Great Western Railway have today honoured Juventus legend John Charles by naming train number 009 of their new Class 800 (800009) Intercity Express Train after the three-time Scudetto winner. The family of the former Juventus and Wales footballer, as well as Juventus Museum President Paolo Garimberti were in attendance to welcome the newly crowned train onto the platform at London Paddington station.
Juventus Museum President, Paolo Garimberti said of Charles:
“John Charles is a legend for all Juventus supporters. With Giampiero Boniperti and Omar Sivori, Charles made a trio of fantastic forwards in a team which is remembered for the quality of its offensive game, as one of most entertaining and most spectacular in 120 years of Juventus history. However, John Charles is still in the heart of all Italian football fans for his sportsmanship, in more than 150 matches wearing the Juventus number nine (which is displayed in a showcase at the Juventus Museum) he never received a single yellow or red card, and he won the respect of his teammates and opponents.”
Train number 009 was selected to represent Charles’ shirt number and will bear the name of John Charles on its side, accompanied by his nickname ‘Il Gigante Buono’ (The Gentle Giant). In addition, the Class 800 (800009) Intercity Express Trains will also carry images of a specially designed coin of John Charles to make the trains individual from the rest of the fleet. The John Charles coin features an image of Charles in the Juventus black and white in front of Turin’s symbolic landmark, the Mole Antonelliana.
GWR Managing Director, Mark Hopwood said:
“The fondness and a high regard for John in Italy is a real testament to his character and success he had with Juventus, creating a legacy, which we are delighted to share in, for future footballing generations to follow.”