In the province of La Spezia, Italy, there is a small city of no more than 20 thousand inhabitants, Sarzana. One of the most representative places this city has is the Miro Luperi communal stadium, the home of the Rossonero (Red And Black), the local Associazione Sportiva Dilettantistica Sarzana team.
The ASD Sarzana Calcio 1906 decided to honor one of its bravest sons by calling their stadium with his name to remember the once goalkeeper on the pitch and later main leader of the resistance on the battlefield, the mountain.
Miro Luperi was born in Sarzana, La Spezia, on April 29, 1911, in his youth he had a short but significant career in low divsion italian football as the undisputed starting goalkeeper for A.S.D. Sarzana participating in the so-called Liguria First Division in 1940-1941 with the sole objective of classifying to the Serie C.
Only destiny was able then to stop the rise of the Rossonero and Luperi, as Italy plunged into fascism with Benito Mussolini in alliance with the Germans and Hitler which caused the outbreak of the Second World War, therefore, the 1941-42 championship was suspended.
Miro Luperi as an Italian citizen had to fulfill military obligations and duties, first as a trumpeter in the Marine Corps and later he was hired as another worker in the arsenal of the army of the local province, Spezia.
However, Miro felt that this was not his place, and made the decision in the face of the horrors of fascism and the German occupation forces that lacerated his homeland, to escape to the mountain and join the ranks of the partisan resistance.
The Italian Communist Party, in response to the advance of the fascist forces, decides to organize and form the so-called Garibaldi Assault Brigades that would achieve presence and support in each city or town in Italy through the creation of political-military cadres, the GAP (Partisan Assault Groups).
Miro Luperi becomes part of the Garibaldi Brigades, specifically the Ugo Muccini detachment, in one of many clashes his mission was to contain the Germans after heroically together with 20 other combatants having conquered a strategic position on the mountain, Monte d’Animo.
The partisans are surrounded and attacked from all sides in a clear numerical inferiority and with the last reserves of armament, but Miro as leader of his detachment has already made a decision, he preferred to give his life and his last breath so that the men on his charge had the opportunity to escape, a partisan fell in combat, the man who became an emblem of dedication for the antifascist cause, and as posthumous recognition he was awarded the gold medal for military valor.
His Brigade, the Garibaldi Brigade, became the vanguard of the resistance and its presence was essential to achieve victory, the day of liberation would arrive, on April 25, 1945, the flags of freedom were waving along with the memory of those like Miro Luperi who will live on that mountain and in the stadium that bears his name.
If history is as Malcolm X said a people’s memory, then we all antifascist supporters as internationalists will never forget Miro and the Partisan resistance that liberated Italy a day like today.
Su Brigada, la Brigada Garibaldi se convirtió en vanguardia de la resistencia y su presencia fue esencial para alcanzar la victoria, llegaría el día de la liberación, un 25 de abril de 1945 ondeaban las banderas de la libertad junto con el recuerdo de aquellos como Miro Luperi que vivirán en aquella montaña, en el estadio que lleva su nombre y en cada ciudad.
By Gerardo Lara, FLAF Americas