wembley, live, the Carlo Nesti sentence: ‘For the town and for the sporty soul of Parma it came a day it will be difficult to forget’.
In fact we are here, 25 years later [this Salvini’s article was published in 2018]. A picture of that slice of yellow and blue stands and all comes back in mind. Incredulity, more than trepidation. We had to repeat ourselves, that we were there. And that that was Empire Stadium, Wembley. But, more than the rest, that we were there for Parma.
I do know that maybe it could seem sickening what I’m about to describe, so be it!, it was exactly what it happened. While we were waiting I went upstairs, in the middle of the stand. There was a group, young guys like us, together with adults. Maybe fathers and sons. They brought a cutting board and – this was curious – a big knife to cut a salame. They gave a slice to who was passing there. Another man, older, with two wedding rings on the same finger, said thanks, took a slice and said ‘Mo g’pensot? A sema a Wembley’ . Can you believe it? We are in Wembley. ‘I used to go to away games with my wife with a Vespa, in Tortona, in Lodi, in Crema. E adesa sema chi‘. And now we are here.
Here at the Winner’s Cup final . Until three years ago Parma was never been in Serie A. Those that were in the stand holding yellow and blue balloons, in their life, most probably had seen more serie C matches than serie B ones, in Tardini.
In three seasons we lived the promotions to serie A, thanks to a victory in a derby with Reggiana; then Coppa Italia, won beating Juventus in the final. It all seemed too much. Nobody ostensibly could imagine to have a bigger party that that Coppa Italia final. But we were there. I still don’t exactly know how many of us. I read 16.000, or 13.000. I don’t know. We were all there. And it was our celebration. That one, for sure, would be never back. Maybe we didn’t realize it at the moment. But nothing would ever been like in those three days: the celebration of Parma, of our sense of belonging. For someone, many, the celebration of friendship.
Because if a team like Parma goes to an European final it is not the same as for Juve, AC Milan or Inter. We were just Parmesan people, proud as children. Few things could ever unite us like those three days. When is a big Club to go in a final the group of friends splits. Maybe someone, between the finalist’s supporter, decides to go watching the match. Others stay home, many jinxing. We all left to London.
At least on one thing in our life we had no doubt about: Parma AC. And it was not a matter of supporting. It was not important how strong fans we were, how many away matches we attended, or which part of our lifes was devoted to football and Parma. What it did matter was that we all agreed. Like it happen in every little town home team. But little town home teams doesn’t go to an European cup final. And they never play in Wembley.
So, for three days, I met middle and elementary school classmates in Trafalgar Square, in Covent Garden, in a Baker Street pub. And my old coach in Harrodsburg, and in Regent Street a couple that lived in my same building, the floor above me. Then groups of lads like me, those that in town you see million times and never greet. But when you meet there, queued to enter in Equinox, seems to be like your cousins.
London saw those strange supporters distractedly, those that stand in the same bars together with Antwerp fans. All of us took many pictures with Belgian fans. Police controlled, discreetly: ‘When did you arrive? By plane? It’s the first time Parma is in a final, right? Can we look into your bags, please?’
First friends of us arrived in our King’s Cross bed and breakfast on matchday morning: ‘We passed around here’ . It was a continuum, then. Until the meeting with those who left Parma that same morning. And that would be back during the night. All in 24 hours, maybe less.
I asked to one of those friends what he remembers more than everything. And he answered: ‘the way to the stadium’. Long, straight, white. Around us many known faces. Greetings and silly encouragement with everyone. Those two towers that we saw many times in pictures or on TV that become closer and closer. More and more majestic. The feeling to enter into mythical place. It wouldn’t be the same anywhere, not in Bernabeu, nor in Parc des Princes. Wembley is the Football. Parma, us, that day was italian football.
The wait and the sensation that following three hours could be filled with everything. Anyway, with something we would never forget. But I was never scared to loose, not before, not during the match. Not when Antwerp drew. Actually, even the first goal, very beautiful even watching it many times, by Minotti, seemed so logical. The normal consequence of those two days and a half spent in London. The Severeyns draw was just a predictable hitch, arrived to make all the rest a bit more thrilling. Then Melli with a header. Don’t worry, they will never reach us. Then Cuoghi with the fists in the air. It’s over, even if still six or seven minutes lasts.
I saw many people crying. And a friend of mine climbing and waving his arms. Behind him, on the screen, the text ‘Congratulations Parma AC’. That is my image for 12nd May 1993.
Then, during the night I heard those who sang Curva Nord chants in Piccadilly Circus. We were seated in the ground. In any other night of our life, with all London still to be enjoyed, there would be so many interesting things to do. But not that night. That night we could even stand there, seated.
Marco Ferrari just posted on his Facebook public page this comment on the new Coronavirus emergency rules that will be real since 4th of May and that will allow running but not professional training for teams (even if in protected conditions).
”From 4th of May, Bruno Alves & co. could go running in Cittadella [Parma town public park], maybe capturing the people’s interest, with the risk to create gatherings, contacts and potential infections. But they wouldn’t do the same thing, controlled, isolated and following a strict security protocol in Collecchio training center. It seems a paradox, but it is what the new rules impose about the team sports, that forbid the opening of the training centers of the team sport. At least for the two weeks following 4th of may. Then we will see.
I don’t know if and when there will be the conditions to restart with the Campionato in total security. I neither know if it is correct to try to do it – even if is a necessary choice – since we are all teared apart and suspended between the evidency that an entire business that stops will never have the energy to restart again and the sadness of an empty stadiums scenario with the echoes of ambulances in our cities.
I do know that the first step to a possible restart it had been made off the wrong foot and I hope that there will be the lucidity to remedy, avoiding to create paradoxical and potentially risky situations for the athletes’ health.”
A very unique document that we can show thanks to Rai Sport, of course, and to the friendship with Parma Museum Association, whose members discovered this document of a 1960/61 season match.
In that match Parma lost 0-1 against Mantova, so called Piccolo Brasile [the Small Brasil] because of their incredible rise from 4th division to Serie A in few year. The interesting part of the video is the stadium: quite unusual for an Italian football match to see the audience so close to the pitch. And surely these are unique images of Tardini like that.
Again, thanks to Rai Sport and to Paolo and all the Parma Museum association crew to allow us to publish this document.
What we still didn’t tell is what was inside the pack [translated from this article on Official Parma website]: ”Many support messages under the same motto ‘Chinese fans are with you against Corona Virus’. Here some example of permanent memories for every fans that lives far away his football love: pictures that represents those chances in which they could get in contact with what they care. Someone taking a pic with D’Aversa, some other with some legend of the past, someone proudly wearing a scarf or a crusaders jersey. A great gesture that, we can assure you, moved everyone. Thansk Nevin, thanks Parma Fans from China”