Felice Romano: the first Reggiana Idol

Felice Romano: the first Reggiana Idol

The biography of Felice Romano first and only Reggiana player that worn the jerseys of Reggiana and Italy at the same time

19 Felice RomanoHe was born in Argentina, but we can consider it Italian and even reggiano in every respect. And ‘native, son of Italian immigrants, and arrives in Italy with family, in Turin, still a child. still in

bands, his family took him to Switzerland where they had moved for business reasons. He frequented elementary schools in the city of Turin, but his real passion, is the football. He begins to play football when he was over ten years, but the war did not allow him starting any competitive activity if not after the guns have ceased their deafening noises. He was hired by the team

of Torino and get into the first team where plays the championships of 1919-20 and 1920-21.

It remains to Turin until 1921, when Pietranera, factotum of the new Reggiana, and secret agent

of the great Sturmer, picks it up by the Turin’s granata, putting on the plate an astronomical salary for Reggio: 1,500 lire a month. Considering that the players of Reggiana were not paid at all or were refunded with few hundreds of pounds. Romano is the only player of Reggiana wearing at the same time the  jersey of the national team and Reggiana. He played four times for Italy national team: in 1921 in Geneva, against Switzerland, in 1922 in Turin against Czechoslovakia, in Milan against Belgium and in Bologna even against Switzerland. He also partecipated at the disastrous expedition of Budapest when Italy was defeated by Hungary 7 to 1. In Reggio is the first true football idol.

In 1922 his goals are worth to Reggiana salvation, in 1922-23 is player-coach and 1923-24 is the real star of the promotion in the top league of the granata. Then plays well in the next two championships of first national division with the granata , constituting, together with Anton Powolny, a binomial formidable attack.

At the end of the 1925-26 season, he prefers to remain in the top flight, being Reggiana

relegated. It is taken from Genoa, team with which some years earlier had participated with in a tour in South America. The amount encased from Reggiana for its sale is really significant: 45,000 liras. With rossoblù plays one championship, 1926-27, then an injury knee forces him to practically leave the football, at only 32 years. Felice Romano returns to Reggio in 1928 and he resumed training with Reggiana, disputing the top flight league.

Grits his teeth, he feels he can do it. Resumes kicking the ball, and becomes a sort of Futre

avant la lettre. Will play only two matches in the Reggiana in the 1928-1929 season, scoring

also a goal, and another game in the following season (1929-1930). But in 34-35 years the injury not allowed him to do better. It remains in Reggio and it will not move anymore. In 1931-32 is Reggiana coach and so after the war (1945-46 season), when it is replaced by Janos Vanicek. Romano remains linked to Reggiana. He died in solitude and misery in 1971. Those 1,500 lire a month had expenses really all.

Marco Bertolini

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