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Stand Up & Be Counted: Notts County lead the way courtesy of their Italian Magpies

9 July 2015

Notts County have the largest support in any one country across the Stand Up & Be Counted representation map, thanks to some Italian friends.

The fanbase, known as the Italian Magpies, have already helped County rack up more than 6,000 submissions on the club leaderboard. More than half of those who have registered their support for the Meadow Lane outfit are based in Italy, and that is down to a strong, long-standing relationship with a certain European giant - Juventus.

Giorgio Zunino, president of the Italian Magpies, tells The Football League the story behind the affiliation with County in his homeland.

"I first started following Notts County about five years ago on their Facebook page," he said.

"Then in 2011 I began chatting with some English fans, in particular with Magpies fans Andy Black and Joshua Shore. On 8th September 2011, Notts County played in Turin for the opening ceremony of the new Juventus Stadium. I'm a big fan of the Italian black and white team and I was interested in Notts County for the history of the shirt, which Juventus' has been based on since 1903.

"I met some friends from UK there and I went to Nottingham the following January. That was an amazing experience and, after talking with the Director of Notts County Aileen Trew, I decided to set up an Italian branch.

"This project had good success as I was invited onto some Italian TV shows and the magazine FourFourTwo asked me for an interview. We've also had a lot of pages in the Notts County matchday programme in the last three years, and during the 2013/14 campaign we created the prize for the best player of the season.”

Zunino and his Juve counterparts have fully endorsed the Stand Up & Be Counted campaign to date, helping County to collect more than 13 per cent of the overall submissions.

“We tried our best to get people involved and our great friend Andy Black had a fundamental role in getting a lot of votes,” he added.

"A lot of Juventus fans got involved in this project as many are really interested in Notts County's results and history. This is the reason why Italy is the leading country for the Stand Up & Be Counted campaign. A lot of people would like to show their support to their English black and white brothers.”

Notts County CEO Aileen Trew says the club are thrilled with their representation in the Stand Up & Be Counted campaign to date.

“I'd like to say how delighted we are as a club, that our friends in football across the world have joined together in support of Notts County in this way,” she said.

“As I said before, we think this is a great initiative by The Football League to allow supporters to show allegiance with their clubs, no matter where they are.

“We are fortunate in that our more local supporters have fostered the connection with likeminded fans, developed long lasting friendships with them, and joined us together. As a club, we have also nurtured the kinship and enjoy personally welcoming our faraway fans when they join with us in support of the Magpies.”

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