Sunday, 8 August 2010

Haro Deportivo (Spain)

Club Haro Deportivo are based in the town of Haro in Northern Spain, smack in the middle of the wine growing region of La Rioja. Indeed, so bonkers for wine are the locals that the annual Haro Wine Festival always ends up in a massive wine fight called the Batalla del Vino where the locals all arm themselves withe massive water pistols and turn each other pink with the booze. So it's perhaps unsurprising to learn that their fans are notoriously and pleasantly bonkers too.

The club formed in 1914, when a group of locals who admired the popular clubs of the Basque Country just to their North decided they wanted in on the fun. For the first few years they played unregulated matches on a pitch in the middle of a field used for grain threshing - and to this day their ground is named after that place - El Mazo, or The Corn. There is another theory as to the ground's name, that its direct translation - The Deck - refers to the shape of one of the stands, but it's not anywhere near as interesting. It wasn't until 1921 that they were accepted into the Spanish FA and started to play in more orgainised leagues.

They currently play in Tercera División - Group 16 - one of the tougher groupings in the Spanish game's fourth level, and their historic El Mazo ground holds a pleasant 4000 happy wine-drinking fans. They have played in the Tercera División almost every year since the 1960s. Their one glory year though came in the 2004/05 season when, after coming fourth the season before, they had just the one year in Segunda División B. Sadly the excitement soon shriveled to disappointment as they finished plumb last. But that one season has given them hope that perhaps one day they can do it again. And I'm sure everyone would drink to that.

All photos © lays with the owners
Videos from YouTube. Underlying © lays with the owners of the clips.

No comments:

Post a Comment