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


September 2015

Thursday, February 25, 2016

CD Estrela (Portugal)

Clube Desportivo Estrela is a football club from Amadora on the north west borders of Lisbon. The football club was reformed to rebuild in 2012 after the previous club, C.F. Estrela da Amadora folded.

C.F. Estrela da Amadora

Clube de Futebol Estrela da Amadora was the original club who had been formed in 1932, playing primarily in the divisions of the regional Associação de Futebol de Lisboa before progression that would eventually finish the club. The club moved into the Estádio José Gomes (also known as Estádio da Reboleira) in 1934.

By the 1988-89 season Estrela had reached the heights of the top flight Primeira Divisão. The greatest day in the club’s history was to come shortly afterwards as the team reached the final of the Taça de Portugal (Portuguese Cup). S.C. Farense were defeated 2-0 after the first game had ended 1-1 after extra time at Estádio Nacional, Jamor under manager João Alves with the goals of Ricky propelling the side forward.

The following season Estrela competed in the UEFA Cup Winners Cup, where they defeated the Swiss side Neuchâtel Xamax before going out to Belgians RFC Liège with Manuel Fernandes in charge of the team before being replaced by Jesualdo Ferreira in January 1991 who was unable to save the team from relegation.

In 1992–93 Estrela lifted the second tier Segunda Divisão de Honra championship to win promotion back to the top flight with the returning Alves as manager before he departed to be replaced by Acácio Casimiro who in turn left in November 1995 with Fernando Santos coming in.

The goals of Gaúcho gave Estrela a decent finish in 1996-97 before Jorge Jesus was appointed as head coach for the 1997-98 campaign. The top flight was renamed the Primeira Liga for 1999-00 as Joaquim Rebelo captained the side to an eighth place finish while Gaúcho carried on banging in the goals.

Quinito managed Estrela for the first half of the 2000-01 campaign before he was replaced by Carlos Brito as the team were relegated to Segunda Liga. Promotion was secured back to the top flight after a gap of two seasons under old boss Alves until Miguel Quaresma took over in November 2003 as the team were relegated once again.

Estrela were in Liga de Honra, as the second tier had been renamed, for just one season as they finished in third spot to make an immediate return to the elite of Portuguese football under head coach Toni Conceição.

Daúto Faquirá led the team to a mid table finish in 2006-07 with a repeat the year after as an emerging Tiago Gomes starred on the pitch. Angolan boss Lázaro took over in the ever changing managerial role for the 2008-09 season as Celestino starred.

However, the season ended in bad news as Estrela da Amadora were relegated down to the third tier Segunda Divisão despite finishing in eleventh place owing to financial problems. The team finished the 2009-10 season in tenth place with António Veloso in charge of the team.

The Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) suspended the club from all activity for two years because of the chronic financial situation at the club. It folded in 2012.

CD Estrela

Clube Desportivo Estrela was formed by long standing members of the previous club who decided to continue but initially at junior level concentrating on youth, through the Escola de Futebol Tricolor (Tricolor Football School) based at Estádio José Gomes.

CD Estrela will play in the junior leagues of the Associação de Futebol de Lisboa in the 2015-16 season.

My visit

Saturday 13th February 2016

Details of what was happening to Estádio José Gomes were sketchy at best on the internet. I wasn’t sure if it was in use by any team or if it was still in any use at all. There was only one way to find out.

Having visited Futebol Benfica I eventually made my way on the number 711 bus to Damaia station to take a train just one stop to Reboleira. Fortunately I didn’t have to wait too long for the two minute ride. I noted that I could catch a train back towards Campo Grande for my 11.30 tour of  Estádio Alvalade around twenty minutes later.

There was no time to lose. I was happy to see the stadium just a few hundred yards up Av Dom José. I knew I was in Lisbon, but it could easily have been an old English northern town in the gloom and rain, with an illuminated sign advertising Bingo hovering over one end of the stadium.

That side of the stadium had no visible access, so I went round the corner onto Avenida Dr José Pontes. Further along I could see a lady with her young son in football kit entering through a door in the wall. I hurried up and asked as best as I could if it was OK if I went in. She didn’t say no, so I wasn’t going to miss the chance.

After walking down the steps I went through the concourse and found myself at the front of the stand. Estádio José Gomes was some arena with a large open tier raised above pitch level wrapped around three sides of the pitch. A covered VIP and media area was at the rear of where I stood. The final side had some steep stepped white terrace backing onto the bingo hall.

It was evident that it needed some money spending on it if it was to be restored to its prime. The white walls and seating were all weather worn and badly faded and dirty. The pitch was being marked out despite p[arts of it looking waterlogged.

As I was leaving I was introduced to one of the coaches getting things prepared, by the lady who’d let me in. We managed to communicate enough so he explained they were staging some junior football and he showed me his club badge so I knew who they were. Smiles and respect did the trick and I left a happy man that I’d made the effort.

People such as those looking to give the youth a chance and work tirelessly for a club, especially one that had seen such times, were the real heroes in my book.

Time as ever was my enemy, as I had to jog most of the way back down the hill to the station, making the train with a couple of minutes to spare. The area around Benfica really was rich for football!

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