Inaugurated in 1913, El Rubial is the second oldest football stadium in Spain after Gijon's El Molinon. As you would expect for a stadium of such an age, many of the games greats have graced its turf. Zamora, Di Stefano, Kubala, Kempes, Bebeto and Torres have all played at El Rubial. Unfortunately most of these appearances have been in friendlies. Águilas Club de Fútbol was the resident club for the majority of its history, but they never played above Segunda B. In fact they only managed 7 seasons at this level and spent over half their existence in the regional leagues.
The first official match recorded at El Rubial was on 19 January 1913 when Sporting Club, a team of English ex-pats working in the local mining industry, played Sociedad Levantina. There are however, anecdotal accounts of matches being played on this field as early as 1908, the year El Molinon opened. The field was directly behind the local power station and was the property of John Gray, the English owner of the electric company. In the deeds for the ground, he stated that it should be used for playing football and not for any other purpose. This stipulation continued when the ground was passed over to the local municipality in 1987.
As for Águilas CF, well the pinnacle of their footballing history occurred in season 2005-06, when after a 5 year absence, they returned to Segunda B and finished second in the league. This was only their third season at this level, but hopes were high after such an impressive campaign. In the play-offs they were paired with Alicante CF and although they lost the first leg in Alicante 1-2, the team was confident of progress. A 0-0 scoreline dashed their hopes and it was back to Segunda B football for the 2006-07 season. That was about as good as it got for Aguilas CF and after finishing the 2009-10 season in last place and with debts in excess of 400,000 euros, the club folded.
A new club, Club Deportivo Águilas Futbol Club now use the ground for their matches and currently sit near the top of Group XIII of the Tercera. El Rubial is a simple enclosure, that's a hefty goal kick away from the town's Poniente beach. It has a main stand and changing block on its north side that dates from 1954 and was opened with a friendly against Real Madrid. To build the stand, the ground had to be extended, and this land was donated to the club by the owner of a farm from which El Rubial takes its name. Opposite is a narrow terrace of four steps, which disappears at the halfway line to allow space for the dugouts. Behind each goal is an area hard standing. The Power station has long since disappeared, replaced by modern housing and one is left wondering if John Gray's insistence that the ground be used solely for football was the ultimately the downfall of Águilas CF. With no land to sell, the club was backed into a corner when the debts accrued. Here's hoping that CDA Águilas FC have a more realistic set of ambitions.
The origins of football in Águilas are linked to the English presence in the town during the last decades of the19th century, which saw a large traffic of ships from this country,trade in Esparto grass , by both the concession to an English company for the construction of the Aguilas-lorca railway - Granada.
Therefore,everything suggests that the first people who played football in the Region of Murcia were some of these Britons who already knew the sport, which had practiced it with a certain regularity in the spare time,taking advantage of any wilderness that enabled as a makeshift football field.
The Águilas men dare to play :
Initially the natives of the town paid no excessive attention to this typical English divertimento,until in the middle of the Decade of 1890,Ginés García Abellán,son of the shipping agents, Gabriel García Mora,moved for a time to Aberdeen to learn English. There he started practicing soccer, and upon his return, taught a group of friends the basic rules of the sport and persuaded them to play matches from time to time.
The Águilas men came into contact with the British and agreed the dispute of some parties. Some of the Águilas men players slowly began to show a superior of the English ability and, although in the first clashes victories fell on the foreign side, with the passage of time the locals came to defeat on several occasions to his rivals. Finally, English and Águilas men, decided to join forces and organize a football club that would form the best players regardless of their origin.
The older members :
Among the members of the club we have to emphasise some names as the directors James Glover Fisher,born in 1840,and who,according to their year of birth,we have considered the oldest person who had some kind of relationship with the football in the Region of Murcia. On the other hand,the older players who have been able to identify according to your date of birth have been Ginés García Abellán and Angel Gabaldon Bau,both born in1876.
Águilas men best players began to work together in the year 1900 under the orders of John Gray Watson.After several months of training, they were prepared to go to Lorca to play the first game in the history of the regional football between two teams representing two different populations.
