August 16, 2007

Italy

How cricket made Italian football

Martin Williamson

Supporters of Genoa, Italy's oldest professional football club, have long been proud of their Anglo roots. Founded, like AC Milan, by a group of Brits in 1893 as Genoa Cricket and Athletic Club (Sir James Spensley started the football in 1896), it's still officially known as Genoa Cricket and Football Club.

Things have been going well on the footballing front of late, with i grifoni (the Griffins) finally winning promotion back into Italy's Serie A after a series of false starts. Now, a group of supporters keen to know more about their distant cricketing past approached the club and are giving cricket a new lease of life.

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Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Martin Williamson
Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.

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