Football Adventures with Stephen Beddows

SM Top 100 co-owner Stephen Beddows (Frank being David Gold and Gordon being Karen Brady) this weekend went on a football adventure to arguably one of the uglier cities of Northern Italy, Turin to watch some top-flight football and here follows an account of his experiences.

It was Sunday 10th April, the day after my daughters birthday and mid-way through our mini-break to Italy and I decided that I’d had enough of my in-laws: hearing my mother in-law complain about everything and everyone apart from herself  and her making excuses to ‘go out’ and ‘be selfish’ putting herself first as always and never actually realising how she portrays herself to other people such as myself…

Back to topic with my daughter dropped off and arriving at the train station in Alba, a pretty little town in Northern Italy I had my first challenge to surmount, the train. I always surmount challenges with great enthusiasm many girls have told me and this one was no different my first ride on an Italian train for 12 months… and a trip to that ugly city of Turin to watch the least ugly of its two sides, Torino… its a good job Juventus hadn’t have been at home otherwise I’d have stayed with the mother in-law.

An Italian Train

The Italian trains (I had to change) were late getting me into Torino Porta Nuova 30 minutes late which was highly annoying at it was now 2pm with kick off scheduled for 3pm local time. I had of course done all of my pre-match research and was particularly keen to see AC Milan superstar (On SM) turn out for Torino and I was also interested to watch Sportiello play in goal for Atalanta as he has been touted as a decent future prospect but I hadn’t really planned or read up on the Turin public transport strike of Sunday which was to take place at 5.30pm… :/

I had been informed by the native mother of my children of the correct route by tram to take to arrive at the Olympic Stadium in Turin but decided to ignore her advice and took the advice of some locals who directed me via the metro and a bus to the Torino Olympic Stadium and then I went to purchase my ticket for my first Top Flight Italian game for a number of years, since 2008 in fact and I was mildly surprised at the cost of the ticket.
I generally pay 2x as much to watch Burton Albion in League 1
The time was now about 2:30pm and I thought about my stomach so proceeded to a nearby bar to buy some food, a slice of pizza naturally and a Birra Moretti and as all good Englishmen when abroad I decided to strike up a conversation with a local called Paolo. It wasn’t Maldini but Paolo something or other and he shared a drink with me and offered to show me where to go in the stadium and said I could watch the match with him.

Olympic Stadium Torino
So off I went with my new friend, Paolo (not Maldini) towards the stadium and an afternoon of football which I planned to follow with a English pub trip to watch Tottenham v Man Utd later in the evening. 
The stadium (having been rebuilt for the Winter Olympics I believe) was a lot less modern than I thought and I soon learnt that it wasn’t actually rebuild at all, just made smaller which I didnt really understand but what the hell eh… I was delighted by the intricate layout of the stadium, a simple bowl but what sticks in my mind most is when you go to the toilet the urinals are facing towards the pitch with a gap above them so that you can watch the game at the same time – ingenious… 
Whilst the urinals were obviously a big plus point, the fact that you can still smoke in Italian stadiums is a real downer for me and was a downside of the experience. 
I spent the first ten minutes or so chatting and learning some of the chats such as…
vaffanculo Atalanta
odio Bergamo
chi non salta e bianco e nero 
and quickly mastered the songs joining in with Paolo and his friends.
Very quickly a goal by Bruno Peres after a delightful through ball by Acquah (who plays for Beddows in England 7777.) The fans were clearly delighted.
Paolo was just as delighted and as a 47 year old life long Torino fan he decided to buy some more beers.

Paolo was delighted 

Early in the 2nd half Torino scored again to make it 2-0, within a minute of the restart with Bruno Peres this time turning provider for Maxi Lopez to make it two.

Atalanta then played some Louis Van Gaal style football, side to side, backwards and then side to side again and eventually after doing this for 10 mintues they won a free kick and scored directly from it. (I have the video coverage but it is so boring I decided to not upload it.)

Torino won 2-1 and many Toro fans were delighted as they were apparently now mathemtically safe and not going to get relegated.

After the game with the transport strike in mind Paolo offered to drive me directly to the English Pub near to the station to watch the World’s greatest team Manchester United, he agreed to drop me off and join me after he’d nipped to a local record fair that was going on nearby, he is a fan of vinyls and records apparently.

Obviously Man Utd were terrible… losing emphatically! And to drown my sorrows after that I went to Mcdonalds before taking the train back to see the Mother in Law!

Beer at Mcdonalds One of Europe’s best assets


  1. Good to hear your adventure. Shame United couldn't even put up a fight against Tottenham to finish a great day. But at least beer in McDonalds helps!


  2. Great Stephen, even more than ever, if it is possible. I almost felt at home with your description about the trains and the strike. I don´t think that Torino is ugly or maybe I just remember with the eyes of a child because I went there more than 35 years ago. Anyway I hope you enjoyed your stay and maybe you visit Superga where \”il Grande Torino\” crashed against Superga hill 65 years ago, a kind of Manchester United in Munchen. Stammi bene.


  3. Great narrative Stefano. I hope to enjoy a live Seria A match before I die. To go to a Macdonald in Italy must be considered a sin though. For what I know of Italy, i've never seen an ugly city, but maybe Torino is. Salute Signore Beddows.


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