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This Sunday saw the passing of ex-FC Barcelona president Raimon Carrasco i Azemar (1924-2022) at the age of 98 years old. The team will be wearing black armbands in this Sunday’s game with Real Madrid in his memory.
FC Barcelona wishes to express it condolences to his family, with whom it shares in mourning along with the club’s members, supporters clubs and fans, as well as the football world in general. May he rest in peace.
Born in Barcelona on 17 February 1924, Raimon Carrasco i Azemar was president of the club from 18 December 1977 to 1 July 1978, from the end of the Agustí Montal presidency to the holding of the first democratic elections after the Civil War on 6 May 1978. His life was marked by the shocking experience of the arrest and shooting of his father, the Catalan businessman and Catholic Manuel Carrasco i Formiguera, captured by the Francoist authorities and killed in Burgos in 1938. The rest of the family, including Raimon Carrasco himself, were also detained as part of the same incident, but were exchanged for Francoist prisoners.
On returning to Barcelona, he tried to rebuild his life and continue his further education, and became an FC Barcelona member on 30 October 1940 at the age of just 16. After getting his law degree he entered the insurance sector and worked for Industrias Agrícolas, and in the 1960s he worked for the Banco Industrial de Catalunya and Banca Catalana, where he was a director and later president. He was very involved in different business and culture activities, including Òmnium Cultural and the Enciclopèdia Catalana, for which he was the president of the administrative council from 1996 to 2006.
Associated to the most dynamic pro-Catalan sectors of the era, Narcís de Carreras asked him to become a member of the board that he led from January 1968. Due to his political background, his presence on such boards at the time caused considerable concern to the authorities, but he continued to serve on the board under Agustí Montal, eventually becoming club secretary. He was very much involved in the ‘Catalanisation’ of the club and fought fervently against the sporting injustices that the club suffered. In 1973, Carrasco became vice-president, and celebrated his 50th birthday watching the famous 5-0 win at the Santiago Bernabéu.
In 1977, Raimon Carrasco served for six intense months as club president. The club neat Las Palmas to win the Copa del Rey, the club’s first post-dictatorship title, and also oversaw the testimonial to the departing Johan Cruyff against Ajax in 1978. But his biggest job was to organise the first democratic elections at the club since the Civil War, and ensuring neutrality throughout the process.
Although he was no longer involved in running the club, Carrasco has always stayed closed to the team and acted as an advisor. In December 2015, he was honoured on his 75 years as a member and attended the funeral of Johan Cruyff in 2016. In 2013, the Generalitat bestowed upon him the highest honour in Catalonia, the Cross of Sant Jordi
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