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Thread: Joan Gamper

  1. #1
    Shabazz

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    Joan Gamper



    Joan Gamper


    Joan Gamper (born Winterthur, Switzerland, November 22, 1877, died July 30, 1930, Switzerland) also known as Joan Kamper, Hans Gamper, Johannes Gamper and Hans Kamper) was a football pioneer, player and club president. He founded football clubs in Switzerland and Catalonia (Spain), most notably FC Barcelona. As club president, he helped establish FC Barcelona as one of the leading clubs in the world.

    Founding FC Barcelona
    In 1898 he went to Barcelona to visit his uncle, Emili Gaissert, who was living there. He was on his way to Africa to help set up some sugar trading companies but fell in love with the Spanish city and decided to stay put. He would later become a fluent Catalan speaker and adopt the Catalan version of his name, Joan Gamper. As an accountant, he found work with Crédit Lyonnais, the Sarria Railway Company and as a sports columnist, he worked for two Swiss newspapers. He joined the local Swiss Evangelical Church and began playing football within the local Protestant community in the district of Sarrià-Sant Gervasi. He also attended the Gimnasio Solé and helped publish a magazine, Los Deportes .


    The ad in Los DeportesOn October 22nd 1899 he placed an advert in Los Deportes declaring his wish to form a football club. A positive response resulted in a meeting at the Gimnasio Solé on November 29 and Football Club Barcelona was born. The founders included a collection of Swiss, British and Spanish enthusiasts. Gamper chose the legendary club colours, blaugrana, after FC Basel. However the other Swiss teams Gamper played for, his home canton of Zurich and Merchant Taylors' School in Crosby, Merseyside have all been credited and/or claimed to be the inspiration. Although Gamper was the driving force behind the club, initially he chose only to be a board member and club captain. He was still only 22 and wanted to concentrate on playing the game he loved. He played 48 games for FC Barcelona between 1899 and 1903, scoring over 100 goals. In 1900-01 he was a member of the FC Barcelona team that won the clubs first trophy, the Copa Macaya. This competition is now recognised as the first Catalan championship. In 1902 he played in the very first Copa del Rey final. Barca lost 2-1 to Club Vizcaya.

    Club President
    Joan Gamper in his office at F.C. Barcelona. Waxworks at El Museu del BarçaIn 1908 Joan Gamper became president of FC Barcelona for the first time. Gamper took over the presidency as the club was on the verge of folding. Several of the clubs better players had retired and had not been replaced. This soon began to effect the clubs performances both on and off the field. The club had not won anything since the Campionat de Catalunya of 1905 and its finances suffered as a result. He was subsequently club president on five separate occasions (1908-09, 1910-13, 1917-19, 1921-23 and 1924-25) and spent 25 years at the helm. One of his main achievements was to help Barça acquire their own stadium. Until 1909 the team played at various grounds, none of them owned by the club. Gamper raised funds from local businesses and on March 14 1909, they moved into the Carrer Indústria, a stadium with a capacity of 6,000. He also launched a campaign to recruit more club members and by 1922 the club had over 10,000. This led to the club moving again, this time to Les Corts. This stadium had an initial capacity of 20,000, later expanded to an impressive 60,000.

    Gamper also recruited the legendary player Paulino Alcántara, the club's all time top-scorer, and in 1917 appointed Jack Greenwell as manager. This saw the clubs fortunes begin to improve on the field. During the Gamper era FC Barcelona won eleven Championat de Catalunya, six Copa del Rey and four Coupe de Pyrenées and enjoyed its first golden age. As well as Alcántara the Barça team under Greenwall also included Sagibarbá, Ricardo Zamora, Josep Samitier, Félix Sesúmaga and Franz Platko.

    His final presidency ended in controversial circumstances and personal tragedy. On June 24 1925, FC Barcelona fans jeered the Spanish national anthem and then applauded God Save the Queen performed by a visiting British Royal Marine band. The dictatorship of Primo de Rivera accused Gamper of promoting Catalan nationalism. Les Corts was closed for six months and Gamper was expelled from Spain. He returned to Switzerland where after a period of depression brought on by personal and money problems he committed suicide on July 30 1930

    Epilogue
    In 1966 the then FC Barcelona president, Enric Llaudet, created the Joan Gamper Trophy in his honour. This is a pre-season tournament featuring international teams as guests and is traditionally used by the club to unveil the team for the forthcoming season.


    Joan Gamper TrophyThe club also permanently retired his club membership number and the city named a street, Carrer de Joan Gamper in Les Corts district, after him. In 2002 the club marked the 125th anniversary of his birth. In 2004 the Winterthur Group, a Swiss insurance company with offices in Barcelona since 1910, became sponsors of the FC Barcelona basketball team, which led to the team featuring the birthplace of Gamper on their shirts and in their name Winterthur FCB until 2007, after Winterthur Group was purchased by AXA. Perhaps this and the fact that the club developed into a polideportivo, the very personification of Gamper, is the most fitting tribute to this all-round sportsman. Today Barcelona is "more than just a football club". It promotes amateur track and field sports and has rugby union and cycling teams. All of these were sports played by Gamper. Barca also has professional basketball, handball and roller hockey teams as well as amateur indoor football, women's football, volleyball, baseball and field hockey teams. Over the years they have even had an ice hockey team and an American football team, FC Barcelona Dragons.

    Joan Gamper report for fcbarcelona.com
    The man from Switzerland was a true example of what a sportsman should be; Joan Gamper (Winterthur, Switzerland, 1877 - Barcelona, 1930) had success in swimming, rugby, cycling, athletics and above all, football. He arrived in Barcelona in 1898 and practised the sport in the streets of Sant Gervasi and by 1899, football had been born in Barcelona.

    He founded the club and was captain of the team, however, he did not take on the presidential role until 9 years later. His level was superior to that of most others at the time and left many people marvelling at his skills. He was a forward player and scored a tally of goal unthinkable in modern times.


    Joan Gamper at his office in FC.Barcelona.


    The Joan Gamper Cup.
    Bahrain's No.1 Culé

  2. #2
    BOIXOS1981
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    Re: Joan Gamper

    Joan Gamper was an important person in the survival of our club but there were many others as well. Such as the clubs first president Arthur Witty who got the clubs first goal posts, netting, balls from England and held vital meetings in his house for the club. I´d still rank Nuñez and Cruyff at the same level of respect as Gamper though. Sarriá is nowadays the rich part of the city where the Pericos had thier ground.

  3. #3
    Bojan's Avatar
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    Re: Joan Gamper

    A good thread Tamer, and a nice input Liam.
    Seems like you learned a lot since you moved to Barcelona

  4. #4
    BOIXOS1981
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    Re: Joan Gamper

    I have mate, it´s good to see the part of muesem dedicated to Gamper. Really interesting and nice to see the huge English influence in the club. First team we played was English-Ex-pacs, first coach Jack Greenwell (English), first official president Artur Witty (English) and theres a hell of alot of players from the early 20st century. Theres a book sold in the official with everthing you would know about Gamper in English too. Have´t seen it on the web though but its a great read.

  5. #5
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    Ever since the first day I heard and read about Joan Gamper I became a thankful fan of his. What an interesting person! And the name Joan Gamper sounds mythical.

  6. #6
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    Hans (Joan) Gamper

    He was only 21 years old when he decided to lay the foundations for FC Barcelona.
    If it wasn't for Joan Gamper there would be no Barça. What a terrible thought!
    The father of FC Barcelona. We will forever be in his debt.