Without taking anything away from Mr. Century, the great Lorenzo Bernardi, and the equally great Karch Kiraly, multiple award-winners and winners of titles all over the world, as old volleyball players we regret not being able to broadcast and on the web what we have only seen in person we “old people”
In Fontanafredda (then Arrital Fontanafredda) we saw the first Indian to come to play in Italy. In 1982, in fact, Jimmy George landed in Rome looking for a job. He began to take a series of trials, he tried first in Ugento then in Pineto but the team that believed in him was Pallavolo Treviso, which then played its home matches in Fontanafredda.
In 1985 he became captain of the national team and in 1986 he won the international India Gold Cup tournament in Hyderabad and the bronze medal at the Asian Games in Seoul. In the same year he was signed by Gabeca Montichiari.
The news should not be surprising, because at the international youth tournament “Cornacchia World Cup”, the India under-19 national team dominated the tournament for some years, demonstrating great physicality and technique.
What Jimmy George showed was something magnificent and those who saw him play will remember it forever. It’s unfortunate that every time reporters talk about Earvin N’Gapeth, the great French player, they try to find players similar to him but no one remembers Jimmy George, who instead did decades earlier what the French champion now manages.
On 30 November 1987, while playing for Gabeca Montichiari and going to Modena for a friendly match, he lost his life in a car accident. His wife was expecting a son, Joseph George, who was born two months after his death.
Many tributes have been paid to him in India and other countries around the world, but not in Italy. However, Montichiari dedicated the Sports Hall to him, and it is already something important.
Unfortunately, the value of memory, which is what inspires us in organizing the tournament dedicated to Ferruccio Cornacchia for over 40 years, is not promoted and carried forward by too many people and institutions. Yet there are many who have given so much to sport in Italy and who have allowed its growth and diffusion.
We have not found many images of George, since at that time, in Italy, the filming of volleyball matches was not carried out by Rai (this sport did not even exist for them….), and cell phones did not exist. However, the women’s volleyball league (yes, the women’s league….) has proposed a tribute that you can see here.
What if perhaps someone could create a large event to remember him and make him known to young people?
An impressive total of 36 men and 16 women that have previously participated to Cornacchia World Cup, have just been part of CEV 2023.