IT IS not only football fans who have been left upset by Paolo Di Canio’s shock departure – he will also be leaving an empty seat at his favourite Italian restaurant.

The Town boss became a firm favourite at Fratello’s, in Regent Circus, with staff even naming a pizza after him.

Swindon players often visit the restaurant on Fridays before their weekend matches, while Di Canio made an effort to visit every month and if he ever had any family or friends over from his home country he would take them to the restaurant.

Brothers Vince and Italo Assogna said they were disappointed to hear the news about someone they had come to call a friend.

Vince said: “It is quite a shock and we are very sad about it. He came in here quite often and had become a friend.

“We are hoping that he will change his mind, but I think it will be a big loss for the Town and whoever comes in has big shoes to fill.

“The players come in every week on a Friday before a Saturday game and Di Canio used to come in.

“We named a pizza after him which we will keep on the menu, and when the fans helped to clear the pitch of snow last month we were the ones who Paolo ordered the pizzas from.

“We are sad to see him go, and hope he will come in again before then.”