LOn the afternoon of February 25, 1987, a crew of A-2 workers, assigned to the municipal district of Fraga, cleaned the shoulders and part of the lanes at kilometer 150 between Barcelona and Zaragoza. At half past one a terrible accident had occurred in which tourism and a highway maintenance road were involved. It rains the seas and the car, a BMW, was built against the other vehicle's box after several spins as a result of the accumulated water. The result was tragic.Jos Emilio Guruceta Muro – a celebrity of Spanish arbitration in the 80s – and one of his line judges, Eduardo Vidal Torres, died instantly. The third team member, Antonio Coves Antn, was seriously injured.
Although three decades have passed,A.G.D. He prefers to remain anonymous. "I am a calm man, already retired. It is better to leave him like that." Then he was one of those responsible for keeping the highway sign cleanin any circumstance and place within its municipal term. With only 19 years, had an eventual contract and go to the task when required.
The tragic death of Guruceta was known in Spain a few minutes after the accident. It was a shock. So A.G.D. and his companions knew that they worked in a scenario on which he had set many eyes. "When we arrived, the vehicles were gone. Only the remains of the accident"Between pieces of plastic, crystals, rubber and other objects scattered after a brutal impact, A.G.D. appreciated a metallic glow:"It was a whistle. I was in the arcn. I picked it up and put it away. I always thought it was from Guruceta. I don't know One always associates the whistle with the referee. I did not know if the linemen carried or did not carry their own. For me, it was the referee's whistle. "
Nor does it take many turns to why he has kept it during these 32 years. "I had it in a drawer, along with other objects of some sentimental value of the family. Objects of my grandmother and things like that. But I always had the concern of giving it back to its owners, to the family.I thought it would be your hope to have it. Then there was no facility we have today to contact someone. I tried with the Federation, but it didn't happen".
A.G.D. I never lost the concern of returning the whistle to the Guruceta family. Every so often I opened the drawer and saw it there, so it was almost part of the family relics. On social networks, on Facebook that, above all, his wife manages, he found the thread to throw until he found the best possible recipient. That was how I contacted Gabi, Gabriel Guruceta, the referee's son. "It was a joy to find him and, above all, to be able to return it to him. That is the really important thing. Not the time that I have kept it or how he picked it up. The important thing is that it is a memory that is with whom he has to be.hour I find myself as calmer, with the awareness of having done what I had to do".
Indeed, on the other side of the cyber skein is Gabi Guruceta. I was five years old when the accident happened: "I was very small.I didn't have the exact notion of the size of my father's figure. Although then I have always followed everything that has been said and published by him. What they tell me, how it was, its popularity, what it means in Spanish arbitration …He has always been very present in my life. To the point that we live in Elche and I have come to San Sebastin, where he was from. I felt I had to come here for him. "
Gabi has no more than 15 days with his whistle: "I have it hanging and I will not take it off. It doesn't bother me and I go with it to all the sites. It is such an emblematic object …"I received it by mail, sent by that young highway maintenance operator to whom he now holds eternal gratitude:" Of course, I would like to thank you while you live. It has been a gesture on his part. "
Gabriel Guruceta does not know how to describe exactly what he felt when he opened the package and had his father's whistle in his hands, 32 years later: "Imagine.It was a huge emotion. It is a little chipped, worn, but shines. Without a doubt, it's my father's".
And here we discover another of the great enigmas of this story: how to know with absolute certainty that the whistle was that of Jos Emilio Guruceta Muro and not that of any of his auxiliaries who, as a precaution, always carried it in their luggage. Gabi has the answer: "I've been told thatOn a trip to Italy, my father heard the sound of an urban guard's whistle and he loved it. He liked the tone here. So he got out of the car, went to the police in question and asked for the mark. It was a Balilla, Italian. And since then, my father only used that kind of whistle. It couldn't be from anyone else. The one I have comes with its brand and its serial number. "
Balilla whistles are very popular in Italy.Made in Florence, they lived their little splendor in the 30s, as they were used by military personnel and country police. In fact, its main uses are inscribed on one of the faces of this story: "Polizia-Calcio-Sports". It is not surprising that Jos Emilio Guruceta Muro, punctilious to the smallest detail on the pitch, decided on such instruments.
