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

Friday, June 30, 2017

SD Moraza (Spain)

SD Moraza is a football club based in Bilbao in Spain’s Basque Country who were formed in the mid 1920’s following a meeting led by Don Ignacio Miñón, which was held in the slaughterhouse buildings in the city’s Plaza Moraza.

Club Moraza Sport was registered with the Federación Vizcaína de Fútbol in 1925. The club entered the local Serie C competition for the 1925-26 season, remaining there until 1929 with home matches being played at Campo de Etxezuri in la Ribera de Deusto and Campo de Artxanda.

The club appears to have ceased playing from 1929 until the 1946-47 season, as the club moved permanently to Artxanda, high above the city on Mount Artxanda playing in the 2a regional league.

Moraza were crowned as divisional champions in 1946-47, 1947-48 and 1948-49 under coach Janda as well as lifting the Trofeo Nervión in 1947-48. Paquirri took over looking after the team for the 1949-50 campaign until 1955-56 when the team were promoted to league 1a.

Under new coach Rodri, Moraza were relegated in 1957-58, as the club went through a few coaches until Paquirri returned in 1962-63 to take the team up once again, where they remained until suffering relegation in 1965-66.

The next promotion to league 1a came in 1967-68 under Alberto Elorza. They remained at that level until 1972-73 when the side went back to 2a. Paquirri returned once again to take the club to promotion in 1974-75, but their spell lasted just twelve months.

Carlos Imaz too Moraza back to level 1a in 1976-77 before also heading another promotion in 1980-81 as Moraza reached the sixth level of Spanish football in Territorial Preferente Vizcaya before going on to be crowned the amateur champions of Vizcaya in 1982-83.

Ricardo Padilla’s side were relegated in 1983-84 to 1a, before Tatxo took the club back to the Territorial Preferente in 1987-88. Moraza retained their status until the completion of the 1991-92 campaign.

Carlos Pouso would be the next coach to take Moraza to promotion back to the Preferente in 1998-99. The club consolidated their position and gradually built before being promoted to the fifth tier División de Honor de Vizcaya under Roque Olivares in 2004-05.

Moraza were relegated in 2008-09 back to the Territorial Preferente. In 2011-12 Jon Moreno led the club back up to the División de Honor, where they remained until the end of the 2013-14 season, when they were relegated back to the Preferente.

The club were relegated once again in 2015-16 to the Primera Regional Bizkaia. However, Moraza finished as runners-up in Grupo II and won promotion at the first attempt.

SD Moraza will play in the Territorial Preferente Vizcaya in the 2017-18 season.

My visit

Monday 27th February 2017

It was my final full day in Bilbao, on what had been a tremendous long weekend. I’d enjoyed every minute of it all, whether sightseeing, socialising, eating and drinking or around football. My visit to SD Moraza was totally unplanned until the previous afternoon.

I’d met Mark, a Leyton Orient fan and his pals at the Arenas game on Saturday and then again pre match before heading to watch Athletic the following day. While comparing sightseeing notes I mentioned my intention to go on the funicular up to Mount Artxanda.

His gang had been up that morning and told me that he’d come across a decent sized football ground up there. There was no way I was going to pass the opportunity to go and have a look for myself.

After a lovely walk through the old town Casco Viejo for breakfast I wandered around the north bank of the Nervión to the entrance of the lift at Funikularreko Plaza. The view up at the top over Bilbao was excellent as I had a walk around Escultura de la Huella.

I found Campo de Artxanda along San Roke Bidea, from where I got an excellent view across the plains and across to Bilbao Airport. However, it looked like my visit would end in disappointment as the arena was locked.

My stubborn streak kicked in and I walked all the way around the park that surrounded it. Just when I was about to give up hope, I spotted a gap in the bottom of the wire fence. Nobody was around and I wasn’t going to cause any damage, so I sneaked under.

Campo de Artxanda had a small sided training pitch at the top end, while the main pitch with its artificial surface was surrounded by a small strip of open standing. The far side was dominated by a good sized raised seated stand.

Once I’d taken my photos I headed back to take some more shots of the city before heading back down the hill and head to my final football venue of the trip; the home of CD Getxo.

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