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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

May 1, 1927: Lazio Novara 2-2

Okely comes good for deserved point


Novara slightly superior but Lazio battle hard and clinch draw




Source Lazio Wiki

The season so far


Lazio had finished 3rd in the Lazio Regional First Division the previous season. The manager was Hungarian Dezső Kőszegi. Lazio had won 6, drawn 2 and lost 2. Top scorer was Fulvio Bernardini with 12 goals.

 

This season Lazio had a new player-manager, another Hungarian, Jenő Lőwy. A few new players had arrived, apart from Jenő, goalkeeper Ezio Sclavi (Juventus) and midfielder Odoacre Pardini (Libertas Lucca). Leaving were, sadly Fulvio Bernardini (Inter) but he would be back many years later as manager, keeper Remo Alessandri (retiring), forwards Guido Perroni, Augusto Rea and Quinto Rosso (Genoa 1893).

 

This year Lazio were in the Prima Divisione Group D (the second flight divided into 4 groups) at national level. Lazio had won their group, winning 15 and losing 3 and qualified for the second phase (the 4 group winners). The top flight was now called Divisione Nazionale.

 

So far, the Biancocelesti had won 1 (Pro Patria 3-2 at home) and lost 1 (Reggiana 1-3 away). Today was the third of the six games.

 

Novara had finished 9th in Lega Nord A group and been relegated. The manager was Austrian Alfred Schäffer. The Azzurri had won 6, drawn 6 and lost 10. Top scorer was Giustiniano Marucco with 9 league goals.

 

This season Schäffer stayed on. The Gaudenziani won the Prima Divisione Group A after 14 wins, 2 draws and 2 defeats. They therefore qualified for the second phase. In the first two games they had won 1 (Reggiana 4-2 at home) and lost 1 (Pro Patria 1-2 away). All four teams were on two points. They were all already promoted but this phase would decide the overall Prima Divisione Champions.

 

The match: Sunday, May 1, 1927, Stadio PNF, Rome


There was a big crowd to watch this May Day game on a sunny afternoon.

 

Lazio had some heavy absences as neither forwards, Odoacre Pardini or Dante Filippi were available.

 

Lazio however took the lead early on when in the 7th minute Riccardo Okely III beat Feher. Lazio 1 Novara 0.

 

The hosts' enthusiasm was short-lived as only two minutes later the Piedmontese equalised. In the 9th minute midfielder Achille Rosina scored for the Gaudenziani (San Gaudenzio, Gaudentius, is the Patron Saint of Novara, he was the first Christian bishop of the city). Back to the present Lazio 1 Novara 1.

 

The first half was balanced although the Novara attack looked sharper. The Lazio forwards Ugo Ciabattini and Lőwy had obviously not often played together before and Okely despite his goal was playing too deep. Halftime Lazio 1 Novara 1.

 

In the second half Novara went in front in the 60th minute. The goal scorer was Carlo Crotti but on this occasion Sclavi should have done better as the shot did not seem unstoppable. Lazio 1 Novara 2.

 

Lazio then pushed forward looking for the equaliser. They tried hard enough but lacked the killer instinct up front.

 

They attacked constantly however, and were rewarded seven minutes from time. It was Okely again who managed to put the ball in the net in the 83rd minute. It was the Roman striker's first and last ever brace of his career. Lazio 2 Novara 2 and also full-time score.

 

A fair result in the end. Novara had looked the superior team, slicker and better organised but Lazio deserved the point for their determination and heart.

 

The new table read Reggiana 4, Novara and Lazio 3, Pro Patria 2.

 

Who played for Lazio


Sclavi, Zanelli, Saraceni, Berti, Galli, Nesi, Ciabattini, Lőwy, Desideri, Okely III, Ottier

Player/Manager: Lőwy

 

Who played for Novara


Feher, Bonetti, Pestarini, Ragaglia, Roggia, D'Aquino, Rosina, Rossi, Zanni, Crotti, Marucco

Manager: Schäffer

 

Referee: Berti


Goals: 5' Okely III, 9' Rosina, 60' Crotti, 83' Okely III

 

What happened next


Lazio lost the next game 2-3 away to Pro Patria, then lost 1-9 away to Novara and finally beat Reggiana 2-0 at home. The Biancocelesti finished 4th, on goal difference. Top scorer was Dante Filippi with 11 goals. Lazio however were in next season's Divisione Nazionale.

