A Dream came through – A Day to remember
14th October, 2005.
Justin Bonnici, a 14 year old and a great Lazio Fan, had the time of his life meeting Lazio Players, visiting the Formello training grounds and its surroundings on the 14th October, 2005.
It all started when Dr Joseph Chetcuti contacted Dr Stephen Zammit, our Lazio committee member early this summer. Dr Joseph Chetcuti conducts a local TV programme on ‘Net Television’ – ‘Nies Ta Veru‘. A programme which fulfils dreams.
Dr. Chetcuti met Dr Felice Pulici’s during visit to Malta to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the formation of the Lazio Club Malta on the 16th July, 2005 to plan this event. These plans were confirmed live, by Dr. Pulicic during an interview on a Roman Radio station ‘Radio Spazio Aperto’ ( a Lazio programme ‘Piazza Della Liberta’ ) conducted by Mr.Paolo Peroso.
Three commitee members - at their expense – Aron, Oliver, the camera man Clayton, Justin accompanied by his parents and myself were to meet at the airport.
We worried are heads off, when the Bonnici family were a bit late. Luckily they were just in time. On the plane we understood why Joseph and the guests arrived late. Dr. Chetcuti went to Justin’s School in Paola to give him this surprise. When Justin saw Dr. Chectcuti and the camera man, he got shocked and ran away from school. It took them about an hour to find him, he wondered away close to the Industrial area in Bulebel.
His Dad convinced him to go with them to Rome. The appointment was for Friday 14th October at 13:00 hrs at Formello training grounds. However, that same day we decided to go to Formello to watch the friendly game against Tivoli. We were also invited for Diner at the Summit Hotel to celebrate Mr. Liuigi Croci 81st birthday.
Our club presented Liuigi with a token in honour of his birthday. It was a wonderful evening, Lazio officials and players to the names of Cribari, Belleri, Keller, Piccolo and Mudingayi Dr Carlo Osti, Dr Maurizio Manzini , and Dr Felice Pulici attended the event.
We met Mr.Paolo Peroso for the first time and presented him, on behalf of the club, with a token to thank him for the great help he gave Kenneth and our Club to build our new web site.
Later in the evening we went to the Pub - Excalibur in Piazzia Vescovio were alot of Lazio fans meet. The next day we went shopping to Ciampino Calzature, owned by great Lazio fans. We were treated well and were given gifts (Lazio Souvenirs) to donate to Justin. We drove back to the Hotel Selva Candida, situated just outside Rome, and later drove down to Formello.
Justin was surprised with the peace and the beauty of the Complex. Dr. Pulicic took Justin all around the Complex, the training grounds, the leisure room the dinning room, the bedrooms of the players and the coaches room.
Justin had his first surprise when meeting Luciano Zauri e Sebastiano Siviglia outside there rooms. We were later taken to the dressing rooms and the Press room where Justin had all the opportunity to listen to Massimo Oddo’s press release.
We waiting to meet the players and present them with gifts for their performances. The first to arrive was Angelo Peruzzi who was voted by the Club together with Massimo Oddo as the best player 2004-2005. Angelo remembered Oliver and myself during the tour to Prague with the team to play against Sparta for the Champions League.
Later Tommaso Rocchi, Fabio Liverani, the Coach Delio Rossi, and Massimo Oddo met with us just after the press release finished. All of them seemed very honoured with the gift we gave them.
We also, passed on a letter written by Klevin an Albanian friend to Tare, who was very surprised. We meet Yuri one of the leaders of the Irriducibili.
It is thanks to Dr Manzini that we were allowed to go so close to the players. Justin’s dream was soon to come. Up a flight of steps straight to the training grounds we meet all the players. Entering the pitch, Justin was asked who his idol was. I had no doubt, it is Paolo Di Canio.
Paolo kissed Justin! what a dream! his eyes shone. Paolo invited him to play some football. Justin started juggled the ball and Manfredini played along with him.
Here we presented a token to Paolo Di Canio thanking him for the fantastic goal in the last the Derby- the 6th January 2005. We invitated him and his wife to visit Malta and our Club on Saturday 12 November till the 14th November. The Club presented Justin with a token of this wonderful day and the gifts Ciampino Calzature gave him. Justin and his family unfortunately had to miss Sunday’s game against Fiorentina at the Olimpic Stadium.
We however remained in Rome to watch this game. On Saturday we were invited to ‘Radio Incontro’ to Guido De Angelis programme to talk about this event. On Sunday we went to church in the morning visited a friend of mine in Casel Palocco, and drove to the Stadium to watch Lazio win 1-0. I must say it was a great experience for all of us, and a special time for Justin. I hope this event will give him and his family the strength to face his problems