Luther Blissett, the former Watford striker
, was on trial in Italy for resisting arrest
and insulting a public official
. Or to be more accurate, four Luther Blissetts were in the dock.
The trial of four Italian youths found travelling without tickets on a night tram in Rome. When asked by police to identify themselves, all four gave the name Luther Blissett, in memory of the British football player still remembered In Italy for his disastrous 1982 season with AC Milan.
However, Luther Blissett was a decent striker apart from his Italian period, playing even for England. I can't remember exactly but Blissett was either the first black or the first British player in Italy.
In the words of the Blissetts themselves: "The forces of law and order arrived and, incapable of understanding the event, decided immediately to repress it, even firing shots into the air."
"The group considers identity to be the prison of the self," said Checchino Antonini, an editor at Radio Citta Futura. "Identity and fixity are the enemies of communication and have to be combated by nomadism and collective identity. When the conductor asked for their tickets, they replied that a collective identity does not travel with a ticket."
He said the group had selected Luther Blissett, once known by British fans as "Luther Missit" as a cultural icon because his career in Italy had been so unlucky. Blissett was "famous for missing open goals and for the inexorable precision with which he would find the goalpost," according to an unforgiving account in an Italian newspaper.
Watford web site tells Blissett, who nowadays is a commentator in Football Italia for Channel 4 in UK, is their reserve team manager:
Undoubtedly a favourite son of Vicarage Road, Luther joined Watford as a schoolboy and signed as a professional when 18.
Always a prolific goalscorer, he soon claimed national headlines as his goals fired Watford through the divisions and also helped claim some notable cup scalps.
England appearances at full, Under-21 and B-level followed, and he marked his full debut with a hat-trick against Luxembourg.
He left Watford after winning the First Division golden boot in 1983, joining AC Milan for £1m. Sandwiched between two further spells at Vicarage Road, Luther also played for AFC Bournemouth and Bury. Appointed Reserve team manager for the start of the 2000/01 season, he is still held in the highest esteem by the Watford faithful.