At the beginning of the 20th century the the ball game was a sport known for good part of the inhabitants of Águilas and Lorca, not because they had an excessive interest in follow their evolution, but because passers-by called attention to see as in the wasteland youth groups gathered to kick a ball.
Soccer negatively caught the attention of most conservatives for being a contact sport which could be very dangerous to the physical integrity of its practitioners. At the beginning of the 20th century were considered how violent contact sports. Those who did not have any knowledge about football they were offended by its danger, both by the precarious conditions of the land of games (which sometimes were filled with small stones) and frequent falls that occurred as a result of agarrones,shoving,kicking and tripping.
The Organization of the challenge:
The first great challenge of regional football was held in1901. In this year the football was still a suport unknown almost throughout the region (including the city of Murcia).However, aguilenos and Lorca they were already capable of organizing a sports structure and after several months of training agreed to measure their strength.
It may be assumed that the party was agreed betweenJuan Gray,founder and alma mater of Águilas and Manuel José Pelegrín Dunn,the introducer of football in Lorca. A double confrontation ,first in Lorca and later in the town of Columbine is quite likely.I know that the second match played in Águilas in mid-August, 1901, even though you do not know the day and the month in which took place the first meeting between both clubs inLorca.
The language of the time :
Murcia football history begins, therefore, with this match between Lorca and Águilas held in1901when football was still a marginal game. The sport was full of anglicisms that cost new enthusiasts long assimilate.Some of them such as football(soccer) or corner have survived to this day; other usual anglicisms at this time as (Defense) back, midfield(midfield) ,forward(front), referee(referee), match(party) were lost with the passage of the years.
Football fields are called"jugaderos"and they did not meet the regulatory action.Players wearing flashy uniforms long sleeve(in the case of the Águilas was a Wool Sweater) and had no numbers on the back,because the numbering of t-shirts did not appear until several decades later. The players wore boots of canvas or military, while the ball had a tendency to break or deform, which meant a great setback, as not there used to be more than one ball. Goalkeepers never blocaban balls, but they were limited to clear them without excessive fanfare, being, therefore, fundamental placement since not they threw to the ground for fear to injury. Teams lined following the same layout than a foosballplayers: i.e.,a goalkeeper, two defenders, three midfielders and five forwards.
Mr Muñoz Calero was born in Águilas (Murcia),15February 1908 . He died in Madrid 1978 .He was President of the Real Federación Española de Fútbol(1947-1950) and Vice President of the Athletic Club of Madrid in the Decade of the seventies of the 20th century.
He began his football careeras a player in the ranks of the aquiline club:UniversityF.C.,a team composed of students who were returning to the Águilas during the summer. On August 15,1925 he made his debut in the ranks of the Águilas cf. In 1947 was elected President of the Royal Spanish Football Federation,position in which he remained until the Championship world of Rio de Janeiro ,in Brazil 1950, in which Spain beat England achieved its best ranking (fourth) until then. During his tenure he created the sport footballers mutual. In addition,he was named head coach of the team from the International Federation of Football Association (FIFA), which faced England at Wembley. In Rio de Janeiro,during the Board of FIFA,he was elected member of the Executive Committee of this organization; be coming the first Spanish who entered the Executive of world football's highest body. Subsequently,he took part in the signing of Di Stéfano for Real Madrid and,thanks to their influence,managed to that RealMadrid, FCBarcelona and Atletico de Madrid moving to Águilas to a tournament. As a tribute ,one of football fields that currently exists in Águilas has the name of Armando Muñoz Calero.
Located in the calle Muñoz Calero, number 22 exhibits the history of football in Águilas, from its beginnings from around 1896. Thanks to the initiative of the Scottish business man Juan Gray Watson, this sport was bought to Águilas.
It is worth mentioning the football ground of Águilas El Rubial the oldest football stadium in Spain (1913).
At the same time, football was developed in the neighboring city of Lorca at the hands of Manuel José Pelegrín Dunn, "Manny", son of the Spanish consul in Newcastle, who had visited the town to meet her paternal family and became interested in family properties. Finally, Manny decided to move his residence to Lorca,city in which it undertook a series of business and that he married
First skirmishes :
During the last years of the 19th century the wasteland of Lorca and Águilas were witnesses of the first football skirmishes that occurred in the Region of Murcia. The young residents in both populations practiced the game finishing learning, with more or less success, until it was raised the first great challenge in the history of the regional soccer: a match between two teams in different locations.
