Wednesday, 19 November 2014

My Toro Story #2 : Brian Rea

Name : Brian Rea

Other Teams Supported : Man City and Glentoran

How and when did you start supporting Torino : Well the clue is Man City, the team I have supported since 1953! So when Denis Law went to Torino for one year in 1960/61 I think, I began to take an interest in Il Grande Torino and have never regretted it. Since retiring in 2001 I have been to Turin several times and at my first game at the Stadio delle Alpi I noticed a sign CIAO DENIS which sent a shiver down my spine. I have read the history of the club in the book The Day Italian Football Died by Alexandra Manna,a Torino supporter and her English husband Mike Gibbs,which I would recommend.

Apart from discovering Torino in the sixties, my first chance to see them live was on the old channel 4 coverage, though we did not appear that often. I do remember two old games in particular - Juventus v Torino(2001/2), 3 - 3 and the play off games against Mantova which I think were shown on Channel 5. The Juve game I saw on the midnight show and I knew the result otherwise I would have switched off at half time. 3 nil down Torino came back to draw 3 all and Juve missed a penalty in the last few minutes. Dramatic or what! I seem to remember also a Juve player mocking our supporters by running around with two fingers on top of his head imitating a bull. When Ferrante did the same after our equaliser, running the length of the pitch towards our end, the atmosphere was indescribable. I was,to use the old cliche, over the moon. The play off was equally memorable, 4 - 2 down after the first leg,having conceded 2 penalties and going 4 - 1 down, coming back to almost make it 4 - 3, things did not seem too promising. After 90 minutes of the 2nd leg the scores were tied, Torino winning 2 nil, so extra time began and we went 3 nil up. Game over but Mantova scored a penalty and needed one more to go up instead of Torino. The last 15/20 minutes were unbearable but the euphoria at the end was unsurpassed. I remember the team clambering on to a giant bull behind one of the goals. Not a real one of course. This was beginning of the Cairo years.

First Match Attended : This was against Albinoleffe in Serie B about 7/8 years ago in the Stadio Delle Alpi which was an easy victory. It was a very emotional moment for me when the team emerged from the tunnel in their famous colours. This was the first time I was seeing them in the flesh and seeing the Denis Law sign was the icing on the cake, even though he had returned to United after Torino.  Last season I was at the Inter game which ended 3 - 3 on a wet night in Turin. I am sure most of our exiled supporters saw it on TV, so no need to go into detail.

Favourite Current Players : I only have fairly recent memories. I always enjoyed watching Rosina and from last years team Immobile naturally. I hope he does well at Dortmund. I was really pleased to see 3 of our players in the national squad at the World Cup. Currently, I like Darmian and Glik who is a great captain and leader on the pitch.

Predictions/Hopes for this Season : I hope we can consolidate. We have signed a few new players which should give us depth.We will miss Immobile but I am reasonably hopeful. Ventura has done a really good job so far and I enjoy our style of play. We have been a great counter attacking side so I look forward to more of the same this season.

Feel free to email your Toro story to torinoblogger@hotmail.co.uk and I'll add it to the website.

Forza Toro

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