Chair 164, row 15 in the central gallery in Mestella will from now on always be staffed. Valencia placed a statue of a supporter who died two years ago. Vicente Navarro Aparicio attended all the home matches of his favorite club for years until he died. And that while the man was blind.
“My father was a strong supporter of Valencia and that’s how I got hold of the microbe,” says Navarro’s son in a film in which he tells the story of his father more blissfully. “I was nine years old when he took me to the cup final in 1967. We beat Athletico Bilbao. I can barely remember how long it took us to get there.” The Copa del Generalísimo final took place in Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid, some 355 kilometers from Valencia.
40 years ago Navarro tore his retina and became blind. But the man’s limitation made him an even bigger fan of the Spanish club. A match against Karlsruher was the last one he watched on television. From then on Navarro would only go to Mestella to watch the matches from the stands.
“Dad wanted to feel the club and visibly enjoyed the atmosphere. I then told him about what happened. 2004 was his most memorable year.” Valencia then took the double. Under coach Rafael Benitez they won La Liga and the UEFA Cup. “Twenty years in advance, he marked the date that the club would have existed for 100 years. That’s why I know how much he wanted to be there to celebrate that. Now he won’t have to miss anything.”
Valencia has been in existence for 100 years since March 18 and wants to highlight the band with its fans. “Vicente followed our club with the purest feeling. His statue is a tribute to all the supporters who led us to success.”