Heathcote’s former restaurant manager dies in Lisbon football violence

paul heathcoteCHEF Paul Heathcote has led tributes to his former restaurant manager who died in Portugal after being hit by a car as he tried to escape violence between rival groups of football fans.

Marco Ficini had been living in Florence and was a supporter of Italian team Fiorentina.

He was in Lisbon with three friends to watch the derby between Sporting Lisbon and Benfica in the Portuguese Primeira Liga. Sporting Lisbon is Fiorentina’s parent club.

Mr Ficini worked as a front of house manager at Heathcote’s former Manchester restaurant Grado in the city centre and at his restaurant London Road in Alderley Edge.

According to friends, he was also general manager at Browns, on York Street, in the city centre when it opened, it is reported in the Manchester Evening News.

“Marco had worked for me for about five or six years. He temporarily ran Simply Heathcotes, in Liverpool, before moving to Alderley Edge,” said Heathcote (pictured).

“He was a great front of house man. He knew how to work with people and customers liked him – he had that kind of personality. His death is a tragic loss.”

According to reports from Portugal, fighting flared near Lisbon’s stadium before the game and a police investigation into the tragedy is continuing.

In a statement, Sporting Lisbon’s president Bruno de Carvalho said he felt “immense sadness” and sent “heartfelt condolences” to Mr Ficini’s family and friends.

via Paul Heathcote pays tribute to restaurant boss killed in Portugal as he ran to escape football violence – Manchester Evening News.

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