Handball in Barceloneta

On a sporting level, Barceloneta is a neighborhood world-renowned for water polo, but in addition to “polo” and soccer (which we will talk about in the future reports) there was a time in which it stood out at a very high level in handball. In this report we want to recall this time.

We go back to the mid-60s. A passionate and renowned handball player from the neighborhood, Vicenç Iborra, recruits the first batch of players from the neighborhood, kids and some foreigner who was studying at La Salle Barceloneta. Among others, some coming in the first instance from La Mercè and then from Poble Sec (where Martín Algas, Cubero and Valiente stood out).

This is how the La Salle Barceloneta handball section was formed, federated in juvenile, children’s, youth and senior categories.

The golden years

A time of splendour was when Llorca, one of the players of the 60s, got his father, a textile factory worker NERVA, to provide the iconic green and yellow uniform.

This generation had Pepe Rodríguez as coach and Vicenç Hernández Pallerols as La Salle sports coordinator and eternal delegate.

At this time, season 71-72, the senior team came to play the final of Catalonia in Ripollet between the teams of Picadero, Caspe Moritz, FC Barcelona and, them, La Salle Barceloneta.

They were times of few resources in a neighborhood like ours. The players were kids who studied and/or worked and could only train during the week at the La Salle court… from 10 to 12 at night!

The prize was going to the movies or a sandwich at the school bar, Ramiro’s. But despite the limitations, the team had its own equipment, a travel bus and a team of passionate followers, “The Maranyes” , headed by Juanito “el Campanero” and with fathers like Agustí Segura, Miquel Martí, Manolo Atienza and many others.

Logically, the quarry work was very important. Participating in leagues of their categories, in the Molinete school tournament, coinciding with teams like Padre Manyanet , Granollers, FC Barcelona itself, the Sarfa of Huerta, the Virolai or Esplugues.

The cadet team participated in the International Tournament in I love you (Italy) in 1983.

From La Salle to Repla

Alleging that the field did not meet the regulatory dimensions, in the 1977/78 season the team was forced to play on the Repla court.
At that moment the merger between La Salle and Barceloneta and the Sports Center occured.

With senior, youth, and women’s sections.
In 1983 they won the Spanish Handball Federation Trophy, winning in the final played in the Seat pavilion. Arraona from Sabadell.

La Repla was a very special court. Without hot water in the showers, the players barely took time to change.

Another singularity of the Repla was that when there was low fog, due to the humidity of the sea, the rink looked like a skating rink that often had to be previously dried with sawdust to be able to play.

A group of friends

Meet for lunch at La Cova Fumada or at Vaso de Oro stealing from him “by neglecting” the hard-boiled eggs that Gabriel Fort Sr. had on the lid, or the tray of mojama that only lasted one day.

There were also the unforgettable ham raffles to raise funds that were held in a Repla packed with people.

But it is true that Futsal was strong and little by little it grew with leagues and cups that required many hours of occupation of the room. The only track then to practice sports.

The great rivals of La Barceloneta Handball were among the seniors: Sabadell, OAR Gràcia , the Balsareny, the Palautordera and, of course, the Salle Bonanova; in youth: Juventut de Mataró and Sant Miquel (on Muntaner street).

Playing in La Barceloneta was not easy for the visiting teams with very dedicated fans, both because of the stands a few centimeters from the playing court, or through the tunnel access to the La Salle patio.

Names to remember

Firstly, Vicenç Iborra, who played for FC Barcelona and Seat, to whom we largely owe the birth and development of handball in the neighborhood.

We must also remember a series of fundamental people, such as coaches, assistants or collaborators with one function or another and at one time or another, such as Mr. Pi, Martí, Fernando Larrea , Emilio López, Victor Moreno , Chillida , Félix Rodríguez, Ricardo Rodríguez, José Luis Sediles , Paco Pérez, Lindo Farreres , Jesús Muñoz, Pepe Rodríguez, Ángel Muñoz, Pepe Montes, Pere Aragonés, Vicente Hernández, Miguel Piera, Rafael Gresa , Pere Rogeras , Joan Grau, Félix Rodríguez or Pepe Moreno. Among others who never earned “a penny.”

Regarding players – and apologizing in advance for those we forgot to mention – we will quote:

-Lindo Farreres that went to the ASOBAL with SEAT and Granollers and with the absolute Spanish National Team.

-Pepe Fernández i Jaume Tomillero who went to the Barça youth academy, the Picadero, and where Pepe played in the 2nd Division.

-Jaume Mateu , who went to A.E. Sarria in 1st National .

-Josep Sadurní and Martín Algas who played for the Catalan National Team and who did preseason with Barça.

-Joan Segura, who played nationally with EN Bazán de Cartagena.

-Oscar Talavero who played in the 1st National with OAR Funny.

-Antonio Montes, who was in SEAT also at 1st National.

-Iñaki Castillo who with José Antonio Montes signed for Sant Quirze in 1st National.

-Toni López who was Barça’s youth goalkeeper with the great Barrufet.

-Paco Pérez who came to train with the Barça youth team and was a goalkeeper at Salle Bonanova in the 1st National and now coach of La Roca and with his son Marc playing in Benidorm in the Honor Division.

The team of Valdivieso , with the aforementioned Talavero , Rodergas , Miró, José A. Montañas, Lupi López, Pol, Llueve, Iñaki Castillo, Jaume Llinás , Devesa…

Later, the García Moruno, Escutia , Maicas, Carlos Castillo, March, Bolea , Diaz, Pitu Ayza , Muñoz, Toni García, Ferrer, Feliu, Herrera, Jordi Llinás , Soni , etc.

And later, Patxi Castillo, Català , the Birnagdelli brothers , Isra mountains, Marti , Carlos Arena , Carlos Montes, the signed Genís and Agus , among many others.

We must also highlight the figure of Joan Herrera, who became an international referee.

We continue to see each other

Nowadays and for a few years to come, if nothing happens, you will be able to encounter, on one Saturday morning a month, a good group of veterans having lunch at the bar Jai-can , venue for so many gatherings since they were very young.

There discussing amicably – or sometimes more heatedly – if it was true that one day they didn’t have a ball to play with and coach Emilio López urged them to look for one, which Jaume got. On top of that , he didn’t play later. Or if it was true that some of them needed a bucket of water to get to the game without sleeping, even though Paco Plaza denies it.

In summary. It is a saga of people, men and women, who experienced sports, friendship, and the feeling of neighborhood like few others.

Who remember with appreciation those who are missing: Jesús Muñoz, Santi Moreno, Armando Moreno, Vicenç Iborra, Yolanda Fernández, Cristina Caballero, Silvia Moreno… Hoping to meet again to play the last game and dreaming that perhaps a new generation will emerge that will be relief from those times. Because this gang will never be whistled for passive play.

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