 

Novara won the mini group and the league. The Piedmontese then beat Pro Patria 3-2 away, drew 1-1 away with Reggiana and beat Lazio 9-1 at home.

 

The final table read: Novara 8, Pro Patria 6, Reggiana 5, Lazio 5. Next year they would all be in the Divisione Nazionale.


Lazio 1926-27

Competition

Played

Won

Drawn

Lost

Goals scored

First Division

24

17

1

6

45

Top 5 appearances

Players

Total

Luigi Saraceni II

23

Ezio Sclavi

23

Jenő Löwy

23

Umberto Zannelli

23

Gino Ottier

22

Top 5 goal scorers

Players

Total

Dante Filippi

11

Gino Ottier

8

Jenő Löwy

4

Odoacre Pardini

4

Riccardo Okely III

3

Let's talk about Riccardo Okely III


Source Lazio Wiki

Riccardo Okely was born in Rome on October 5, 1906. He was the third of four brothers who all played football, the eldest Giorgio also played for Lazio, between 1924 and 1927.

 

Ricardo Okely started his football career with Lazio in 1926. The Biancocelesti were in Prima Divisione (2nd tier) and won their national group. They then came 4th in the "Final Four" and would play in the following years Divisione Nazionale (top tier). Okely played 14 league games with 3 goals, under player/manager Jenő Lőwy

 

In 1927-28 the manager was Austrian, Franz Sedlacek and Lazio finished 10th. They managed to stay up thanks to the future enlargement of the league format. Okely played 4 league games with 1 goal (Reggiana) and 2 in the Coppa Coni with 1 goal (Padova). This was the last season without the derby with Roma…

 

In 1928 he joined Padova for a season. The Biancoscudati had Englishman, Herbert Burgess as manager and finished 8th in the A group of the Divisione Nazionale. Okely played 27 league games with 3 goals (Livorno, Milan, Casale).

 

In 1929-30 he was back with Lazio. It was the first season with the single national Serie A format. He stayed two seasons and the Biancocelesti finished 15th and 8th. Okely played 12 league games with 2 goals (Casale, Livorno). The managers were Ferenc Molnár the first year and then Molnar (1-27) followed by Cesare Migliorini (27-32) and Amilcar (33-34).

 

In 1931-32 he played a season with Robur (Siena) in the Prima Divisione (now 3rd tier). He played 25 league games with 3 goals and the Bianconeri finished 9th.

 

In 1932-33 he was back at Lazio. The manager was Karl Stürmer and the Romans finished 10th. Lazio won their first derby against newcomers Roma. Okely however played only for the reserves, 16 games with 2 goals.

 

In the following two years he played for Montepaschi in Rome at amateur level and Siena in the 3rd Division.

 

In September 1935 he started training with Lazio again but only played 3 games with the reserves. For the record, the Lazio first team finished 7th, first under Walter Alt (1-27) and then József Viola (28-30). This was the first year of the Coppa Italia and Lazio reached the quarter finals, they beat Roma in the last 16 but then lost 0-1 away to Alessandria.

 

At this point, at almost 30, Okely retired.

 

He was a forward. From his stats not a particularly prolific one. He did however play 34 games for Lazio and scored 7 goals.

 

Riccardo Okely died in Rome on December 17, 1989


Lazio Career

Season

Total appearances (goals)

Serie A

National Division

First Division

Coppa Coni

1926-27

15 (3)

-

-

15 (3)

-

1927-28

6 (2)

-

4 (1)

-

2 (1)

1929-30

8

8

-

-

-

1930-31

5 (2)

5 (2)

-

-

-

Total

34 (7)

13 (2)

4 (1)

15 (3)

2 (1)

Sources


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