Several thousand people gathered today outside Livorno's Armando Picchi stadium to pay tribute to Piermario Morosini, the Livorno midfielder who died yesterday after collapsing on the pitch during his team's Serie B game at Pescara. The fans left scarves and flowers outside the stadium, where a banner read: "You fought until the end, goodbye great Moro."
Livorno, the club Morosini had joined on loan in January from Serie A side Udinese, issued a statement thanking everyone for the overwhelming support they have received in the last few hours. It said: "The family, the girlfriend of Piermario and AS Livorno Calcio wants to thank all of the people that in this time of pain have remembered a great athlete and a special person."
Ernesto Randazzo, the player's agent, was still coming to terms with the tragic loss of the 25-year-old. "I knew him for 13 years," he said. "His aim was to make his stay at Livorno permanent. He had always been in very good condition and proof of that was all the medical check-ups he had undergone with all of the teams he had played for."
Morosini moved to Udinese in 2005 from Atalanta's youth academy before embarking on a series of loan spells elsewhere - first at Bologna, then Reggina, Padova, Vicenza and finally Livorno. He made 18 appearances for Italy's U-21s.
Udinese, the club that owned Morosini's sporting rights, have confirmed they will honour his memory by providing financial aid to the player's disabled sister. A statement from Udinese read: "We are profoundly in pain for the premature death of Piermario Morosini.
"Through our non-profit organisation, 'Udinese for life', we will guarantee assistance to the sister of the unfortunate player, who has now been left on her own."
An autopsy will be conducted tomorrow to ascertain whether Morosini's cause of death was linked to a problem with the brain or the heart.