FAREWELL TO ARIALDO GIOBBI, LAST PIONEER OF THE FIRST VARESE TEAM

Varese mourns the passing of Arialdo Giobbi (in the 1945 team photo, he is third from right), who was 94 years old on October 1, 2017. He was the last survivor of the very first Varese Basketball team established in 1945, for whom he played with his brother Valerio, who was perhaps best known because for a season in the ‘50s he coached the Red and Whites. Born in Bodio, Switzerland, in Valle Leventina, Arialdo Giobbi returned to Italy with his mother, who was originally from Varese, after the death of her husband. With his brother, Valerio, he immediately fell in love with basketball, which had been played in Varese since the 1920s. Only in 1945 was the club constituted to all intents and purposes as being affiliated to the Federation. The two brothers also played a lot of football (Arialdo was goalkeeper) even if their passion for basketball would get the upper hand. This also rewarded them with their first big success – the 1945 Varese team, following the Lombardy championship, won the title of Italian champions in Serie B and thus obtained promotion to Serie A. This was a resounding result which was welcomed with scenes of joy by Red and Whites fans from the entire city. Furthermore, Arialdo was among the leading players of the era that saw Varese reach 40 victories in the nationals and 10 abroad on the occasion of the first games outside the borders of Italy. The club was presided over by Adriano Barattieri, while the newcomer’s coach was Egidio Ghirimoldi. Those were the days of open courts, journeys by tram, by train or by makeshift truck (it only took three hours to get to Lecco for a friendly!), and the team reigned in a climate of enthusiasm and long-lasting friendships. The horrors of the war were behind us and the sport helped us retain a degree of normality. Moreover, it can be said that the ground laid down by Arialdo Giobbi with his companions gave rise to an extraordinary story of over 70 years of Varese Basketball. Now, Arialdo has been reunited with his brother Valerio and the other comrades and friends of that historic 1945-46 team which was able to reap the rewards of the first Varese triumph – Captain Stabilini, then Brusa Pasquè, Checchi, Clerici, Garbosi (who arrived from Venice and would become the future coach of the first historic scudetto), Marelli, Panerai, Capello, Chiaravalle and Lazzari. Arialdo was one of the pioneers of basketball in Varese and it will not be possible to forget him or his companions when they played in those magical vintage years.