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Torino Soccer Club's Devastating Tragedy Killed 22 Members of the Team — Here's What Happened

Lois Oladejo
Dec 31, 2020
01:20 P.M.

The golden age of the Torino soccer club was brought to an end in 1949 following a tragic air crash that killed 22 members of the team and closed the curtain on a remarkable generation of players.


Torino enjoyed the tag of being the Italian giant, having won the Italian league for four consecutive years, setting incredible records that still stand in the league.

Their 10-0 defeat of Alessandria remains the biggest victory in Seria A to date. But the good fortune of the club was devastatingly halted in 1949.

Photo of an empty stadium | Photo: Pexels

Photo of an empty stadium | Photo: Pexels

Referred to as the 1949 Superga air disaster, Torino Football Club lost its best players and coaches to a crash that has painfully stung the hearts of Italian fans for decades.

Founded in 1906, Torino had dazzled and dominated the scene of Italian football for years, having won their first scudetto in 1928, and they ruled Italy in the 40s.


The club cruised its way to five successive league titles from 1943 to 1949 except for the two years it was suspended because of the war.

Their terrifying line up consisted of Bacigalupo, Ballarin, Moroso, Grezar, Rigamonti, Castigliano, Menti, Loik, Gabetto, Mazzola, and Ossola, a squad that left opposing teams gripped with fear.

The world mourned the sad loss, and most retired players offered to play for the grieving team.


But all came crumbling down on May 4, 1949, when the team returning from a testimonial match for Benfica player Jose Ferreira, tragically crashed into a 2,200ft-high peak called Superga on the outskirts of Turin.

The crash was attributed to technical problems and poor weather conditions. It claimed the lives of club officials, coaches, players, and journalists. The club would never be the same after the sad event.


Half a million grieving fans of Italian football lined the streets, mourning the demise of a golden era of a team that constituted the best legs of Italian soccer.

The 1949 league season title was awarded to Torino following each club's decision to hand the league to them, seeing that they were already ahead with only four games left to play.


At the beginning of the next season, each Italian team contributed a player to the suffering Torino in a bid to help them recover, but it would take almost thirty years for the team to win another league title.

Fluctuating between relegation and financial woes, Torino has become a shadow of its former self, and their fans have had to endure the humiliation of seeing their rival, Juventus, take their place as the big fish of Italian football.


Torino is not the only football team to have had its glory shut down by a plane crash. Unlike other victims like Manchester United, they were unable to revive and regain their strength.

In 1958, Manchester United lost their players and other team members to a horrific crash at the Munich airport. 23 people on board the plane died, including eight players and eight journalists.

English football was rocked by this sad event as the club lost some of its best players. The event would go on to push Manchester to become one of the most successful English clubs.


In recent times, Brazilian first division team Chapecoense lost most of its squad and team members to a terrifying plane crash that occurred near Medellin, Colombia.

The world mourned the sad loss, and most retired players offered to play for the grieving team. Although football had been struck by tragedy, fans of the beautiful game continue their love for the sport but never forget the sacrifices of their fallen heroes.

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