The oldest football club in Spain, Recreativo de Huelva, has inaugurated the first Museum dedicated to its history, that is, the history of how British people brought football to Spain.
The club, founded in 1889 by British residents of the Province of Huelva in south west Spain, will be 125 years old in December 2014 and is celebrating its anniversary with several activities. The new museum is the most important of them. The most significant things the visitors will find are the links of the club with the Scottish and English people who used to live in Huelva, Rio Tinto and Tharsis and work for the mining companies there.
The first promoter of football in Spain was the British surgeon William Alexander Mackay, Chief Medical Officer of the Rio Tinto Mining Ltd in Spain. He is recognized as the pioneer of Spanish football and now the club he founded has honoured him by his being the central figure of the new museum. Charles Adam, George Wakelin and Lewis Daniels are other Britains’ who are very important in Spanish football history for their work in helping create the Recreativo de Huelva Club.
Visitors will discover the first steps of the sport in Spain and will be able to read letters and very special documents from several years before the club was registered. These are called ‘The Seeds of Spanish Football’, as Recreativo had already existed for several years when the first Spanish Football League was formed. They will see letters dating from 1888 and documents about club matches in 1885.
Old pictures, newspapers, balls, the first season tickets in Spain, are just some of the things that can be seen in the exhibition.
“The museum is a must visit for all those who are curious about the origins of football in Spain, for here is the history of Spanish football”, said the Spanish Football Association President, Angel Maria Villar, when he opened the museum just hours before Spain played the last of its friendly matches before departing for the World Cup in Rio.
In Huelva the people are very proud of its club, affectionately called “Decano”, and of its British origins. The Museum has explanatory texts in both Spanish and English and is considered the most important in Spanish football after the Spanish National Team Museum in Madrid. The Recreativo Museum was designed by Mediapro Exhibitions, the same company that is now working in the Brazil National Team Museum in Rio.
The Recreativo Museum has the latest technologies to help visitors discover everything related to the club and its football history and, in the future, conferences about the club and the origins of the sport are to be held in the Museum.