Fri. Apr 10th, 2020

The Weston-super-Mare, about to go down for the first time in its 131 years of history

El Weston-super-Mare, a punto de bajar por primera vez en sus 131 años de historia

In Weston-super-Mare, what super is a saying. It is, with all due respect, a dreadful place, like almost all the coastal cities of England, without even the decadent charm of Blackpool, with its old two-story streetcars, its fake Eiffel Tower and its (unfulfilled) pretensions of being a British Las Vegas. Only the old ones remain, and less and less. His train passed when the families decided to spend their holidays in Benidorm, which at least has better weather, better food and better beaches.

In the midst of such existential crisis, with a dramatic decline in tourism, crime and drugs, closed shops and pubs and a wheel unable to seduce even the most childish and naive, andhe great pride of this town of Somerset It was him football team, that in its 131 years of history has never descended from category, something that neither the Manchester United, neither Liverpool, nor Chelsea, nor any of the giants of the Premier (the one that is closest is the Arsenal, but it fell in the first years of its history, when it played in Woolwich, before moving to the most prosperous neighborhoods in the north of the capital).

His magnificent streak is about to end

But it seems that Weston-super-Mare will soon lose that honor, because the team is last in the English sixth division (National League South), and there seems to be no possible remedy. Already in the years 2007, 2008 and 2010 he did everything he could to lose the category, but the gods were on his side and he was saved by the financial irregularities of Farnborough Town, the merger of the Hayes and the Yeading, the inadmissible state of the field of Cambridge, and the bankruptcy of Salisbury.

It is true that it is not the same to remain in the sixth or seventh English division than never having fallen from the top category, as is the case of Barça, Madrid and Athletic in Spain, of Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord in Holland, of Celtic and Aberdeen in Scotland, from Porto, Benfica and Sporting in Portugal, from PAOK, Panathinaikos and Olimpiakos in Greece, from Besiktas, Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray in Turkey, from Inter in Italy, and stop counting. Until the German Hamburg last May (his fans did not take anything well) and the Argentine River Plate have descended to second. Even so, for the followers of Weston-super-Mare AFC and for the city it was a cause of satisfaction, one of the few, and they will lose it.

The downfall of Weston was to ascend a few years ago from seventh -which was its natural habitat- to sixth, which has come too large. Because the seagulls (shared nickname with Brighton and Hove Albion) just take a few hundred spectators to Woodspring Stadium. We are talking about a semi-professional club, taxi drivers, car dealers and teachers who only train two nights a week (Tuesday and Thursday), whose maximum rivalry is with the Clevendon Town, a neighboring town that has become thinner and more prick.

The coastal population of Somerset, in the Bristol Channel, was a village of thirty houses at the beginning of the 19th century, but the industrial revolution, the railroad and the boom of the Victorian resorts such as Bournemouth, Morecambe, Brighton, Southend and Blackpool, arrived. for working class families to spend their vacations. Many holidaymakers liked to look at the sea and have the feeling of being on the beach, but without being stained with sand, and that's why the docks were built with attractions, slot machines, food bars, tea rooms, bands, chairs of plastic, artificial flowers and ladies who throw the cards and read the future, always rosy (tourists must be pleased, otherwise they do not return). Weston-super-Mare has two, one abandoned and one that was rebuilt a few years ago after it caught fire.

The city lives from memories, from when it had one of the main helicopter factories in the country (today a museum), the American soldiers were stationed in World War II, and the Winter Gardens and the Tropicana amusement park were inaugurated with their large outdoor pool. Today many of the art deco buildings are barely visible behind barbed wire fences, almost ruined. Everything is a bit decadent. Life expectancy is the third lowest in the whole United Kingdom. Every year fewer tourists come, and their average age is increasing. Young people seek life in Bath or Bristol, which have more march. And soon, he will not even be able to boast that his team has never lost the status …

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