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, June 29, 2017

CD Santurtzi (Spain)

Club Deportivo Santurtzi Kirol Elkartea is a football club who were formed in 1952 in the port town of Santurtzi, which is located around eight miles down the Nervión from Bilbao towards the Atlantic in Spain’s Basque country.

CD Santurtzi weren’t the first club to represent the town with distinction. In April 1921 a group of athletes put together the formidable Sparta Club. The club was dissolved at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War.

CD Santurtzi kicked off life progressing through regional football before eventually leaving the División de Honor de Vizcaya to become members of Tercera División in 1961-62 as the club were placed in Grupo III while playing at Estadio Morado.

An eleventh place finish in 1967-68 saw the team relegated back to the División de Honor; where Santurtzi remained until 1974-75 as the team won promotion once again. However, within twelve months they were back at regional level.

Santurtzi continued to ply their trade in the División de Honor until they went back up to the Tercera División in 1981-82. This time the club built on their success for the next few years, winning the Grupo III title in 1983-84. The team missed out on promotion through the play-offs after defeat to CD Ourense.

Another title followed in 1988-89 under manager Javier Escalza, as Santurtzi won the Grupo IV championship and were promoted to the third tier Segunda División B. The team retained their status for four seasons in Grupo II under Santi Urkiaga and then Ricardo Moreno before finishing bottom of the table in 1992-93.

‘Los Morodos’, ‘The Purple Ones’ failed to establish themselves properly back in the Tercera División before they were relegated in 1999-00 to find themselves playing back in División de Honor de Vizcaya at the start of the new millennium under manager Meltxor Sainz, while the clubs San Jorge home was redeveloped.

The club regrouped after a few seasons under manager Txus Gojenuri; winning promotion back to the fourth tier in 2004-05 by ten clear points. Once again Santurtzi found themselves consistently towards the wrong end of the Groupo IV Tercera División table before they were relegated once again in 2010-11.

The 2012-13 season saw the club finish third in División de Honor with Toño Vadillo starring in midfield, before they went on to lift the league title in 2013-14 with the goals of Cristian Bonilla heralding a return to Terecera División football. A couple of mid table finishes helped settle the status at Campo San Jorge under manager Aketza González.

CD Santurtzi will play in Terecera División Grupo IV in the 2017-18 season.

My visit

Friday 24th February 2017

My legs and feet were feeling a full afternoon’s walking and adventure while carrying my rucksack on the first day of my long weekend around Bilbao. I’d been on the other side of the hill near to Kabiezes Metro station to visit the venues of Gazteak CF and Peña Athletic Santurtzi.

Down in the dip I nearly succumbed to a bar with a Santurtzi fixture poster in its window, but I knew I had a job to do before any beer. I’m glad that I made the effort despite the steep walk up Pajares Kalea.

It hadn’t been my day in regards to stadiums being open, and once again I was met by a locked gate. However, my stubborn streak kicked in and I was not about to be beaten at the final hurdle.

A huge grass bank continued over the road from the stadium. I climbed it and got some decent snaps of the Main Stand and far end, but I was determined to find more. I headed down the road behind the stand and climbed a bank up to the far end of the stadium, and hey presto I was by a wire fence giving me excellent views.

Estadio San Jorge was a fine arena with its raised seated Main Stand running down the full length of the pitch and the far end having a decent section of open terracing built into the hill. The other two sides had small sections of open standing around the artificial playing surface.

Once done I strolled back down the hill in great form to grab some re hydration before taking the Metro all the way back to the city so that I could check into my excellent room at the Hostal Begoña for a clean up and rest before heading out for the evening.

Bilbao turned out to be far more beautiful and interesting than I could ever imagine. It is a city I recommend to anyone; but especially football fans who love bars and nibbles!

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