Father Lluis Sabaté blesses the first stone laid for the Estadi de Les Corts, on 19 February 1922. | FCB ARCHIVE

Popularly known as Mosén Lechuga, or ‘Father Lettuce’, Lluís Sabaté was the FC Barcelona priest for several years and it was he who blessed the first stone at Les Corts stadium on 19 February 1922. He was a diehard Barça fan and a great sportsman who won the affection of everyone at the club, whether they were believers or not, because of his joyful, down-to-earth manner.

Mosén Lechuga only lost his cool when the team suffered major losses, whereupon he’d unleash his fury against the players. One day, at half-time during a game at Les Corts in the twenties, Barça were losing after a dire first-half performance. An incensed Sabaté went down to the dressing room to give the players a fierce scolding:

-Boys, it’s as if you’ve forgotten that you have the Barça crest on your chests –the priest blurted out as he walked in.

-What do you mean by that? –replied an irate Josep Samitier.

-What I mean is that if you don’t play with blood, you won’t achieve anything.

Barça ended up winning the match. After the final whistle, Samitier went up to the priest to show him a deep cut over his eyebrow, caused by a heavy clash with an opponent. 'Sami' could not hold himself back:

-Are you happy now? We won and blood was drawn!

Lluís Sabaté died on 31 March 1946, just a few hours after Barça missed out on the Liga 1945-46 title by drawing 1-1 with Sevilla at Les Corts on the final day. But he left the world with a smile on his face because just before he passed away, somebody told him that his beloved team had won the championship by beating the Andalusians 2-0.