Fans in Morosini tribute after midfielder’s death

Several thousand fans gathered yesterday outside Livorno’s Armando Picchi stadium to pay tribute to Piermario Morosini, the Livorno midfielder who died on Saturday after collapsing on the pitch during his team’s Serie B game at Pescara.

Livorno, the club Morosini had joined on loan in January from Serie A side Udinese, issued a statement thanking everyone for the overwhelming support they have received.

It said: “The family, the girlfriend of Piermario and AS Livorno Calcio wants to thank all of the people that in this time of pain have remembered a great athlete and a special person.”

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Ernesto Randazzo, the player’s agent, said he was still coming to terms with the tragic loss of the 25-year-old. “I knew him for 13 years,” he said. “He had always been in very good condition and proof of that was all the medical check-ups he had undergone with all the teams he played for.”

Morosini moved to Udinese in 2005 from Atalanta’s youth academy before embarking on a series of loan spells. He made 18 appearances for Italy’s under-21s. Udinese, the club that owned Morosini’s sporting rights, have confirmed they will honour his memory by providing financial aid to the player’s disabled sister.

Morosini had been hit by a series of personal tragedies in his life. The player lost both parents before his 18th birthday. His disabled brother then committed suicide, leaving him alone with his handicapped elder sister.

An autopsy is due to be conducted today to ascertain whether Morosini’s cause of death was linked to a problem with the brain or the heart. Pescara’s local authorities have announced that an inquiry into Morosini’s death will be opened after a parked car belonging to traffic police had initially blocked the ambulance’s path into the stadium.