Italian football is in mourning after Sampdoria President Riccardo Garrone died on Monday evening.
Garrone, who would have been 77 on Wednesday, passed away yesterday after a battle against illness.
The Honorary President of energy company ERG, who has six children, bought Doria in January 2002 from Enrico Mantovani.
His oldest son Edoardo is Sampdoria’s Vice-President.
Numerous clubs have paid their condolences, as have a number of individuals in the game who have fond memories of the man.
“It’s an excruciating pain, today is one of the most ugly and saddest of my life,” Inter forward Antonio Cassano stated.
“He will be forever in my heart and I will love him forever.”
Garrone helped resurrect Cassano’s career after signing him from Real Madrid, before the two men clashed and the forward joined Milan.
Juventus director general Beppe Marotta, meanwhile, stated: “Garrone was essential in the management of Cassano.
“Garrone was a wise man who was full of values,” continued the former Sampdoria official. “I’ll always remember him.
“He was a successful businessman and a point of reference. If I am at Juventus today then I owe that to Garrone.”