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Sampdoria's Garrone mourned by Italian football

Tuesday 22 January 2013 12.36 CET
Riccardo Garrone acquired Sampdoria in 2002

Italian football is mourning the death of UC Sampdoria president Riccardo Garrone, who passed away on Monday evening after a long illness.

Garrone, an oil magnate and father of six who would have turned 77 on Wednesday, bought Sampdoria in 2002 when the Blucerchiati were in Serie B and immediately oversaw the Genoa-based club's return to the top flight. A statement on their website said: "Gentleman, husband, father, grandfather, industrialist, sports manager.

"We just want to remember him under the Curva Sud with a scarf around his neck, with his arms to the sky. As Sampdoria fans, we want to remember and thank him."

One-time Italian champions Sampdoria finished fourth in Serie A in 2009/10, qualifying for the UEFA Champions League play-offs, where they lost to SV Werder Bremen after extra time. "Today is one of the saddest days of my life," said FC Internazionale Milano forward Antonio Cassano, a key member of that team. "He'll be forever in my heart and I'll always remember him."

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