Old Blackburn Rovers player found hiding in Italy

April 17, 1945
When Poles captured Immola they found Billy Garbutt, a professional football who formerly played for Arsenal and Blackburn Rovers. He went to Italy in 1910 to coach the Italian international team.

He was an artillery officer in the last war with the British Army. He returned to Italy after the war, but went back to England in 1939 and volunteered for the Army. He was rejected because of his age.

Then he returned to Italy and continued to coach football teams, but was interned when Italy came into the war.

Posed as Italian.
When Fascism fell Garbutt and his wife were released, but he had to flee to the country after Mussolini escaped.

For one year he was in hiding posing as an Italian with faked identity cards. He told the Fascists his papers were destroyed in a bombing raid. The house he was living in was bombed and when rescue squads arrived he suddenly remembered he had hidden his British passport behind a team. He went back and destroyed it.

Mrs. Garbutt was killed in the raid. She was buried under an assumed Italian name.

Garbutt to-day is an interpreter with the Allied Military Government.
(Lancashire Evening Post: April 17, 1945)


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