Silent Heroes of Football – Part 1

Football can lead us to discover many surprising facts and figures.  We all know about the British and the German soldiers playing football at Christmas during the First World War.  But how many of us know about Saturnino Navazo, a footballer all the way to the core?

This admirable man was born in the province of Burgos, Spain, in 1914.  He was brought up in Madrid where he spent his free time kicking a ball on the dusty streets of Cuatro Caminos, and playing in the local club at youth level. At an early age, he moved on to play as midfielder for Club Deportivo Nacional de Madrid, which at that time, was the third biggest club after Atlético Madrid.

Saturnino’s skills and personality caught the attention of a lot of people in the football world and he was very close to signing for Betis Sevilla.  However, life was to play foul tricks on him, as on the eve of his big move, the Spanish Civil War broke out, truncating his bright career.

He hung up his football boots and replaced them for Republican army boots.  These boots were to take him further and further from Madrid and football……

To be continued.