Nottingham

Herbert Kilpin: 'Shrine' for AC Milan's English founder

Herbert Kilpin shop and bus stop
Image caption Herbert Kilpin's birthplace has been renovated and painted red and black

A "shrine" for the Englishman credited with founding Italian football giants AC Milan has been created in his hometown of Nottingham.

Herbert Kilpin left the East Midlands in the 1890s and went on to set up the club, becoming its first star player.

His birthplace has been painted in red and black - Milan's colours - and a plaque will be unveiled to him.

Robert Nieri, who wrote a book about Kilpin, said he hopes Milan supporters will visit the building to pay homage.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Herbert Kilpin's image appears on flags and banners at Milan's San Siro stadium

Kilpin, who emigrated to Italy to work in its textile industry, led the club to its first three championships and even designed its legendary red and black striped shirt.

He died in 1916 aged 46 and his grave was believed lost until a historian tracked it down. In 1999, AC Milan paid for a new tombstone.

However, in Nottingham he remained relatively unknown until years later.

Mr Nieri, who has tried to get recognition in Nottingham for the footballer, said Kilpin was still an icon among "diehard fans" in Milan.

Image caption A portrait of Herbert Kilpin has been painted inside the shrine

"His image adorns a giant banner waved at home games," he said.

"He was the ultimate gentleman amateur who played for the love of the game and not for money."

A plaque is due to be unveiled on the footballer's birthplace - a former butcher's shop in Mansfield Road - later on Sunday.

Image caption It is hoped fans will visit the shop to pay homage to Herbert Kilpin

Mr Nieri said he wanted the building to become a shrine to Kilpin for visiting AC Milan fans and for them to be able to sign a visitors book inside.

A film about Kilpin's life, called The Lord of Milan and made by LeftLion magazine, is due to be showed at the Broadway cinema on Sunday evening.

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