Sempre! was founded in July 2016, the brainchild of Glaswegian Napoli supporter, James McGhie, who upon returning from Naples for the fourth time, was dismayed at the lack of English speaking content about the club; and it was in that moment that Sempre! was born. So, let’s meet the hosts of Sempre! …
James McGhie – from Glasgow, Scotland. James fell in love with Napoli in the strangest way. A random holiday in 2013 with his wife, James always says that he, “Didn’t choose Naples, she chose me.”
After his first visit, the city, it’s people and the football club got under his skin and the ‘Glaswegian Partenopei’ proudly fronts Sempre! podcast every Sunday. Despite supporting the club since 2013, he has something of a man-crush on Napoli legend Edinson Cavani, and longs for the day (that probably won’t come) when he returns to Naples.
Ken Cioffredi – Originally from White Plains, NY, now residing in Boston, Ken’s love for Napoli grew after their return to Serie A in 2007. He first felt connected to the club after being able to watch the club and follow it online, and his first true memories came in that first season back in Serie A. Players like Pocho Lavezzi and Marek Hamsik were the first Ken had a real chance to cheer for and see become the club legends they are now.
Ken has been a part of the Napoli Twitter community since 2010, and has been able to form some awesome bonds and friendships via that platform. He was added to the Sempre! team in June 2017, and has not looked back.
Marco “Kubani” D’Onofrio – Born and raised in Toronto to two Neapolitan immigrants, Marco’s love for Napoli started at an early age. It wasn’t until high school though that his love for the club turned into an obsession.
Marco has covered the beautiful game for a variety of different outlets that include the likes of MLSSoccer.com, Sportsnet, Football-Italia, Stereo Serie A, Soccerly, and numerous others. His greatest accomplishment will forever be convincing his wife to not only take in one Napoli game, but two on their honeymoon.
Raffaele Rispo – from Yonkers, New York. Raffa’s first childhood memories are those of Diego Maradona’s Napoli winning their first, and to this point only two Scudetti. Being from New York, Raffa grew up with limited Serie A coverage: a match of the week and a highlights show called 90 Minuto.
Luckily enough, Napoli were the team to beat in the 80s and they were shown regularly. Raffa’s Neapolitan born and raised family, especially his father, Antonio, was a big influence on his Napoli fandom. He has vivid memories of celebrating the second Scudetto in the Bronx at a time where Neapolitans were heavily populated. Raffa’s love for Napoli never faltered, even as time went on and it became more difficult to follow them through the declining years.
That didn’t stop Raffa from finding any which way to follow his first love. Luckily, the emergence of internet radio and streaming began at the time SSC Napoli were to go bankrupt and have to start again in Serie C as Napoli Soccer. In 2005, Raffa and his family took a trip to Naples and Raffa and his father, together, got to share what they both call one of the best days of their lives when, through Raffa’s cousin Elena, then employee of the company that maintained the grounds at San Paolo, they were able to take a private tour of the San Paolo and walk the very steps that Maradona made his first iconic entrance, and walk the pitch and track that he played and celebrated on!
The next day, he took in his first and only Napoli match: a 1-0 victory vs Spal. To say that Raffa is one of the biggest Napoli fans born of the USA is a gross understatement. The love he has for this club is never ending, and he’s been able to instill that same love into his sons hearts, as they too share the same love for Napoli as their daddy and their Nonno. SSC Napoli to Raffa IS his family, and we all know how much Italians value la famiglia.