Parma, 27 January 2021 – Renzo Cavallina was a legendary goalkeeper for Parma in the 1940s, both before and after the Second World War.

He played about 50 games wearing the Parma jersey, won a historic derby against A.C. Reggiana (4-0) and was one of the star players in our team’s promotion to Serie B in 1943, after we’d spent a decade in the lower leagues.

“All his fearless saves, his courage, vision and perfect timing, would make the Tardini go wild,” the accounts of the time tell.

Off the pitch, Renzo Cavallina was a soldier and an Italian citizen who, after the armistice of 8 September 1943, refused to enlist for the Italian Social Republic and fight alongside the Nazis.

A brave decision, which led to him becoming an Italian military internee and ending up at the Stalag IIID prisoner-of-war camp in Berlin.

Cavallina survived this arduous experience.

He returned to Italy in the summer of 1945 and resumed his Parma career. On 14 October that year, he found himself in between the sticks again as the Crociati took on Udinese at the beginning of the Serie B-C Alta Italia season.

While his sporting exploits in our shirt have already been remembered in the Ernesto Ceresini Museum, there’s been a new development today, on Holocaust Memorial Day: a cobblestone plaque has been unveiled on Piazzale Risorgimento at the entrance to the Stadio Ennio Tardini. This memorial, which is part of the Stolpersteine project, is dedicated to Cavallina and recognises his heroic resolve as an Italian soldier and citizen.

The Stolpersteine project is an initiative by German artist Gunter Demnig which involves installing plaques to commemorate the victims of Nazi persecution. This is has been done in various countries, resulting in the world’s largest decentralised memorial being created.

Today’s ceremony was organised by the Istituto Storico della Resistenza e della Storia Contemporanea, Gunter Demnig, the Jewish Community, the Municipality of Parma, local authorities and Partisan Associations.

Parma Calcio were represented by Stefano Perrone (Chief Operating Officer) and Giuseppe Squarcia (Supporters Liaison Officer).