AC Museum opens “The Children of ’37 in the United Kingdom” exhibition

AC Museum opens “The Children of ’37 in the United Kingdom” exhibition

The new temporary exhibition tells the extraordinary stories of the Basque children refugees who developed a passion for football in the elite while exiled in the UK

Visitors can now see “The Children of ’37 in the UK”, Athletic Club’s new temporary exhibition focusing on the story of the thousands of Basque children who were evacuated to the UK during the Spanish Civil War and who, in some cases, went on to compete at the top level of football, some of them even going on to play for the Lions.

The exhibition’s inauguration took place today at San Mamés, just one day after the 85th anniversary of the bombing of Gernika, an event which hastened the evacuation of Basque youngsters to the United Kingdom on board the SS Habana.

Those present at the opening event included Aitor Elizegi and Asier Arrate, president of Athletic Club and director of the AC Museum, Carlos Sergio and Begoña de Ibarra, Director of Sports and General Director of Culture at the Provincial Council of Biscay, Carmen Kilner, president of BCA 37′ UK and daughter of one of the teachers that went to the UK with the children, and Manu Lezama, son of Raimundo Lezama, legendary Athletic goalkeeper during the 1940s, and one of the protagonists of the exhibition.

The goalkeeper was one of the refugees who travelled on board the Habana to England, he would make a name for himself at Southampton FC before returning to Bilbao and becoming an Athletic Club legend.

Through photographs, documents and testimonies from the period, the story of Raimundo Lezama accompanies others such as those of Emilio Aldekoa, Sabino Barinaga and José Luis Bilbao Gallastegui, children evacuated in 1937 who would leave their mark on professional football.

Visits to the exhibition are included with general admission to the AC Museum and the San Mamés Tour.