England’s Euro 2012 quarter final this Sunday will be a grudge match for a Kettering hair salon where half the staff are Italian and half are English.
Hairdressers at Salon 101 in Rockingham Road, where both the Italian flag and St George’s Cross hang above the mirrors, are ready for four days of banter ahead of Englands game against the Azzurri.
Owner Vince D’Arienzo, who came to England as an 18-year-old 42 years ago, said: “I was hoping to avoid this clash because of the clients.
“It always creates a bit of friction – but we take it as good fun.”
Mr D’Arienzo’s wife Donna, 46, and nephew Pierino Geranio, 43, who was born in England, also work at the salon as well as two English stylists.
One, Mandy Marsden, 39, is a fanatical England supporter.
Mandy, of Blanford Avenue, said: “There’s going to be lots of banter with clients and a few side bets going on.
“It’s really good. I love it. It hasn’t happened in a long while.”
About 30 to 40 members of the Anglo-Italian community are expected to gather to watch the game in a back room of Bodyshapers Gym, School Lane, which is owned by Vince D’Alessandro, on Sunday.
Anglo-Italians regularly meet there to watch the Italian national team, Champions League and Serie A matches.
Mr D’Arienzo said: “It’s nice with games like this. It’s very exciting.
“You know what it’s like with boys. You get together and you get carried away.”
He said the Azzurri were ‘more classy’ than the England team, but would need a good performance to beat them. He predicted Italy would win 2-1.
Mandy, who has worked at the salon for 13 years, predicted England would win on penalties.
Mr D’Arienzo said: “There will be a bit of biting with the clients as well. They will be winding me up. We have got some good fans. They put the knife in but it’s all fun.
“I’m looking forward to it. Now it’s getting exciting.
“If we lose I won’t open the shop for a couple of days.”
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