Green Barmy: Gordon Sparks hails former Plymouth Argyle striker Carlo Corazzin
TODAY'S Green Barmy subject is an international striker who had something of a multi-cultural upbringing.
He was a favourite with Plymouth Argyle fans and also played for today's opponents, Northampton Town.
Giancarlo Corazzin – or Carlo, as he is more commonly known – was born on Christmas Day 1971 in New Westminster, British Columbia. As his name would suggest, he entered the world of Italian parentage.
Raised in Coquitlam, just west of Vancouver, he moved to Italy with his parents at the age of 16 for a four-year stay.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
His talents on the football field were immediately recognised, and within six months of arriving in the country, he was playing in Serie C where he represented Giorgiorie and Pievigina Calcio.
There was early success on the international stage at a junior level with a gold medal as a squad member of the Canadian team that won the Francophone Games tournament in Morocco.
In 1992, he returned to Canada to play for the national Olympic side and signed for Winnipeg Fury.
Although he spent just a short time with the Fury, he collected a Canadian Soccer League championship medal with an impressive 10 goals in 24 games in the competition's final year before it was disbanded.
Ironically, in the league play-off, Winnipeg beat Corazzin's future club Vancouver 86ers 2-0 after a 1-1 draw in the first meeting.
At the point of switching clubs, Vancouver joined fellow Canadian sides Toronto Blizzard and Montreal Impact in transferring to the American Professional Soccer League.
In one season with the club in the first of two spells, the 86ers finished runners-up before Corazzin headed to England.
Trying his luck with Stoke City, a three-week trial ensued before a loan stint with Cambridge United.
Former Cambridge goalkeeper, Graham Smith, had received a strong recommendation and the relatively small fee of £20,000 was agreed with the 86ers.
Having made his Football League debut in December 1993 against Stockport County, his scoring exploits came soon to the fore.
Opening his goal account against Leyton Orient, he repeated the feat two days later against Exeter City. And in 28 league appearances that season he bagged 10 goals.
Corazzin ended the 1994-95 campaign at the Abbey Stadium with 19 goals, to pip prolific forward Steve Butler by one goal to be the leading scorer for the club.
He became the first Cambridge United player to represent his country when he returned to international action in January 1996 for the CONCACAF Cup.
He netted the first of Canada's goals in the 3-1 success over Honduras in the match played at Anaheim in the United States, but a 4-0 reverse against the much stronger Brazilians ended the Canadians' interest in the tournament.
Cambridge's gain was certainly Stoke City's loss as Corazzin registered 39 goals in 105 league appearances.
Joining Argyle on transfer deadline day in March 1996 for a fee of £150,000, he arrived on the same day as Neil Illman, teaming up with former Cambridge team-mates Gary Clayton and Mick Heathcote.
A big signing he may have been, but the genial Corazzin knew he would have to fight for a place, with Adrian Littlejohn and Michael Evans already established in the side.
His debut, as a substitute, was part of a day trip Argyle fans will always remember, if not for the match itself as the Greens were chasing promotion.
With 400 supporters sharing the same 'Pilgrim Express' train as Neil Warnock's side, the return journey was a somewhat subdued affair after a 4-0 drubbing at Fulham.
But that was forgotten three days later, when Corazzin came off the bench to convert an 89th-minute penalty that disposed of Mansfield Town at Home Park.
His only start before the season's end came in a defeat at Darlington, who Argyle would beat soon afterwards in the Division Three play-off final where the Canadian was a non-playing substitute.
The departure of Evans to Southampton opened the door for Corazzin to cement a place in the first team.
Five goals in his first full season, in which he started 22 league games was improved upon during the 1997-98 campaign.
But everyone involved with the club would have hoped that what turned out to be his final outing in a green shirt would not be another of those games remembered for all the wrong reasons.
Now under the charge of Mick Jones, Argyle lost their winner-takes-all game at Burnley and were relegated.
There is, of course, one major pitfall of having a player who was of international standing, and Corazzin's absence due to call-ups was one of frustration for Jones when the striker was unable to refuse the call of duty for his country.
But his 17 goals for Argyle during the 1997-98 season, despite limited availability, saw him as the club's top scorer and earned a share the Player-of-the-Year award with Martin Barlow.
Corazzin flew the Home Park nest during the summer for a two-year spell with Northampton Town.
Again, he was a source of trouble for opposing defenders, claiming 32 goals in his 89 games.
Although he suffered yet relegation with his third successive club, there was an immediate promotion.
In the off-season of 2000, a transfer to Oldham Athletic, where he stayed for three years, took his career tally in English football to 367 appearances and 111 goals.
He was at his best for Oldham in a fixture against Wrexham, in which he scored four of his 22 goals for the club in a 5-1 win
In 2000, in his final international tournament, Canada won the CONCACAF Gold Cup in Los Angeles.
It was a fitting climax when his penalty in the final game confirmed his status as the competition's top scorer and, with it, the award of the Golden Boot.
His final international appearance came in 2004 in a World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica.
Domestically, his career ended with a return to Vancouver, scoring seven times in a 13-game unbeaten run for the side originally called the 86ers but now labelled the Whitecaps.
In total, 14 goals in 53 games for the Whitecaps preceded his retirement when he was told he was to be released at the season's end.
His 59 full international caps, including 13 World Cup qualifiers and 11 goals, did not go unrecognised.
He proudly represented Canada at under-16, under-20, under-23 and B levels.
It was while he was at under-23 level he helped his country qualify for the 1992 Olympics.
His achievements were recognised last year when he was inducted to the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame in Toronto on the eve of the Canadian Soccer Association's centennial match.
Corazzin was a crowd pleaser in many ways. The physical knocks a striker takes couldn't wipe away his boyish good looks, he was a proven goal scorer, and for those who had the pleasure of meeting him – a thoroughly decent chap.