Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Thousands gather for Sensi funeral

Thousands gathered outside the Basilica di San Lorenzo Fuori le Mura in Rome to pay their final respects as Roma President Franco Sensi's funeral took place.

Sensi funeral in RomeThe touching service was attended by leading figures from across Italy's footballing spectrum as well as Sensi's family and the Roma squad.

Veteran Roma striker Vincenzo Montella read out a letter on behalf of the squad. "Our strength will be our unity and we will perform in such a way as to make you smile wherever you are," he read.

"None of us can forget the passion with which you always followed us.

"You were always with us: sometimes like a president, sometimes like a second father. You did so much for Roma, for the Rome people and the Roma fans.

"We won't leave you on your own and we won't leave your family. Goodbye president, you are always with us."

Around 5,000 fans listened to the service through speakers outside the church and Sensi's wife, Maria, expressed her gratitude, saying: "I want to thank the many people who are under the sun, thanks to all of you, friends and relatives and the squad, your presence has moved me."

Sensi's coffin was carried to the cemetery by players including Christian Panucci, new signing Julio Baptista and captain Francesco Totti, as well as the coach Luciano Spalletti.

Galliani soakedThe event was marred by an attack on AC Milan vice-President Adriano Galliani who was soaked by a bottle of water and was greeted by whistles and insults by a small group of Roma fans as he arrived.

Inter President Massimo Moratti was also greeted by whistles but fans applauded Delio Rossi - coach of bitter city rivals Lazio - and Juventus President Giovanni Cobolli Gigli.

Sensi died on Sunday night at the age of 82, after a lengthy illness, and tributes have flooded in since then for the club's longest serving - and most successful - leader.

The coffin was laid out in a chapel of rest for people to pay their respects to on Tuesday and Wednesday morning and people turned up en masse to do so.

Source: Sporting Life

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