Seventeen years ago, the Juventus hemisphere bid farewell to former club president Umberto Agnelli.
As the youngest son of Eduardo Agnelli, Umberto never achieved the fame of his older sibling, Gianni, otherwise known as “L’Avvocato” (the lawyer). Nonetheless, his passion and dedication for the Bianconeri cause wasn’t any less than his brother’s.
The former chairman of the club is also the father of current Juventus president, Andrea Agnelli, who was raised to love the team’s colors since childhood.
Umberto was nicknamed “Il Dottore” (the doctor), and was the chairman of Juventus between 1956 and 1961, as well as honorary chairman from 1970 until 2004, before his passing at the age of 69.
Agnelli also occupied several other important posts during his life, including the CEO of FIAT, and served as Senator for the Italian republic.
Juve’s official website paid their tribute for the great man who left us on the 27th of May 2004 with a heartfelt message. Here’s the full statement:
“Today marks the 17th anniversary of Thursday 27 May 2004 – the date that the Juventus family found itself bidding farewell to Umberto Agnelli for the final time.
Agnelli – Il Dottore, as he was known – first became the president of Juventus in the 1950s, a position he held until 1962. It was a successful era for the Old Lady, as the team won three Scudetto titles (the first of which, in 1958, earned the team its first star) and two Coppa Italias.
Agnelli’s deep passion for Juventus endured and he returned to the club in 1994, overseeing another trophy-laden period as the Bianconeri won five Scudetto titles, one Coppa Italia, four Italian Super Cups, one European Super Cup, one Champions League and one Intercontinental Cup.
“It’s an immense pleasure to think that all the best things about football have passed through Juve.” This quote – which countless Bianconeri fans now read every day at the entrance to JMuseum – encapsulates Il Dottore’s philosophy and offers a glimpse at his unerring pursuit of perfection.
Agnelli was an integral figure for our club and contributed to some of the most significant moments in Juventus history. Now, a few days after the end of a season that has seen us add a further two pieces of silverware to the trophy cabinet, we want to dedicate our latest success to him. Because though we are physically distant, his memory continues to guide us – and his presence lives on inside us all.”