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 their maintenance.

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 fortunate 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 heightens 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 try today. They'll be delighted 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. Stan is showing a keen interest in my hobby as he grows into a young man!

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


November 2018

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

SD Erandio Club (Spain)

Sociedad Deportiva Erandio Club is a football club from the town of Erandio on the north bank of the River Nervión, a few miles west of Bilboa in Spain’s Basque Country. The club was formed on 2nd January 1915, with English miners involved in the formation.

The club joined the Campeonato Norte II for three years playing at Lamiaco Erandio. In 1916 land called ‘Aplastante’ next to the railway between Arenas and Bilbao was sourced from Jado Don Laureano, moving up to the top division.

The Vallo ground was opened in 1917 after hard work from many volunteers with a capacity of 9,000 near to Café de Roque, which was used as an administrative base. Much work still needed doing the ground; with SD Deusto and Athletic Club allowing Erandio use of their grounds so the club could retain their status.

The club moved to their new Ategorri home in 1918 before difficult times hit Erandio, booth financially and on the pitch as the team dropped back down to Campeonato Norte II until they returned to the top level with a title win in 1929-30 to enter the División de Honor de Vizcaya.

Erandio enjoyed the 1930’s. The team were crowned as División de Honor de Vizcaya champions in 1932-33, 1933-34 and 1934-35 after a brief spell in Tercera División. To add to this the club became Spanish Amateur champions in 1933 following a victory over Sevilla.

After peace was restored following the Spanish Civil War between 1936 and 1939, Erandio were placed in one of many second tier Segunda División’s for one season before dropping back down to the Tercera División for a one term before heading back to the fourth level División de Honor.

A young forward; Pedro Telmo ‘Zarra’ Zarraonandia came to prominence in an Erandio shirt after the war before he went on to play for Athletic Club, becoming one of the record scorers in Spanish football as well as scoring twenty goals in as many appearances for the national team.

In 1941-42 and 1942-43 Erandio won the Vizcaya league and cup double before being promoted to the Tercera División. After several seasons at that level the club won promotion to Segunda División to rub shoulders with the likes of Osasuna, Racing de Santander, Sporting Gijon and Real Zaragoza.

The lofty status lasted just one season as Erandio were relegated. To add to the clubs woes they were evicted from their beloved Ategorri home and had to share grounds in Leorbaso, Ibaiondo, Echévarri, Lasesarre, San Ignacio and Garellano.

Erandio could very easily have folded if it hadn’t been for the dedicated work of the club officials. Raffles were organised and fans donated. On the pitch the team played their part as they were crowned as División de Honor de Vizcaya champions in 1956-57. The team also were Spanish Amateur runners-up where they lost out to Murcia.

Erandio celebrated their golden anniversary in 1965 with a match against neighbours Athletic Club at San Mamés. Eventually the club moved into Nuevo Ategorri on the 13th October 1967 after work had been done on the pitch, which would help in subsequent years with its fine drainage.

Relegation back to the División de Honor came in 1969-70, while the club built a new bar at Ategorri. A new metal grandstand followed in 1972, in time to see more glory years at the club. A title win in 1972-73 propelled Erandio to the Tercera División for one season.

Back in the División de Honor de Vizcaya, Erandio were crowned as champions in 1974-75, 1975-76, 1976-77 and 1977-78 leading to promotion to Segunda División B with Santurtziarra Ziarreta Blas in charge of the side, for four seasons in a league that had become the third tier of Spanish football following reorganisation.

Erandio played in the Tercera División from 1985-86 until 1987-88 before the club dropped back to the fifth level División de Honor. The team continued at this level until 2006-07 when a terrible season saw ‘Auriazules’ relegated to the sixth level Preferente de Vizcaya.

After four seasons Erandio won promotion in 2010-11 as they finished as league runners-up following a 4-1 win away to CD Padura. After three seasons back in the División de Honor, the club were promoted to Tercera División Grupo IV with another second place league finish in the 2014-15 season.

