Welcome to volume two of my blog paying homage to the football clubs I've visited all over the world and the wonderful people responsible for keeping them going and looking after the stadiums, and in some cases basic grounds.

Since I was a little lad I've been fascinated in football and more so where games are played. With my love of travel and curiosity of the game I wanted to visit as many grounds and see games wherever possible. I was lucky that my Dad also loved the game and spent so much of his spare time taking me to matches. As I got older the boundaries widened owing to my location and increased wages to Europe and indeed the world. The sight of a stand or a floodlight pylon in the distance immediately hightens my senses and eagerness for a closer look.

I hope this site gives you the chance to share in my pleasure and experiences and maybe one day set you on the road to adventure. If you get half as much out of the hobby as I've done I can guarantee some great memories, good friends and stories to pass on to future generations.

Give your local club a go today. They'll be pleased to see you!

Everlasting thanks primarily to my late and very much missed and dearly loved parents; my Dad Bob Bernard and my Mum; Ann, who put up with endless years of football chat and my brothers Nick and Paul who gave me the chance and encouragement to do what I have. Thanks to all my friends who offer encouragement and Sally and Stan who inspire and give me great pride. Young Stan is showing a keen interest in my hobby!

Please feel free to post any comments (please use sensible language - I want everyone to be able to enjoy reading) or ask any questions relating to visiting grounds or events. If you want to see any ground reviewed please let me know. It will take quite some time for everywhere to appear, but make sure you keep having a look as the site is continually updated.

If you click on a lot of the pictures you will get a larger version on your screen.

I have also added links to video clips on youtube where appropriate for those of you who are bored of reading or are filling in time at work. I haven't always gone for the most obvious choices, but items that will be in some cases unusual but always historically interesting.

Click to see volume one of HAOTW.

Rob Bernard

London

September 2015

Friday, June 30, 2017

CD Getxo (Spain)


Club Deportivo Getxo is a football club from the town of Getxo who were formed in 1927 and are located along the north bank of the port and marina area in the greater Bilbao area in Spain’s Basque Country.


At the time of their formation in the Algorta neighbourhood of the town, Arenas Club de Getxo were enjoying a golden period, which would its pinnacle when they lifted the Copa del Rey in 1929.


From 1929 to 1945 the club competed in regional football before progressing to the Tercera División in 1945-46 where they met Arenas for the first time in competitive football. The club were relegated back to regional football at the completion of the 1948-49 campaign but won back their status just twelve months later.


Future Athletic Club stars; defenders José Orúe and Manuel Etura along with midfielder Koldo Aguirre cut their teeth at Getxo, as the club lifted the Grupo III title of the Tercera División in 1958-59 and remained at the third tier level until 1965-66.

However, despite the setback of relegation the team fought back at the first time of asking to return to the Tercera División. In 1969-70 Getxo finished in the relegation positions once again, dropping back down to regional football as future Spain and Athletic Club star striker Dani progressed through the youth ranks.


Getxo took two seasons before regaining their third tier status in 1971-72. Their return was marked with a fourth place finish in Grupo I. After a few seasons of mid table finishes as the Tercera División became the fourth tier, the team progressed to win promotion to Segunda Division B which was the third level of Spanish football.

However, a bottom placed finish of Grupo I meant that Getxo returned to the Tercera División. In 1984-85 the club went down another step, but not for the first time they battled back. This time their spell in regional football would last a few seasons before they were crowned champions of the División de Honor de Vizcaya in 1989-90.


In 1997-98 Getxo finished bottom of the Grupo IV table in the Tercera División. The club were relegated further down to the sixth tier Territorial Preferente owing to misdemeanours, but fought back to the División de Honor in 1999-00.

Eventually Getxo finished in a promotion place in 2004-05 to return to the Tercera División. It proved to be a step too far as the team finished in a relegation spot and had to return to fifth tier football.


The 2011-12 campaign saw the club regain its Tercera División place as Getxo won the División de Honor championship. Once again fourth tier football would only be played at Campo Municipal de Fadura for one season.

A runners-up place in the 2013-14 División de Honor was enough to secure promotion for ‘Guaitos’. The club finished in mid table in Grupo IV in 2016-17 thanks to the goals of Lander Guarrotxena under manager Ramón Castelo y Rubén Carreňo.


CD Getxo will play in Tercera División Grup IV in the 2017-18 season.


My visit

Monday 27th February 2017

It was a stunning lunchtime as I alighted from the train at Aiboa station on the final full day of a simply brilliant long weekend visit to Bilbao and its surrounding areas. Getxo was to be the final football venue I would call in at on the trip.


I walked down the slope from the station and mistakenly thought I’d found the venue a lot easier than I initially anticipated on Los Chopos Etorbidea. It transpired that the artificially surfaced arena with small neat stand was used by the junior sides at the club.

A short walk further up the road past a gym brought me to the entrance of Campo Municipal de Fadura across the road of Salsidualde Estarta. It looked a cracking old school venue, and the gate was open!


A groundsman was carrying out his tasks. A smile, wave and “ola” meant I was fine to take some photos inside. My instinct was correct. It was a cracking ground with its old fashioned raised stands down one side separated by a pavilion containing the dressing rooms, which wouldn’t have looked out of place in an English cricket ground.

Both ends and the far side had open terracing. It was obviously a venue surrounded by history and had staged some memorable matches over the years.


Once done I headed back to Aiboa station, from where I caught the train to Gobela, near to the home of neighbours Arenas before cutting down to the waterfront from where I walked along the bay to the mouth of the Nervión.


My walk continued before taking a ride on the Bizkaiko Zubia Transporter Bridge to the south bank for the train from Portugalate to San Mamés before taking a tram all the way through the city into the old town to Atxuri to continue exploring a truly magnificent city.








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