The Barça celebrates 122 years

Universal ideas sometimes emerge from the most modest scenes. The law of gravity was born from Isaac Newton’s apple and Steve Jobs machined Apple in a garage. The ‘apple’ that gave rise to FC Barcelona fell on the head of Hans gamper (1877-1930), a young Swiss recently arrived at Barcelona in 1898 for professional reasons he missed playing football. Besides being passionate about other sports such as athletics, cycling, golf or rugby, Gamper He already had a complete curriculum playing that British game which consisted of kicking a ball and which had landed in Catalonia in a very informal way around 1890 through British workers in the Catalan textile sector.

The organization that had allowed him to play in teams made up with a face and eyes like FC Basel, FC Excelsior, FC Zürich or FC Lyon did not find it initially in Barcelona. As an embryo of the FC Barcelona, although without becoming a sports entity, a group of friends formed the ‘Barcelona Football Society ‘, who played matches between 1894 and 1896. Among them were the brothers Parsons and the Morris, later players of the Barça. Together with a group of young people, foreigners and Catalans who lived in Barcelona, embarked on an initially humble adventure that 120 years later still remains as an institution of ecumenical outreach. The October 22, 1899 Gamper publishes an advertisement in Los Deportes magazine to appeal to all foot-ball fans. At last, the November 29, just 122 years ago today, Gamper and the swiss Otto Kunzle and Walter wild, Englishmen John and William Parsons, the German Otto Maier and the Catalans Lluís d’Ossó, Bartomeu Terrades, Enrique Ducay, Pere Cabot, Carles Pujol and Josep Llobet meet at the Gimnàs Solé to found an association that will bear the name and coat of arms of the city: the FC Barcelona. On December 8 they play the first game against the English Colony, which beats a team consisting of ten players 0-1: Urruela, Wild, Lomb, D’Ossó, Llobet, López, Terradas, Gamper as captain, Kunzle and Schilling.

At Solé Gym, Los Deportes headquarters, on December 13 another meeting determines that the dark blue and maroon colors are the ones that distinguish the new entity.

Since its dawn, Gamper endowed the club with many of the signs that have accompanied and defined it during the subsequent century: a democratic society, in which power rested with its members, and from 1908 on, “a commitment to Catalanism”, as the club on its official website. The prominence of Gamper did not prevent the first president of Barça from being the also Swiss Walter wild, friend of Gamper, gymnastics instructor at the Swiss Society and member of the Evangelical Church. Subsequently, Gamper was president up to five times.

Hans Gamper ad in Mundo Deportivo


Announcement in the newspaper Los Deportes that led to the founding of FC Barcelona in 1899 MD.

Initially, the club used the same crest as the city of Barcelona until in 1910 he opted for his own symbol, which with its renovations reaches our days with a very similar appearance. One of the theories pointed out was that Lluís d’Ossó he exclaimed in a meeting: “Això is a pot!” (“This is a pot!”) Gamper he took to drawing it. On the shield already appeared the Creu de Sant Jordi, the ‘senyera’, four vertical blue stripes and three grains and the initials FCB.

In the first instance, half a shirt was blue and the other half, scarlet, with white pants, until in 1910 the vertical stripes arrived. The theories are various: they adopted the colors of Basel, one of the clubs of Gamper, or the blue and scarlet of the clothing of the English school Merchant rugby team Taylor s‘, where the brothers Witty they had studied. The first field where he played Barça it was the old Velòdrom of the Bonanova.

They were the first steps of the club, the dream of some romantics who today, 122 years later, would rub their eyes when they saw how their toy has grown.

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