When the accident happened,the arbitral troo traveled from Elche to Pamplona. At half past nine at night the Cup match was played between Osasuna and Real Madrid. The referees had no obligation to sleep in the city of the party and many displacements, however long they were, took place during the day.
Although Gipuzkoa, Jos Emilio Guruceta was attached to the Murcian school, sinceHe had moved his home to Alicante. In Elche I had a business, Guruceta Sports, dedicated to both footwear and sportswear.
The arbitral group had left at seven in the morning of the illicit capital, with the intention of arriving in Pamplona at lunchtime. A trip of 670 kilometers, almost seven hours long. As Antonio Coves has recalled in successive anniversaries, everything takes place with relative tranquility until that fateful 150 kilometer of the A-2.Only five minutes earlier, the tro had stopped to refuel, drink a coffee and, in the case of Guruceta, who drives, do some small races to stretch muscles. The braid was an accomplished athlete, a physical prodigy who had in his aerobic capacity one of the keys to evolve into modern arbitration. He was reputed to run more than soccer players.
When they resumed the trip, the rain was getting worse.The BMW license plate A-6530-AG, owned by the referee, did aquaplanning, turn several times on its axis and went to recess with its rear against the Ebro service road. A vehicle without a box, whose structure acts like a blade. Both Guruceta and Eduardo Vidal Torres, who was in the back seat, died instantly. Coves, in the passenger seat, maintains that he was saved because his partner, in a way, made him a shield.
In addition to the pain from the loss of an icon of Spanish football, the rest of the day's development was especially bitter.The Spanish Federation of Soccer, in an attitude of incomprehensible passivity, lacked sensitivity and reflexes to suspend the match. Despite everything that had happened, the match had to be played. The referee was missing. The National Referees Committee also failed to react. They say that Garca de Loza refused to whistle when they suggested it. The easiest solution was searched by nearby geography.Jos Donato Pes Prez, from the Aragonese school, resident in Zaragoza, was only a couple of hours from Pamplona … by car. I could referee the match. He could not or could not refuse. In the middle of an atmosphere of grief and tension, that damn Osasuna-Real Madrid Cup is played.
But, without a doubt, one of the episodes that marked the career of Jos Emilio Guruceta Muro was another Cup match, the one played by Barcelona and Real Madrid at Camp Nou in 1970, which ended up in the middle of a scandal that pursued the collegiate throughout his career. A mole in the midst of prodigious performances, which made him the most famous referee in Spain, with almost two decades as international or records that lasted 30 years, such as having been the youngest referee to debut in the First Division.
Butthat penalty play, that foul on Velzquez, two meters outside the area and that Guruceta turned into a maximum penalty, put him at the center of all the controversies. He was sanctioned for public altercation, Barcelona recused him practically for life and lit one of the most acute chapters in the rivalry between Real Madrid and Bara. There was not, after each controversial play between these two teams, who did not draw the penalty of Velzquez pointed out by Guruceta as the main argument. An today is remembered in gatherings and discussions. Go down in history as Iniesta's goal in South Africa has passed.
Butit will be unfair not to blame Guruceta for his contribution to modern arbitration. Starting with the physical preparation and continuing with an intuitive and flexible application of the regulation. With him, the image of the past collegiate of weight began to die out and the plant of the sports referee arrived, who could talk about soccer players, because he came to the plays with the same efficiency as them.
I also sought to grant the arbitration exercise a range of profession.I defended the rights of his companions and, taking advantage of his fame and good work, ran to improve conditionsof the members who, in the 70s and 80s, whistled practically for love of art.
Today will be unthinkable a trip like that disastrous displacement that cost him and one of his judges online. The memory remains … and a chipped whistle for eternity.
As can be seen on the cover of that day, just below the fatal news, MARCA's reaction was immediate, establishing the 'Guruceta' trophy for the best referee. Precisely Gabriel, son of the deceased collegiate, be in charge of delivering Del Cerro Grande, who repeats, the trophy corresponding to the 18-19 season.
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