PB Villabalter: 31 years, 1 book and a lot of ‘culé’ passion
REPORTS 04 Sep 2019 - Supporters' Clubs World Confederation
Johan Cruyff was completely unaware he would become one of the driving forces of the Peña Barcelonista Villabalter that currently counts with over three decades of history and blaugrana tradition
Curiously, the story of the Peña Barcelonista Villabalter begins far way from the province of León where it grew up. The early days coincided with the declaration of FC Barcelona as the new champions of La Liga in the 1984-85 season. Many Barça supporters’ from the town of Villabalter had travelled to Valladolid to share this decisive match with the local supporters’ club “El Botijo”. That intense day left Leonese fans with a real urge to continue following the club of their dreams, something which later led to the creation of the PB Villabalter.
Cruyff, the Leonese legend
During the 1988-89 season, there was an event that had a huge media impact in the world of football: the naming of former Barça player and football legend Johan Cruyff, as coach of the first team.
With the arrival of “El Flaco”, the town of Villabalter completely threw itself into Barça and the desire to establish an official supporters’ club became increasingly obvious. Preparations began to make the dream of having their own supporters’ club a reality, in a town that had no more than 700 residents at the time.
That dream was achieved in the summer of 1988, after a group of friends led by Pedro González –the first president of the organisation–, Manuel Ibán García, Alfonso de la Mano Barazón, Antonio Oblanca Fernández, Luis Fernando García and Isidro Oblanca Peñalosa approved, after various meetings, the founding act and statutes. The Peña Barcelonista de Villabalter was established on 23 June 1988.
According to its members, what unites the Peña Barcelonista Villabalter to the Club is much stronger than the miles that separate them from Barcelona. Solidarity, one of the values promoted by FC Barcelona, is one of those reasons, and the supporters’ club has turned it into their badge of identity.
The official supporters club book
In addition to charitable initiatives, the supporters’ club faithfully gathers together at their headquarters to share the emotions of each FC Barcelona match, and they have organised so many seminars and trips over the last 30 years that it would be impossible to summarise them all in this article. For that reason, and on the occasion of their 25th anniversary, the organisation published their own book. With almost 400 pages, the book encompasses their spirit and the activities carried out over all these years of fraternity. The title is: 25 Aniversario Peña Barcelonista Villabalter: “años de peña, años de barcelonismo (25th Anniversary Peña Barcelonista Villabalter: “Years of the supporters’ club, years of supporting FC Barcelona”).