From the Terraces

Martelli D’Italia founder Nicola Morosini cannot wait to welcome Juventus to West Ham United’s new home on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
We are Martelli D’Italia – the Hammers of Italy – and are loyal and committed supporters from all across Italy who follow West Ham United over land and sea.

Our club was formed in 2011 in Tuscany and we now have more than 300 members from all over Italy, as well as a website and our own merchandise.

Our members travel to all home matches – you will see our flags in the Bobby Moore Lower – and also away when we can get the tickets. We were in Andorra with the team for UEFA Europa League after a 2,000km drive!

We will be on the road again – or probably coming by the plane – to the special match to open the new Stadium against the Serie A champions Juventus on 7 August.

It is a prestigious game for West Ham against one of the top international teams.

Personally I do not like Juventus, as do half of all Italian fans! They are like Manchester United in England, where half the fans love them and half don’t like them at all!

They are still the Italian team that has won more titles than any other club in our country, and they have just won Serie A for the fifth year in a row after an incredible comeback in the second half of the Serie A.
There are many Juventus players of international prestige but the one that everybody has great respect for is Gianluigi Buffon, the Italy goalkeeper and, among other things, my fellow Tuscan citizen. We were both born in Carrara, Tuscany, the white marble city!

In his book long ago, Buffon declared that West Ham was one of five teams for which he would have liked to play.

Giving a reason why he wished he signed for West Ham, Buffon wrote: “West Ham: Because of the supporters: I knew the West Ham supporters furing my time as a supporter (Ultra Carrara CUIT): Those guys (West Ham supporters) follow the Hammers with an extraordinary energy. And because of the logo (crest): Two crossed hammers. Almost communist, if I think about it.”

Juventus supporters have a special feeling with those of Notts County. The Italian football club Juventus F.C. derived its famous black-and-white striped kits from Notts County.

Juventus have played in black and white striped shirts, with white shorts, or sometimes black shorts since 1903.

Originally, they played in pink shirts with a black tie, which only occurred two to the wrong shirts being sent to them, the father of one of the players made the earliest shirts, but continual washing faded the colour so much that in 1903 the club sought to replace them.

Juventus asked one of their team members, Englishman John Savage, if he had any contacts in England who could supply new shirts in a colour that would better withstand the elements. He had a friend who lived in Nottingham who, being a Notts County supporter, shipped out the black and white striped shirts to Turin!

The black and white stripes are now world-famous as being the colours of Juventus, but we hope that soon the Claret and Blue of West Ham United will be even more famous!