October 24, 1988, was one of the most exciting days in the history of minnow Sicilian club Licata. On that Sunday afternoon, the Serie B debutants raided the Ennio Tardini Stadium with three goals to capture their first away win in the Italian second division.
When they beat Parma 3-0 with goals from Francesco La Rosa, Giovanni Sorce, and Ciro Donnarumma (no connection to the current Italy goalkeeper…), the Crociati were still far from being the Serie A powerhouse they would become a few years later. Still, they were an illustrious scalp to collect for a team whose presence in Serie B was already a miracle itself.
Known as the Gialloblu, Licata were a short-timed meteora in the history of Italian football, having spent only two seasons in a row in Serie B before disappearing from the radar of professional football. Back in the days, they were known for being some sort of a “Sicilian National Team” as they mostly featured players from the island in their roster.
But Licata would also become known for being the first professional club coached by the revolutionary Zdenek Zeman, who led the Gialloblu to a promotion from Serie C2 to Serie C1 in the 1985/86 season.
Despite their thrilling win at Parma, Licata had a rough start in their maiden Serie B campaign. With the club bottom-placed in the table, their coach Giuseppe Papadopulo was sacked and replaced by Francesco Scorsa – who would manage to save them with a spectacular string of positive results in the second half of the campionato.
Licata lasted in Serie B one more season, after which they were never able to reach the same heights again.
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