The Brits are passionate about their football no matter where in the world they are and, here in Mazarrón, we are no exception. As the expat community here grew, small groups of football fanatics started following the local football team, Mazarrón Football Club. They got together and formed a supporters club. An inaugural meeting was held in February 2006, attended by a mere 14 people. A meeting was then arranged with Mazarrón FC which was attended by club officials including the President. This heralded the start of a friendly, close and on-going relationship and the name Los Amigos de Mazarrón FC was adopted and, in the months that followed, a lot of work was put in to ensure the success of this club.
A Player of the Year Award was presented and an end of season dinner dance was enjoyed by supporters and representatives of the football club. By the end of the 2005/2006 season, membership had grown to 45. It was agreed that Los Amigos would also support the Mazarrón junior football teams and training equipment: bibs, balls and kit bags, were presented at the start of the 2006/2007 season. Membership continued to increase to well over 100 and coach travel was provided to all the away games at a time when away support of Spanish clubs was virtually unknown. Season 2006/2007 saw Mazarrón FC promoted to Segunda B for the first time in its 80 year history. However, success was short lived and they were relegated the following season.
Los Amigos continued to organise social events for it members and their guests and introduced a 100 Club to supplement other fund raising efforts. However, despite finishing a creditable sixth in the Tercera Division in 2008/2009, the impact of relegation and the withdrawal of the sponsor, San Antonio, brought increasing financial pressures. The summer of 2009 almost saw the demise of Mazarrón FC. Stories of unpaid bills and players not being paid had been circulating for some time. Certain players then took action against the club to recover unpaid wages and the club was unable to find the necessary monies to pay the league registration fee to the Murcia Football Federation for the 2009/2010 season. At the last minute Los Amigos stepped in to make an emergency payment to the club and provided the playing kit for the forthcoming season. Without this intervention there is little doubt that Mazarrón FC would have folded. The club recognised this by inviting several Los Amigos members and officials to serve on its Committee. The Executive Committee of Los Amigos then redoubled its efforts to ensure that it could continue to assist in preserving the long term future of Mazarrón FC.
A Gala Evening and Dinner was held, attended by a celebrity guest speaker from the sporting world. This first dinner was held on Tuesday 9th February 2010 when Dave Bassett was the speaker. The event proved to be a tremendous success and raised over €2,000 as well as attracting huge publicity and further enhancing the profile of Los Amigos. Throughout the season, with the continuing support of its members, Los Amigos was able to provide continuing financial assistance to Mazarrón FC, without which it would not have survived.
Two subsequent relegations saw Mazarrón playing in the Primera Autonomica and they had to rebuild with a team comprising of mainly local players supplemented by a very strong youth set up which has teams from the ages of 6 to 18 years playing in league competitions. It took a couple of seasons to stabilise the situation, but promotion back to the Preferente Autonomica was achieved via the play-offs at the end of the 2014-15 season and a second successive promotion was only foiled when the team missed out on the play-offs back to the Tercera Division at the end of by one place and one point. The 2016-17 season saw Mazarrón reach the play-offs only to lose 2-1 on aggregate in the two legged semi- final. However, a 96th minute goal saw them gain promotion on the ‘away goals’ rule in the play-off final against CD Algar. The first season back in the Tercera Division was another step forward for Mazarrón FC which finished in a creditable 10th position out of 24 teams in the league.
Despite the ups and downs of the last few years, enthusiasm by Los Amigos members has never wavered and they continue to support the club in all ways possible. The ten Gala Evenings held so far have raised around €40,000 for the club and, in addition to Dave Bassett, sporting celebrities such as Jan Molby, Duncan McKenzie, Tony Currie, Steve Daley, Mark Higgins, Joe Royle, John H Stracey, Alan Kennedy, Steve Kindon, Alvin Martin, Alex Stepney, Chico Hamilton and Lawrie Madden, together with comedian Gary Marshall have attended the Gala Evenings along with Pete Conway, better known as the father of superstar Robbie Williams.
Just as importantly, the social side of Los Amigos has flourished in recent years. Many exciting events have been organised; go karting, bowls, quiz nights, discos, ten pin bowling, boat trips, shopping excursions, a luncheon club, short breaks in Valencia and Fuengirola and an annual celebrity golf competition and race night in conjunction with our Gala Week activities. In addition, top groups such as the Liverpool Band and Soul Power have provided entertainment at our annual President’s Evening functions.
Los Amigos continues to provide transport to away games and the End of Season Player of the Year function has continued throughout all the years Los Amigos has been in existence and is appreciated by players and officials alike of Mazarrón FC.
Los Amigos de Mazarrón FC hold weekly meetings throughout the football season, but meetings are suspended in the summer months, although some members still meet on Thursdays at The Club House, Camposol C at 4pm for a drink and a chat and to accept membership applications and renewals. Membership is €20 with partners included in this membership fee, although they cannot attend or vote at Business Meetings or the AGM. Members and partners are entitled to numerous discounts on most social events and coach travel.
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Los Amigos is in a healthy position and we look forward to many more years both socially and on the football field. Thank you to everyone who has helped make this journey possible.