Luciano Re Cecconi: How a prank ended the life of an Italian and Lazio midfielder

Luciano Re Cecconi: How a prank ended the life of an Italian and Lazio midfielder

Eric Munene • 20:24 - 15.05.2024

Lazio star Luciano Re Cecconi tragically died forty years ago, leaving a lasting impact on Italian football and his fans.

Forty years ago, on January 18, 1977, a prank went disastrously wrong, leading to the untimely death of Lazio star Luciano Re Cecconi. 

The midfielder was a key figure in Lazio's historic 1974 Scudetto-winning team. 

Luciano Re Cecconi was a celebrated footballer renowned for his tireless work as a box-to-box and defensive midfielder.

The Italian's contributions to Lazio's success made him a beloved figure among fans and a respected player among his peers. 

However, off the field, the Lazio team, managed by Tommaso Maestrelli, gained a reputation for their practical jokes and controversial right-wing political sympathies. 

Many players were known for carrying guns, which they sometimes fired for no reason, creating a divide within the team.

On that fateful day in January, Re Cecconi, along with his troublesome teammate Pietro Ghedin and another friend, decided to stage a fake robbery in Bruno Tabochini's jewelry store in Rome. 

Believing it would be a hilarious prank, the trio masked up and stormed into the shop, shouting, "Hands in the air! This is a stick-up!"

Unbeknownst to them, the store had been robbed just days earlier, and the owner, Bruno Tabochini, had armed himself as a precaution. 

When the masked men entered, Tabochini did not hesitate as he aimed his gun at Re Cecconi's accomplice, who immediately dropped his weapon and raised his hands. 

However, Re Cecconi, committed to the prank, continued the charade. Tabochini fired, hitting the legendary midfielder.

Re Cecconi's last words were reportedly, "It's a joke! It's a joke!" But it was too late. 

The severity of the gunshot wound meant that he died just 30 minutes later, at the age of 28, leaving behind his wife and two children. 

Additional information Daily Star