The Fifties... "A man from Parma got us relegated. A man from Parma will get us promoted". So was it. From Serie C, to Serie B and getting closer to the Serie A
The Fifties. The beautiful Fifties, opened up with the atmosphere created by the movie series of “Peppone e Don Camillo,” taken from the novels of Mr. Giovannino Guareschi. The stories perfectly described the atmosphere in Italy of those years with the political party of Catholic area against the Communist one. Ac Reggiana kept battling to stay alive in Serie B. In 1950-51, the club felt it had the chance to try to fight for promotion in Serie A thanks to the young talent of Frignani, who will eventually play with the Ac Milan and with the National Team. Reggiana played a friendly with the Italian National team in Parma. The problem is that from one year to the other, the entire offense changed. Frignani, Scagliarini, Torti, Cafasso, and, Dal Bon, all of them were gone. For the manager, it proved to be tough to find substitutes at the same level. That is why the start of the 1951-52 season was quite shaky, in spite of the striker Tieghi who came straight from Livorno. After a few games, the midfielder Mannocci arrived. At management level, Mr. Giorgio Degola joined Mr. Lari and Mr. Visconti in the club ownership. That was a dark year, with just one highlight: the win against Parma in the derby. Besides that, the season is a major disappointment, culminated with the relegation in Serie C. The restart was with a new manager: Guido Masetti who was a former Roma Fc goalkeeper. Masetti brought with him the midfielder Lovagnini and the former Lazio, Flamini. There were a couple of foreigners: Sandukcic and Lipizer. Danilo Bonini was back with the team. The team couldn’t find the right chemistry and jumped from struggle to struggle. Reggiana needed to win the derby against Parma to stay safe from relegation. It was the 27th March 1953, and Reggiana won 2-1 on the pitch. However, one Parma’s officer, Mr. Carrega, denounced the club for bribery. Another officer, Mr. Rognoni, brought him to a “dodgy” meeting with Mr. Giorgio Degola. Reggiana was eventually penalized with 20 points and got relegated in Serie D.
Mr. Visconti, Mr. Degola, and Mr. Lari threatened to leave the club. The City Council lent a hand by giving resources to the organization in exchange for the presence of some representatives in the club’s council (Mr. Felisetti, Mr. Baldi, and Mr. Landini). The first two Serie D leagues were utter disappointing, in spite of the fact that 1954 Gigi Delgrosso, who arrived from Parma, was the new club manager. Mr. Visconti was caught saying: “A man from Parma got us relegated. A man from Parma will get us promoted”. Reggiana found itself playing against the likes of Caravaggio, Vobarno, Ponte San Pietro, and Casalmaggiore. Reggiana with Catalani, Lucianetti, Mazzucchi, and Cappi, wins big during that season. The club ended up first on the table with the playoff in sight against Bolzano. “Forza Reggiana”‘s headline was “Three hours to decide our destiny.” Reggiana won before 10.000 people at the Mirabello Stadium thanks to a scorcher of Mazzucchi with few minutes left to the end. Reggiana won the second leg too, thanks to a goal by Cappi.
Reggiana got back in Serie C. The party could finally start. The club started the new league with high goals, thanks to the presence of the local talents like Sereni and Malavasi, the new anchor in midfield Zoppelletto, the striker Perli, who would end up seriously injured during the season, and the Di Mauro brothers. The club was dreaming about promotion. In the end, the season was a good one, and the goal of reaching the Serie B was postponed a season later. Del Grosso is a “killer,” Grevi, Rosini and Latini arrived from Carrara; Pistacchi came from Palermo, and Maselli, Gardoni, Corsi e Maselli. Reggiana defeated Ravenna 3-0 at home before 11.000 people jam packed into the stands.
The promotion in Serie B arrived with the win against Pro Patria in the last match of the season. Mr Visconti was right “a man from Parma got us promoted.” Gigi Del Grosso has been the only one from Parma to have the better hand over the “Ducali.” Mirabello was too small for the Serie B, hence a new stand was built, and another grew bigger. Reggiana lost Catalani gone to Monza, who is replaced by Dimitri Pinti a striker who will make waves with Pistacchi. Orlando was the experienced goalie, the right winger was Tribuzio and the right full back Gatti. Reggiana was so close to Serie A, defeating Modena and Parma. In the end, Reggiana arrived fourth while Palermo and Atalanta are promoted in Serie A. In 1959 Reggiana began the season firing. After six days of the League, the “granata” were on top of the table alone, but the injury to Pinti proved to be a big blow for the team, and it started to slow down. Nevertheless, Reggiana fought for the promotion until the end. It was the loss in Catania (1-0) to shatter every hope of Serie A. It was missed by a hair, and Reggio needed to wait for other 33 years to see this dream come true….
(To be continued…)