PB El Papiol: the perfect blend of locality and globality
REPORTS 19 Jul 2019 - Supporters' Clubs World Confederation
With almost 150 members and over 35 years of history, the penya blaugrana El Papiol remains a symbol of culture and blaugrana spirit
“We’ve followed Barça by car, by coach, by train and by plane,” says Antonio Lorenz, president of the Penya Blaugrana El Papiol, a supporters’ club that has been accompanying the Club of its dreams for over three decades, and celebrates the blaugrana spirit and passion from the heart of El Baix Llobregat. “We’ve been supporting Barça around the world for over 35 years. For us, the common denominators of the blaugrana spirit are the people, the feeling, the love for the colours and meeting fans from other supporters’ clubs who become lifelong friends,” says Lorenz.
This supporters’ club, which currently boasts 146 members, was officially founded in November 1983, thanks to the determination of a group of culés who had always closely followed their team; whether it be at Camp Nou or from the bar in the local town square. “The main goal of creating a supporters’ club was to bring more people together to enjoy the games and organise group outings,” says the president.
Today, the now-consolidated supporters’ club still remains fully active. The entity organises all kinds of initiatives with which it maintains a bond with the community, such as botifarrades (where people get together to eat traditional Catalan sausages), food drives and meetings. Moreover, it also boasts a firm friendship with other supporters’ clubs in the area, such as those from Berguedà and Maresme, and has established a now-iconic tradition: visiting the restaurant of the Avi del Barça (Grandfather of Barça). Once a year, the club meets up with Joan Casals, the real name behind this vital character in culé history, to enjoy a day that allows them to share the sentiment that brings them together. At the last meeting, they climbed to the Pedraforca lookout point before sitting together around the table.
Culé traditions at El Papiol
The Penya Blaugrana El Papiol, which always plays a central role in the social and cultural life of the town, has actively participated in this significant event for many years. As tradition dictates, the supporters’ club members conduct a guided tour of the castle; an ideal setting for sharing culture and Barça sentiment. After the visit, they organise a talk in which a different personality or charity participates each year. At last year’s event, fans were given the opportunity to meet Sister Lucía Caram, who explained her own personal trajectory whilst also raising awareness of the reality of child poverty, in an event which remains engraved in the memories of the supporters’ club members to this day.