This historic meeting was held at Lorca during the year1901(day and month us are unknown) and ended with Águilas win by 0-2. The two teams returned to face on two other occasions, in August 1901and February 1904, when football was still a sport unknown in much of the Region of Murcia.
Ginés García Abellán got that sport that had excited him also liked his friends.In just a few weeks a group of young Águilas men playing football in a plot called"Fence"(next to the current Paseo Isaac Peral)which was very close to the home of Garcia Abellan.
Shortly afterwards the natives decided to challenge the English men in the field in these usually played. After suffering several defeats young águilas men won some of those games. Finally, English and aguilenos they joined forces and the most outstanding players of both communities created a representative of the city club to compete against teams of English sailors.
The first of the Region of Murcia football club :
In 1900 it was informally Águilas Football Club.Juan Gray was put in charge of this project and became President and coach of the team. On February 10, 1905 Águilas Football Club presents its regulation in the register of associations, being, in this way, the first football society of the Region of Murcia in official Constitution. Even though this team is popularly known as Sporting Club aquiline or Águilas Sporting Club, none of these two names appear in any official documents of the time.Therefore, the right thing would call this historic team Águilas Football Club. Later, in the 1930's, was founded a new company called Sporting Club aquiline , than anything that has to do with the historic Águilas Football Club.
The Águilas Football Club had its headquarters at the number 1 of the street Lope Gisbert. The society was characterized by the youth of its components, because the average age was around the age of 18. Among the players were English Jacky Gillman (brother of the director of The Great Southern of Spain Railway Company Limited Railroad),Rolando and Mervin Naftel, sons of the English Consul in Águilas and Hugo Borthwick, and the aguilenos Alfredo Cervetto (first goalkeeper in the history of the club), Luis Soler, Pepe Montalbán, Ginés Llorca and two pairs of brothers: José and Pedro Martí and Gabriel and Ginés GarcíaAbellán ( the person who released this sport in the town ).
A wool sweater :
The top of the first uniform of Águilas Football Club was not a t-shirt,but a white wool jersey divided into horizontal stripes of different thickness. At the top of the jersey, at the height of the breast and on a sort of Rhombus white background,the image of the coat of arms was printed: a double-headed eagle.
Between 1900 and 1901 Águilas Football Club played a series of matches against teams of sailors of British steamers. At the same time,football also developed in the neighboring city of Lorca at the hands of Manuel José Pelegrín Dunn"Mannie", son of the Spanish consul in Newcastle, who organized the first matches in this city between1896 and1897. In1901 was officially born Lorca FootBall Club and it was in that same year when the first football challenge of history in the Region of Murcia was undertaken: a match between the teams of Águilas and Lorca.
The encounter between Águilas Football Club and Lorca FootBall Club was played in the field of Lorca team during the year1901. Before the start of the match local fans showed their surprise by the age of most of the águilas men players. Visitors is imposed by 0-2.From that moment began the astonishing trajectory of the Águilas Football Club.
The first game in the history of the regional football between two different towns disputed Lorca and Águilas teams in the "jugadero" of Los Llanos de Santa Quitéria de Lorca. The data about this meeting are very scarce, as does not appear the same information in any media of the time. The Party took place in 1901 ,but has not been possible to find out not the day or the month.
Águilas cf presented a very young lineup in which highlighted the presence of several young players aged between 14 and 16 years, what he called the attention among the members of the dating team that was more veteran (if exception to the sons of Manuel Pelegrín, who were also teenagers). The party ended with Águilas victory by 0-2. Thus the aquiline club became the first football team of the Region of Murcia to win a game played between clubs representing two different localities.
Águilas and Lorca were the first towns of the Region of Murcia have organized soccer teams and that disputed the first matches faced two teams representing two different populations. More than one century has passed since those historical confrontations ,and even today,the Lorca and Águilas (albeit with different to the 1901 denominations) disputed a friendly match every summer which, in a way ,serves as a tribute to the pioneers of football in the Region of Murcia.
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