Erandio’s centenary season ended in relegation but celebrations saw the publishing of a book on the club history, a match of veteran players against Athletic Club and TV channel Canal+ shown a report of the centenary of the club on their ‘El día después’ programme.

Back in the División de Honor, Erandio ended the 2015-16 season just avoiding relegation before weighing in with a eighth place at the completion of the 2016-17 campaign.

SD Erandio Club will play in the División de Honor de Vizcaya in the 2017-18 season.

My visit

SD Erandio Club 1 Lekeitio 0 (Sunday 26th February 2017) División de Honor de Vizcaya (att: 120 est)

It was the third day of my Bilbao and Biscay trip and the weather was once again kind. Despite a late night getting back from the match at Eibar I was ready for action and grabbed a sandwich at Abando station before jumping on the Metro to Erandio.

Within a few yards of leaving the station I came across the club offices and bar on the corner of Mitxelena Kalea and Bereterretxe Kalea, which the club opened in 1976. I headed inside where a few fans were gathered. Despite the language barrier I managed to order a beer and pintxo. I was pondering whether I had time for another before climbing the hill to Ategorri when fate intervened.

I was encouraged over the road where a coach was parked up. I followed one of my new friends who was with his young daughter and climbed aboard where a club official gave me a basic four page programme before I was given a free ride up the hill.

Once I’d bought my ticket for €10 at the kiosk I was inside the wonderful venue. Erandio were obviously a club of great status, although I hadn’t realised at the time. I entered the interesting bar and took up the special beer and pintxo offer for just €3. Why pay more, as my favourite saying goes!

Ategorri had a covered stand with a concourse behind. The bar and changing rooms were built next to it, with a few steep steps of open terrace at the other side. The terracing continued behind the goal. Two sides of the wonderful arena had been dug out of the hillside meaning they were enclosed by large walls. The final two sides had no spectator accommodation, with the far goal giving way to a large drop behind the fence.

Because of the layout and location, Ategorri afforded magnificent views down to the Nervión and miles beyond. The weather helped but I was genuinely taken away. A small group of ultras with a magnificent array of banners were congregating behind the goal just as their team scored within a few minutes.

I went around to take some photos. The fella from the club pointed me out to the rest of the gang, as I was given a can of beer. Once I’d got my shots I went for a chat. One of the guys; Ivan Plaza Pascuas asked if I was on Facebook?

He was astounded after checking my timeline and seeing which stadiums I’d visited over the previous couple of days. Unbelievably we’d both been at the same match at Arenas Club against Ivan’s ‘big’ club Sestao River Club.

We got chatting and took photos. Ivan told me that after the game I had to head off with him in his car. Who was I to argue? The game continued. It wasn’t a bad standard but the occasion far outdid it. I had another beer at the break, but none of my new friends would join me.

From what I can remember chances were rare at either end in a tough midfield battle. Erandio’s defence seemed pretty solid. The keeper had time to share an occasional chat with the ultras behind his goal.

Towards the end of the game the fans who were travelling back by the coach gathered at the corner stairs ready for their getaway. I waited and wandered back round with Ivan and the gang. Once they’d put the flags and drums away in the store Ivan drove me and Unai down the hill to a very local bar.

The lads did the introductions. I’m not quite sure what they said but it was met with smiles and shaking of heads. I suppose it had been a while since they’d met a Scarborough Athletic fan who’d been to a Sunday morning Erandio match!

Unai’s Mum was sat outside in the sun. Like everyone else I’d met on my trip she was most welcoming. Unai opened his garage and I was ushered inside and given the choice of several Erandio blue and white striped shirts. I went for one with a number nine of the back.

The bar was down a dead end off Antonio Trueba Kalea with some magnificent graffiti pledging allegiance to Athletic Bilbao and Erandio. The fellas had to head off so after just one beer we said our goodbyes.

I wandered back round towards the station reflecting on a brilliant morning. Just to round things off a brass band were playing in San Agustin Plaza, the very place where Erandio Club ran their raffles to save their existence in the 50’s and 60’s just as the weather hit 20’.

Aupa Erandio!

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