Thousands pay tribute to Piermario Morosini

 

Livorno's players and thousands of supporters today paid their respects to Piermario Morosini, who died while playing for the club in a Serie B match at the weekend.

Morosini collapsed during Saturday's game at Pescara and was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.

The 25-year-old's coffin was today taken to Livorno's Armando Picchi stadium, where its arrival was greeted by the large crowd, many of whom had earlier laid down candles, cards, flowers and flags at the main gates.

A blessing by Livorno's bishop Simone Giusti followed and fans were invited to place flowers and scarfs on the coffin before Morosini's hearse completed a circuit of the stadium in front of packed grandstands.

Morosini's body has now been taken to his home city of Bergamo, where his funeral will take place on Thursday.

A minute's silence will be held in Morosini's honour at all Italian football matches this weekend.

Livorno, who Morosini joined on loan from Udinese in January, have said they will retire his number 25 shirt, and today club legend Igor Protti revealed he had requested a section of the Picchi to be renamed in Morosini's honour.

"I asked the mayor to dedicate a section of the stadium, and they said he fully agreed. Now we will see how to proceed," Protti said.

Protti added on Sky Sport 24: "It was a very moving occasion and very hard to swallow for everyone, especially for the family of course.

"Football in these past days has demonstrated a unity which in recent times there has never been.

"I saw our opponents' fans, like those of Pisa, come here to pay tribute to Piermario, and I saw in the eyes of players who observed the minute's silence a sense of disbelief about what has happened.

"I never knew him when he was here in Livorno for three months, but these past days I got to know him from the statements of his friends and team-mates, and he comes out as a great person."

Yesterday, an autopsy carried out on Morosini returned inconclusive results.

The post-mortem examination lasted more than six hours but a coroner later confirmed further tests were required.

PA

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