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Saragossa                                                       back

   In 1954 I moved to Saragossa to study Veterinary Science and I brought my handball expertise that made possible to raise the Regional standard and that of schools to national standard. I was in my first year here when I read in the local news that “I have been selected in the national olympic handball team to play in Switzerland but unfortunately I could not join the team because of studies responsibilities”. Second time unlucky!

   My team Iberia under manager Anadon. The Director of the “Teatro Principal” Anadon was the manager and he gained a sponsorship from the great pianist Iturbi (of Argentina). Here made great friends: The best was Alfonso Mateo Blanco, (an Oto-rrino-laringo-logist now), that soon was challenging me for the best handball player position of Aragon. Others like Baturone, the son of Capitan General of the “VII Region Militar”; Salvador (Salva) Valdes, whose father, a surgeon attended me many times including after my rugby accident, when playing again the Medical School team, our biggest rival, I literally “broke” my head – I went head on onto a concrete bench. I was in coma for two days.  Dr Valdes generously attended me in his private clinic.   

   Third time lucky I thought! When I least expected I had  a direct call from the National Rugby Association to communicate me that I had been selected to attend a fortnight Rugby camp in Madrid, under the guidance of a French coach, in preparation for the test match against the RAAF of England. This time I didn’t miss it. I don’t think my father new of it.

 We played several international matches against France and Germany. I remember playing against Stuttgart. They were very good and beat us. After the match we took them to the well known "Casa Felix" to eat "tortilla of potatoes and "bacalao", washed down with an excellent "cariñena" red from the bat. Once we warmed a bit the Germans would stand up, raise their glasses and toast "Salutem und Plurimam Pesetas". Finish the drink and we the aragoneses would stand up and shout  prosit. And, when we decided we had enough we went down to the "Paseo de la Independencia" where we danced "la conga" around the traffic police. The Germans could not belief it. They were scare we might end up in jail.

After finishing my career, And serving my military obligations at the animal Hospital in Zuera (Aragon) as Second Lieutenant Veterinary Surgeon I went back to Hernani (1957and had the opportunity to play olympic handball with the "Amaikak-Bat" of San Sebastian. Sabino Adarraga (n o relation) was the coach.

We won the Championship of Gipuzkoa in the 1958-1959 season. In December 19, I left Spain.

 

The picture was taken in Anoeta, San Sebastian.

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