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In 1968, a group of young Italian expats set up a football team in the UK to pass the time. Half a century later, the Italia Wasteels remain the only Italian football club left playing in London’s amateur football leagues.

Now playing in the Orpington and Bromley District Sunday Football League, it was on the advice of his local priest that encouraged a twenty-year-old Luigi Farnesi to start the Italia Wasteels with his brother and to this day the Club President remains as involved as when it all started.

“It’s unbelievable, Luigi started it and has now been here for 51 years and has been here every single week, and even had to finance the club to keep it going, out of his own pocket,” said Club Chairman Riccardo Marchini.

“If it wasn’t for him Wasteels wouldn’t exist,” added Club Secretary Claudio Marchini. “Thanks to him we are still here, we’re still kicking. He’s 75 and in 10 years or 20 years he will still be here."

Boasting three generations with the club, the name Marchini is commonplace at any Italia Wasteels fixture. Whilst Claudio Marchini, who himself was a top scorer for the club in the 1970s, oversees the running of Wasteels as Club Secretary; his sons Riccardo (Club Manager) and Marco (Club Captain) ensure that the family name continues to figurehead the longevity and evolution of the Wasteels.

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“I don’t think it’s just playing football that has got me to where I am today. But the environment, the way we are with each other, I’ve learnt from it,” said Marco Marchini. “The fact when you come down, you say ‘this is my dad, he started it 51 years ago, I’m now the captain, this is my brother’ is pretty special.”

To celebrate their recent 50th anniversary, the club were gifted a bespoke team kit and iconic ‘Made in Italy’ boots from the country’s premier boot manufacturer Diadora, who themselves celebrated their 70th anniversary. With the Wasteels winning their 3-1 win over the Ex Blues Hurricanes in the Presidents Charity Cup, and with another notable accolade under their belt, the question remains if it can go any further?

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“We brought in new blood, a new committee in, and its paid off, we’re doing quite well so let’s hope it carries on,” said Claudio Marchini. “We expect another 30 years of Italia Wasteels if nothing else happens.”

Forza Wasteels long live the club for another 50 years,” added Riccardo Marchini.

Explore the full Diadora ‘Made in Italy’ range exclusively at prodirectsoccer.com.

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