Aylesbury bids a fond farewell to local footballing legend, Lito Di Girolamo, who sadly passed away on the 13th of February this year.
Not only a brilliant and talented footballer, Lito was also a gifted artist and would often paint oils of local landscapes.
Lito played for Aylesbury United between 1955 and 1960 and is among the top 20 Ducks goalscorers having had the fine record of 41 goals in his 53 appearances.
Lito originally hailed from the mountain town of Civitella Casanova near Pescara in Italy, he came to England around the age of 14 to meet up with his family who had already settled in the village of Quainton.
Lito was something of a local legend, amazing in front of goal and a wonderful character in the Italian Aylesbury community.
“He had several opportunities to turn professional, being asked for trials at many top clubs including Italian giants Roma, whose interest was aroused by the Anglo Italian newsletter that went back to Italy from Aylesbury.
He was completely dedicated to Aylesbury United and missed one such trial because United had an F A Cup game against Tooting and Mitcham on the same day, a huge game for the club watched by an incredible 6000 fans. Unfortunately this meant him missing out on the chance to play professionally.
Lito’s showed great determination to rebuild his life after having a stroke in his late twenties which was thought to have been caused from repeatedly heading the football something he was renowned for. He could head the ball with great power and accuracy more than some footballers could do using their feet.
The stroke paralysed him down one side - for anybody else; this would have been an end to their football career - not for Lito however. He was determined to recover and play again, something he was able to accomplish in a very short time, an amazing achievement by any stretch.
He initially played for Quainton in the ADL before joining United he also played for Aylesbury Anglo Italians and The Gladiators, an Italian football team that never lost a single game.
Lito will be sadly missed by all his family and friends but never forgotten. After coming to Aylesbury as a very young man and unable to speak English he went on to make a very big impact on the Town.
Lito’s funeral is being held at the Milton Chapel Amersham at 3.15pm on Friday 2nd March. Donations if desired on Lito’s behalf can be made to the Florence Nightingale Hospice C/O Heritage and Sons Funeral Directors 167 Bicester Road Aylesbury HP19 9BA 01296 428638 or online at www.cpjfield.co.uk