113 years ago today FC Barcelona was founded by a young Swiss athlete named Joan Gamper
Born in Winterthur on November 22 of 1877, Joan Gamper started his professional career with Basel before moving on to FC Excelsior and then FC Zurich. Barça’s founder also played for France’s FC Lyon. In 1898, his commercial endeavours took him to Barcelona, where he quickly felt the urge to play football for an organised team with a legal structure. On October 22 of 1899 he took out an ad in Los Deportes magazine looking for people to help him organise a football club.
Shortly after the ad hit the stands, on November 29, Joan Gamper met with eleven men at the Solé Gymnasium. The men were Gualteri Wild, Lluís d’Ossó, Bartomeu Terrades, Otto Kunzle, Otto Maier, Enric Duca, Pedro Cabot, Carlos Pujol, Josep Llobet, John Parsons and William Parsons. All in all, six Catalans and six foreigners. Coincidentally Solé Gymnasium and Los Deportes magazine were housed in the same building, which was located at Number 5 on Montjüic del Carme Avenue and Pinto Fotuny, adjacent to the Rambla de los Estudios, which is home to the famed Canaletas (where Barça supporters go to celebrate Club trophies). The Club’s first headquarters – a room boasting a table, four chairs and two notebooks – was at the Solé Gymnasium. Football Club Barcelona’s (the Club’s original name) founding meeting started at 9 PM on November 1899 and ended minutes after 11 PM.
Gualteri Wild was named president; Luis de Ossó, secretary, Bartomeu Terrades, treasurer, and Joan Gamper team captain. The price to become a FC Barcelona member was set at two pesetas. In those early years, Club members were the players, as the team wasn’t quite big enough to have supporters. Curiously, important decisions like Club colours and the Club shield were tabled for the second meeting, which took place on December 13, five days after the team’s first official match, at the Bonanova Velodrome. In the second meeting the board settled on blue and red as the official colours for the FC Barcelona strip and the Club shield was to be the same as the crest of the city of Barcelona. In fact, the shield we all know and love today wasn’t developed until 1910.