John J. Giordano Sr., 84, ran 9th Street Italian market

Jan 12, 2016 857

by John F. Morrison

WHO WAS that guy? Someone from Villanova had just gone out for a pass in a game with Kentucky, caught the ball and scored a touchdown. The radio announcer broadcasting the game had no idea who it was. But 10 minutes later, after conducting a quick investigation, the announcer revealed that the mystery player was John J. Giordano, who, being a freshman, wasn't listed on the team roster. Back in Philly, John's family, listening to the game at the iconic family store in the Ninth Street Market, erupted in cheers. Their boy had made it!

What happened was the Villanova coach had sent John onto the field to give the quarterback a play.

"What are you doing in here?" the quarterback demanded. Well, never mind, go long. John did, and the rest is a Villanova and Philadelphia sports legend. John J. Giordano, an outstanding athlete at Malvern Prep and Villanova University, good enough to be drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1955, who instead stayed in Philadelphia and ran the P&F Giordano Italian market at 9th Street and Washington Avenue, died Friday at St. Joseph's Manor in Huntingdon Valley. He was 84 and lived in the Northeast.

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