Midweek Sport - - FRONT PAGE - By JON LIVESEY

NOW the footie sea­son has kicked off you can en­joy watch­ing the sport’s pam­pered prima don­nas. But in our

fea­ture, we’re re­mind­ing you of the vi­o­lent nut­ters, randy rebels and pea­cock­ing play­boys who over the years have graced the beau­ti­ful game with their pres­ence.

Ev­ery week we’ll be look­ing at a dif­fer­ent one of the sport’s most men­tal mav­er­icks.

And this week it’s the man they call The Vol­cano – hot-headed Ital­ian, Paolo Di Canio. Danny Wil­son and Di Canio was sold to West Ham, where he gained cult-hero sta­tus, be­fore clash­ing with man­ager Glenn Roeder and be­ing sent across Lon­don to join Charl­ton for one fi­nal sea­son in Eng­land.

In 2004, Di Canio re­turned to his first love, Lazio, and quickly took to cel­e­brat­ing goals with a fas­cist salute, even­tu­ally con­vinc­ing the Ital­ian FA to dish out a one-match ban.

When he had a row with the club chair­man, who was forced to dodge fly­ing res­tau­rant tables, he was re­leased.


Di Canio re­tired from play­ing, af­ter a brief stint with Cisco Roma and has been manag­ing League One Swin­don since last year – but he hasn’t lost any of his fire.

Ear­lier this month, he hit the head­lines af­ter a touch­line row with his goal­keeper Wes Foder­ing­ham.

Re­flect­ing on his ca­reer, he said: “There are peo­ple who still say to me that had I been qui­eter I could have played for Italy.

“My an­swer is this – had I been calmer, I wouldn’t even have made it as a foot­baller. I give my best when I’m pissed off and when I ar­gue with the en­tire world.”

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