Giuliano Taccola, our revolution
March 16, 1969 – Stadio Amsicora, Cagliari
Cagliari 0-0 Roma, Serie A, Week 22
1968 was a year of revolution. Giuliano Taccola was ours. He was, in essence, our dreams, our revolution. He was the same age as the students who rose up in ‘68 and tragically that’s how he would forever remain after March 16, 1969. On September 24, 1967 he scored on his Serie A debut for Roma against Inter at the San Siro.
Hailing from Pisa, he came through at Genoa, like Gigi Meroni. He flew about the place. He was light, quick and he scored goals. His strike at the San Siro was merely a flash of what was to come, before he really shone at the Olimpico. The season after the goal on his debut, he struck after 30 seconds in a game against Fiorentina, the first goal of the entire league season. He would hit seven in 12 games and who knows how many useless articles would have been penned in this day and age about his goalscoring ratio, without ever doing justice to the poetry of his movement and the promise he displayed.
It was now 1969. He was still our ’68. He was our revolution, our dreams. The fans once went to pick him up following an away win and took him to celebrate at Termini train station. But this story was to have a tragic conclusion.
He was the age of a student but sadly he was about to become a hero. He was so fragile. What a crazy waste of a life. Over in an instant. The authorities in Cagliari declared him dead at 17:55 on March 16, 1969. After a game he never played in, much like his life. Cordova, Sirena and D’Amato stayed with him because they couldn’t bring themselves to leave him on a bed in the middle of the Amsicora changing rooms.
He had no oxygen tank, and the ambulance arrived half an hour later, perhaps more. Tonsillitis, an allergic reaction to penicillin, heart problems, too many mysteries and a tragic tale that devastated his family.
There were 50,000 people at his funeral in the Basilica of St. Paul. There was a black sheet and the Roma number 9 shirt in memory of him. “Giuliano” they shouted. Taccola’s name was shortlisted for the AS Roma Hall of Fame in 2012 and 2014 and he was once again remembered in the most recent derby as part of the choreography from the fans in the Curva Sud. They never saw him play but he has a place in their hearts. Giuliano Taccola was their dream too, the revolution that is always needed, an inkling of which he showed us with his goals for Roma.