Andrea Silenzi (born 10 February 1966 in Rome) was the first Italian to play in the Premier League. He did an admirable impression of a horse but was a non-runner at Nottingham Forest.
Forest paid around £3m for the distinctive looking Silenzi in the hope of bringing some Italian flair to the City Ground in 1995.
In those days clubs used to sign foreigners more or less on the basis of a blurry video of him looking half decent at kick-ups.
When Forest’s chief scout tried to send a video of no oil painting Silenzi representing Torino, he inadvertently switched the tapes and ended up sending the Season Two finale of Twin Peaks.
Forest’s manager at the time, Frank Clark loved the whimsical American whodunit and immediately cut a cheque for £7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 lire (or £3m) even though SIlenzi had been less than prolific in Serie A.
It soon became clear that was a mistake. Silenzi wasn’t really very good at scoring goals. He very rarely scored or looked like he understood what was necessary in order to.
Silenzi spent a season at the City Ground before being sent back to Italy where these days he is a horse impersonator.
Silenzi was nicknamed ‘Pennellone’, which means ‘big brush’ in Italian.