Long time Winthrop football players and fans were saddened to hear of the passing of former Revere High football coach Silvio Cella, a man who was a legendary figure in this area. Cella’s career spanned more than 50 years. He was a star football player at Revere High and Boston University in the 1940s and was named head football coach at Revere High in 1950 at the age of 27 after having served as an RHS assistant coach for a couple of seasons.
He eventually became the Athletic Director at Revere High, a position he held until the 1990s, and served as head football coach into the 1980s.
Winthrop gridiron stalwarts fondly will recall Silvio Cella as an honorable rival. He coached some great teams and stars, particularly in the 1960s, when the DelGaizo brothers played for him (Jim DelGaizo went on to an NFL career with the Miami Dolphins) and in the early 1970s, when Cella led an RHS team to the Super Bowl.
“Coach” Cella, as many called him, truly enjoyed the tradition and the competitiveness of the Winthrop-Revere Thanksgiving football game. Although Winthrop has gained the upper hand in the rivalry, Coach Cella always had much anticipation and respect for the annual contest.
Mr. Cella understood that the lessons learned on the football field would help his players for the rest of their lives. He was a very nice man and a true legend in high school athletics, a throwback from an era when football was played with leather helmets and without face masks.
We know we join with the many Winthrop residents in extending our condolences to his family in their time of bereavement. Mr. Cella passed away on April 10 after a brief illness. He was 87.