Twenty-four years ago today, Sheffield Wednesday signed Italian forward Benito Carbone from Inter. The fee was £3m. Amazingly, he stayed in Yorkshire rather than immediately getting on a plane back to Italy after a photo shoot that required him to pose with a bowl of spaghetti (so unappetising it looks plastic) and then with some bloke in a Pavarotti mask and rented dinner jacket (was it David Pleat?). Because, you know, Carbone’s Italian.
I would have told the photographer to fuck off, but to his credit, Beni went along with it.
When Paolo Di Canio signed for Wednesday a year later, it happened again:
Porca miseria! They couldn’t even be arsed to defrost the bastard! At least they didn’t make the two Italians reenact that scene from Lady and the Tramp.
Carbone would go on to play almost 100 games for the Owls, more than he played for any other club in a jittery career that spanned more than 20 years. He was a fan favourite at Hillsborough but left under a cloud when a contract dispute resulted in a move to Aston Villa. As he revealed later, he was never popular with his English team-mates as he didn’t booze with them – you could not imagine a more chalk-and-cheese forward pairing than Beni and David Hirst. Nonetheless, he’s still a Wednesday cult hero, because, well, he had a fiery temper, flowing locks, and he could do magical stuff like this:
FORGOTTEN GOAL: Benito Carbone for Wednesday vs Forest from this weekend in 1998.
That finish couldn’t be any sweeter if you dipped it in a pint of Dairy Milk. pic.twitter.com/w4Ne1QbCMQ
— It’s A Funny Old Game (@sid_lambert) December 8, 2019