FC Barcelona, founded in 1899 by a group of young foreigners living in Barcelona, was the result of the increasing popularity of football, and other British sports, across Europe. These origins have conferred upon the Club its intercultural identity, multi-sport focus and its deeply-rooted allegiance to Barcelona and Catalonia. The foundation of the Club coincided with a time when people were becoming interested in playing sport in Catalonia; this social context and Catalonia’s idiosyncratic culture led to the creation of a new model of modern leisure. Gamper, the Club’s founder, was the inspiration and driving force behind the Club’s first 25 years. His commitment to FC Barcelona went far beyond his role as player, director and president.
THE CLUB'S FOUNDATION
Hans Gamper (Winterthur, Switzerland,1877 – Barcelona, 1930) arrived in Barcelona in 1898 for professional reasons.During his free time, he played football with a group of friends in Bonanova.
In October 1899, Gamper placed an advert in Los Deportes magazine to find players interested in forming a football team.
On 29 November, Gamper and eleven other men (Otto Kunzle and Walter Wild from Switzerland; John and William Parsons from England; Otto Maier from Germany; and Lluís d’Ossó, Bartomeu Terradas, Enric Ducal, Pere Cabot, Carles Pujol and Josep Llobet from Catalonia) came together at the Solé Gymnasium to form an association that would bear the city’s name and coat of arms: Futbol Club Barcelona.
GAMPER AND BARÇA'S FOUNDING VALUES
Gamper was sports fanatic - aside from football, he participated in athletics, cycling, rugby and golf - and he considered it a vital factor in bringing out the best in man himself.
He aimed to create an organisation that was open to everyone, regardless of their origin. He envisaged a club that served as a means of social integration, in which everyone could speak their mind, and he created a democratic society that was freely governed by its members. As a sign of his gratitude to Catalonia, the country that had welcomed him, Gamper imbued FC Barcelona with the essence that has come to define it ever since: its commitment to Catalan identity.
Catalan identity, democracy, multiple sports and universality: today, Gamper’s original values continue to give Barça meaning.
THE FIRST CLUB BADGE
FC Barcelona decided to use the same badge as the city of Barcelona in a show of solidarity with the city that played host the new sports' club.
.In 1910, the board decided that the Club needed its own badge and organised a competition to find a new design and it adopted the format that with one or two variations has survived until the present day.
THE FIRST KIT
At the beginning, half the shirt was blue and the other claret, the sleeves were opposite colours and the shorts were white. The most likely theory regarding the origin of the colour is that they come from the kit worn by the rugby team at the English school Merchant Taylors' school where the Witty brothers, two of the first members of the Club, had studied in their youth.
THE FIRST FOOTBALL GROUNDS
Their difficulty in finding permanent grounds was due to economic instability and the lack of large open-air spaces at a time when the city was undergoing urban expansion.
- 1899-1900 The former cycle track grounds at Bonanova (today, next to Turó Park)
- 1900-1901 The Hotel Casanovas grounds (today, Hospital de Sant Pau)
- 1901-1905 Carretera d’Horta grounds
- 1905-1909 Carrer de Muntaner grounds
THE COPA MACAYA, THE FIRST TROPHY
The Copa Macaya was the precursor to the Catalan Football Championship. It was begun in 1900 by Alfons Macaya, president of the Hispania Club, when he announced his intention to organise a competition between Catalan teams. The trophy is an exceptional work of modernist art but unfortunately the Copa Macaya disappeared a year after the creation of the Catalan Championship.