Monday, January 30

Narcís Sala, half a century of life

History nests in that temple of Catalan football, which has watched silently for half a century witness the transformation of the city of Barcelona. It has nested there for more than 50 years in a work built under the presidency of Narciso Sala, which led to the Sant Andreu Sports Union for two eras (1945-1959 and 1967-1971).

In his second presidency he built that stadium, an old stadium that now gives off so many memories. But discovering history supposes, at the same time, an exercise of patience and sacrifice in the endless search for what has been lived for more than 50 years at the club.

The house has grown old but contains the same charm as when it opened its doors in March 1970 (it was on the 19th) to receive Barça in his opening match. The Catalans won (0-1, goal from Quimet Rifé). Years later Barça returned to inaugurate the rostrum and turn on the lighting so that quadrilateral football could be played at night.

The Sant Andreu temple lived its best years in the 70s when the team shone in the Second Division

Those were the times in the Second Division, times of happiness and splendor, times when even Madrid, as reflected in that historic image of Angel Mur, captain of Sant Andreu, handing the flag to Ignacio Zoco, owner of the white bracelet. I was also on that team Antonio Martin, son of the mythical Mariano Martin, one of the great Barça scorers.

Rescue history

The Narcís Sala radiates history in each of its walls. But you had to find her first. And once the treasures were found, it was time to put them in order. Four ‘historians’ got together in 2007 to explain in the centenary book (1909-2009) everything that had happened in one of the most prestigious clubs in the city.

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Eduardo Quintana and Jordi Petit dived in archives of the city, while Xavier Araguz I was looking for the photographic memory of a team that represents much more than a neighborhood. AND Joan Esteve Becerra he wove non-stop relationships with former players in the complex reconstruction of investigating the past to tell about it in the present and that it remains as a legacy for the future.

Joan Esteve Becerra, Eduardo Quintana, Jordi Petit and Xavi Araguz have promoted for almost three decades the recovery of the memory of the cuatribarrado club

There are four fans of Sant Andreu. But they seem much more than four, due to its extraordinary ability to mobilize the fans by providing the club with a historical story that it had, but was hidden. And therefore he could not display it.

The pandemic postponed the 2020 appointment

Joan, Edward, Jordi and Javier They had everything prepared so that on March 19, 2020, coinciding with the exact day of half a century of life, the Narcís Sala would open its doors for the reunion with the origin.

But the pandemic confined everyone. And, of course, to the four-barred temple. Now, almost two years later, the traditional house of Sant Andreu receives this Saturday the veterans of Sant Andreu and Espanyol in a match full of symbolism.

They have been months of intense work. Intense and complex because it was time to find almost 100 players who have marched through Narcís Sala from the 70s until now.

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All gathered in a stadium that they stepped on one day as active footballers. It was a stage that in pre-Olympic Barcelona, ​​that of the 80s, hosted another function. Great musical concerts were held. It was home to large groups of the time, as witnessed by the presence of The Police, Dire Straits, Scorpions, Deep Purple, among others …

It was when there was no Palau Sant Jordi or other stages capable of gathering so many people in its stands. And that stadium built out of necessity (the promotion to the Second Division left the old stadium small) led to the creation of the Narcís Sala, capable of hosting 18,000 spectators, with enthusiastic fans because they saw his team wandering around the privileged positions. An enthusiasm that was reissued, for example, with Atlético’s cup visit. The Cup, always the Cup.

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Years of splendor. Years in which everyone was on their feet, as the times dictated in that wonderful beginning of the 70s, installed as always in the noble zone of the silver category. A capacity that was later reduced to 7,000, now already with artificial grass, another norm of modern football.

Everything will come together this Saturday in a game that honors the past to launch a message for the future.

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