AthleticTOMarc Arieta and on the return from Madrid the even bus in Durango to honor the scorer
ANDlAthletic accumulated 11 years without enjoying a Cup title. Never in his history had he been so long without lifting a trophy. So the one achieved against Elche was a special moment. Jos AngelIribar, who had been the European champion with the Spanish team, premiered in the wins with Athletic and still has it recorded. “It is one of my best memories,” says El Chopo. The lions trained by Rafa Iriondo prevailed over the surprising Elche, a club that has an excellent twinning with the experiences of that match. Last June,on the 50th anniversary of the Bernabu final, an illicit delegation visited San Mams to participate in a joint tribute with the Red and Whites of the time. “Athletic was a great team. We played a great game, but that was David’s fight against Goliath. And Goliath won,” said Asensi that day, one of the Elche players who later had an excellent successful career at Barcelona. .
The Cup was a blessing for Athletic who in the League had gone through some problems that they were not used to. Theteam was reborn in the tournament that is engraved in DNA. And do not disappoint. It was the last edition of the Cup in which only 16 First Division teams participated, which was a model already used in the previous decade. The RFEF explained that it excluded groups from other categories because otherwise calendars would have to be reordered and there were no dates.
The Cup was acartwheel compared to a League that Real Madrid had wonand that it had Las Palmas, Barcelona and Sabadell behind. As well,none of the top four finishers was able to pass the first roundof the tournament. Furthermore, Valencia, who was fifth and qualified for the Fair Cup, got off in the next round. Athletic eliminated Zaragoza, Deportivo and Granada and wereabout to take a final against Real Sociedad, but the txuriurdin team fell in the semifinals with Elche.
TheBernabu match was no wonder. It was decided a few minutes from the end, when both coaches and the public feared that the dispute would go to extension. But no,Arieta appeared and sent a center to the young Clemente. The squad surrendered to the scorer and upon returning by coach from Madrid they decided that there was no better tribute than passing through Durango, Arieta’s hometown and residence. “Before leaving we asked the masseur (Guillermo Perdiguero) to stop by a store to buy red and white shirts for all of us who were on the bus. We dressed in it and returned to Bilbao.We decided to enter Durango so that Antn had the tribute of his peopleand it was a great surprise, “said Iribar in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the final that they beat Elche.
June 15, 1969
Athletic: Iribar, Sez, Echeberria, Aranguren, Igartua, Larrauri, Argoitia, Uriarate, Arieta II, Clemente, Rojo
Elche:Araquistain, Ballester, Iborra, Gonzlez Lezcano, Llompart, Serena, Curro, Vav, Asensi and Casco
Goal: 1-0 82 ‘Arieta II
referee: Camacho Jimnez