Young people have their future in their hands. But also ours.
Today is November 30, 2023.
It is cold.
It’s one of those typically autumn days that physically bring us into winter.
You can feel the humidity in your bones.
You’re running errands in the center and you’ll have them all day but the house, the radiator on, maybe a nice plate of anolini for the evening are already fantastic.
Then you pass via Saffi.
You shouldn’t have taken that road, but you find yourself there coming from San Giovanni and passing through Borgo del Correggio.
At a certain point you have a flash of inspiration, an illumination, you perceive your best smile under the collar of your jacket.
Did it occur to you that in these same days, but 110 years ago, a group of young boys from Parma met in those parts to plan the future.
Enthusiastic, excited, full of ideas and projects and at the same time cold and wrapped in their heavy cloaks, they walk quickly through the city fog.
They come from the villages of the Historic Center and Oltretorrente, some from the outskirts of Prati Bocchi and San Leonardo. With two very heavy bicycles, there are those arriving from San Lazzaro.
At the time Parma was always wonderful, but not that great.
There rich images of hopes and dreams, warming themselves by the fire of the stove inside the tavern, and while they try to warm themselves by rubbing their hands, these young boys talk about the future and the football team they want to create.
Some of them have already participated in a football tournament (grouping under the temporary name of the Verdi Foot Ball Club), but they are so enthusiastic that they want to stabilize and make that brief previous experience lasting.
They think big: “…we have to create our city’s football team and we will call it PARMA FOOT BALL CLUB!!!”
Imagine twenty-year-old boys, sitting at the tables of a tavern in Via Saffi, on a cold November evening in 1913, talking, shouting, smiling, waving, dreaming, drawing, asking each other a thousand and a thousand questions, but they are animated by an iron will and a common goal and thanks to this they overcome all obstacles, overcome any impediment.
Try to imagine how much determination and how much healthy enthusiasm I could have had in planning and realizing a dream that changed and improved the lives of thousands and thousands of future Parma residents or Parma fans.
Without them, without their evenings in the cold to meet and talk about Parma, we probably wouldn’t be here today.
But fortunately we are here and on 16 December 2023 we will celebrate the 110th anniversary of the birth of the most beautiful football club in the world.
Here, dear young people from the Curva (and not only) who perhaps will read these lines: we hope you have the same imagination, the same will, the same determination that your peers had 110 years ago.
We hope you imagine the Curva Nord and the Ennio Tardini Stadium in the most beautiful, colourful, loudest and most engaging way possible.
We hope you overcome your doubts, shyness, scruples and do everything possible so that our support can be an example for the young people to come.
We hope you have the same enthusiasm, the same excitement, the same will to make your dreams come true, exactly like those who imagined Parma football in the autumn of 1913.
1913 seems very distant and yet the fruits of that amazing sowing are still here today. And they will remain so for who knows how many decades to come.
Dear young Parma people or not Parma people but Parma fans: don’t be afraid of the future, because it is in your hands, in your head and in your heart.
If you listen to them and follow, we will listen to you and follow you.