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29.11.2009 10:57

1899, the year the club was founded. Did you know....?

Manel Tomàs

Every Barca fan knows that the club was founded on 29th November 1899 under the supervision of Joan Gamper.

Joan Gamper was a Swiss sportsman who had been living in Barcelona since 1898 and on 22nd October he published a note in the Los Deportes magazine announcing that he was looking for players to form a team. Below are some of the less known facts of the following 110 years of the club's history. 

► In 1894 there already existed in the city a team called Sociedad Foot-Ball de Barcelona, made up exclusively of Englishmen. SF Barcelona wore red shirts and white shorts and played their friendly games at the Velodrome in Bonanova. This team did not become a club legally, as they did not register themselves with the authorities. On 25th March 1895 they played a friendly against a team especially formed for the ocassion - l’Agrupació de Torelló, who wore all white. The reds won 8-4. 

GAMPERx_FUNDADOR_DEL_FC_BARCELONA.jpg► In 1895 the game of football was virtually unknown in Barcelona and a magazine at the time described it as: “consisting of a game where the aim is to pass a ball through a door formed by wooden posts, which is guarded by a member of the opposite team”.

► In October 1899, a month before FC Barcelona was formed, Gamper was a member of the football section of the Los Deportes club, whose emblem was black and claret – very similar to the current Barca colours which were shortly after adapted for the club shirts.

► Manuel Solé, the owner of the Gimnàs Solé, urged Gamper to place his ad in Los Deportes and thought it was very good idea that the Swiss sportsman set up a club.

► The three key figures in the founding of the club were Joan Gamper, Manuel Solé and Walter Wild. The Gimnàs Solé and Los Deportes actually shared premises at number 5 Carrer de Montjuïc del Carme (on the corner with Pintor Fortuny, next to the Rambla dels Estudis and very close to Canaletes). Wild worked closely with Gamper in the meetings held to set up the club and was its first President. Many of the new club's first board meetings were held at Wild's house in Carrer Nou de Sant Francesc.

► Of the founding members of the club, six were Catalans (Lluís d’Ossó, Enric Ducal, Pere Cabot, Carles Pujol, Josep Llobet and Bartomeu Terradas) three were English (Walter Wild, John Parsons and William Parsons) and three were Swiss (Joan Gamper, Otto Kunzle and Otto Maier). A perfect balance.

COLxLOCACIx_PLACA_AL_CARRER_MONTJUxC_DEL_CARME_x1974x.jpg► Of those pioneers, only three (Ducal, Pujol and William Parsons) never played for the club. William Parsons did play in the club's first game held on 8th December 1899, but for the opposition, the English Colony, who won 0-1.

►Once the club was founded, Gamper lost no time and registered it in the Registre Civil to make it legal and official. His urgency was based on a fear that somebody else would register a club with the name Barcelona first. He was so identified with the city that the club's first crest was the same as the city's. 

► The first HQ of the club was a small room lent by the Gimnàs Solé with a table, four chairs and a notebook. The club then had no employees.

►In 1899 there was no regulation pitch in Barcelona, so the game was played on streets, waste ground and other sports, fields which could be specially modified for the game.

►  The old Bonanova Velodrome, the first ground that Barca played on, was situated between Vallmajor, Modolell and Reina Victòria streets, very close to the current Turó Parc. It was full of holes, on a slope and had very patchy grass. The pitch belonged to nobody and the first team to arrive could lay claim to it. Barca shared it with FC Català, a club which was founded on 17th December 1899.

► Quite often games at the Velodrom were played at the same time as now forgotten sports such as riscat and gouret.

► On 31st December 1899, a month after its foundation, the club had grown from 12 members to 32.

► The Gimnàs Solé disappeared and was replaced with a garage. In 1990 the building was bought by Promocions Ciutat Vella SA and demolished six years later to make way for new offices for the company.

1899, the year the club was founded. Did you know....?
Commemorative Plaque
 A commemorative plaque was placed in the Carrer Montjuïc del Carme in 1974 to mark the club's 75th anniversary. It was removed and placed in the Club Museum in 1992 and was again put in place on 29th November 1999 to mark the club's centenary

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