Dressing Italian in Grimsby

That was the weekend that was
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The Independent Online
It is only natural that a club should want to make a foreigner feel at home but few have gone to the same extraordinary lengths as Grimsby. The Mariners have had their black and white strip modified on the lines of the Juventus kit in order to please their Italian forward, Ivano Bonetti.

It is part of a pounds 180,000 four-year deal the club has struck with Italian kit manufacturers Lotto. Amid talk of a place in the Premiership, Blundell Park fans also raised pounds 50,000 to keep the former Juve and Sampdoria player on Humberside for the remainder of the season. Now they greet him his every appearance with a sea of "tricolori" flags, several thousand of which have been sold for this Wednesday's FA Cup replay against West Ham.

And player-manager Brian Laws is even considering a second swoop on the Italian market after Bonetti recommended a check on 32-year-old sweeper Luca Pelligrini, his former Sampdoria team-mate.

However since Bonetti's goal at Tranmere on 25 November lifted them into second place, Grimsby have failed to win another League game. Bonetti probably blames it on the new away kit - red and white stripes in the style of Milan.

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