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A series of events with a red-and-white flavour

The ceremony for awarding the gold insignias and commemorative plaques to people that have been…

A series of events with a red-and-white flavour
A series of events with a red-and-white flavour
Jul 11, 201814:05

The ceremony for awarding the gold insignias and commemorative plaques to people that have been members for 50 and 75 years fairly accurately reflects what Athletic stands for as a club. The Ibaigane Palace, a historic building dating back to the early 20th century and inspired by traditional Basque architecture, is the ideal setting that permits the Club to salute and thank those that year in and year out give meaning to the journey defined by a unique way of competing.

In the building’s central atrium, under the spectacular stained-glass windows painted by Anselmo Guinea with Basque motifs, the members being honoured make themselves comfortable on the seats set out for the ceremony in the interior patio, with many of them being accompanied by close family members. Following the welcoming speech delivered by the club chairman, a video is shown with black and white photographs from the past, and the music chosen to accompany the images full of life and memories is Izarren hautsa [Stardust], in the version immortalised by Mikel Laboa.

This is far from being a random choice. The lyrical melody and the unmistakeable voice of the bard combine with lyrics that perfectly match the red-and-white club’s philosophy. Anyone who identifies closely with Athletic will find that the verses originally written by Xabier Lete provide the inspiration for understanding part of their identity. “And thus we live, forever, tirelessly shaping the way we have chosen to be. We prevail through hard labour, fully knowing that we are a link in that chain that transcends us”. While the screen projects scenes from the past showing some of those in attendance, with players from the 1960s and 70s such as Iribar, Argoitia and Igartua, the lyrics of Izarren hautsa provide the soundtrack for the audience’s unwavering attention, knowing smiles and expressions of nostalgia. “We are also someone and we try to see life from our place in the world: shrugging off silly dreams and finding our path after burning the scrub away”.  Among those gathered here, there are people from all walks of life, yet in one way or another they all identify with the same idea of club, and without knowing exactly how, they feel that identification goes beyond football and involves life itself, those that came before them and those that will come after. “The same trunk we sprouted from will give birth to others, and the young saplings will continue the same struggle. Masters of our own destinies and picking ourselves up whenever we fall”.

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