William Garbutt – The Father of Italian Football

Born in Stockport, William Garbutt was a reasonably successful winger with Blackburn Rovers, having first played for Woolwich Arsenal, when injury finished his career at the age of 29.He was good enough to have played for the Football League against the Scottish League in The usual route for ex-professionals was to become a publican but in 1912 Garbutt moved to Italy and took charge of Genoa Cricket and Football Club. In doing so he became the first professional football manager in Italian football.His professionalism and revolutionary ideas had a great impact on the club and under his guidance Genoa won the Italian League Championship three times – in 1915, 1923 and 1924. Garbutt is still considered an icon in Genoese football circles and is the reason why, to this day, Italian players call their manager ‘Mister’.


About The Author

Paul Edgerton

Author of William Garbutt