Rugby, Battista Berra died, quadriplegic for 25 years after a scrum

Viadana’s former hooker had been paralyzed after an accident in the match in 1998. Years of treatment had been useless. He leaves behind his wife and two children, one of whom is a rugby referee

Mourning in the world of rugby. Battista Berra, 56, hooker for Arix Viadana in A2 who was seriously injured in a game collision during an Italian Cup match with Piacenza has died. Berra, who lived in Cerese di Borgo Virgilio (Mantova), had since been quadriplegic and lived in a wheelchair. His passing has stirred up emotion in the world of rugby. Berra leaves behind his wife and two children, one of whom, Matteo, is a rugby referee for the Mantua section.

Berra’s incident

The game injury occurred on 10 October 1998 at the Zaffanella stadium in Viadana. Halfway through the second half, Berra was overwhelmed by the fray, remaining lifeless on the ground, with an injury between the fifth and sixth vertebrae. Since then he began his ordeal between operations and rehabilitation. All useless so much so that the former rugby player lived as a quadriplegic for 25 years. Without ever losing the affection of his former teammates and of the clubs where he had played, Mantova and Viadana, who often helped him with solidarity initiatives during his illness. The family has asked for donations to encourage youth rugby in Mantua. The funeral will take place on April 8 in the church of Cerese.