A Valencianista symbol from the League Titles of 1971 and 2002 and the Double winning season of 2003/04
A big white `fan´ with the Valencia CF crest painted in colour and a message of support is the indelible image of the League Titles that were won in 1971 and 2002, and the historic double season of 2003/04. As is the case for other Valencianista symbols, the `palmito de Aldaya´ holds many stories within its blades, from its production process, to its makers, to the reason for its message. On the 18th of April, 2017, exactly 46 years since the League Title was won in 1971, let´s revive the story of this object which is full of symbolism.
To do so, we need to go back to the days leading up to the 18th of April, 1971, when a group of friends from Aldaya decided to travel to Barcelona to support Valencia CF. The team had to play RCD Espanyol with the League Title at stake. On the same day and at the same time Atlético Madrid played FC Barcelona at the Estadio Manzanares, with both still in the hunt for the title.
Francisco Peris, Antonio Galindo, Pascual Barberá, Manolo Paz and Francisco Tur set off for Barcelona with what is now a historic artefact: the great white `fan´, made by brothers Francisco and José Vicente Peris, which they carried around Barcelona with them. Walking up and down the Rambla, they showed their support for Valencia CF in front of thousands of people in Barcelona; even the Consul of Nicaragua joined in.
Despite our team´s loss to Espanyol (1-0), the Valencianistas, managed by Alfredo Di Stefano, won the Title due to the 1-1 draw between Atlético and Barcelona. The achievement highlighted the motto on the `fan´: “Whatever happens, the League is Valencia´s…che, che, che”, and also responded to the headline in a Madrid newspaper which made fun of weaknesses shown by Valencia in recent games. From the Sarrià pitch everybody could see the unfolded `fan´ with the blades signed by Di Stefano and the players who won the fourth league title that very same day at the team hotel just hours before kick-off.
However, that wasn´t the only time that the `palmito de Aldaya´ celebrated a victory. In 2002, Jaume Ortí, Valencia CF president and friend of the Peris brothers, took the symbol to Malaga for the chance of the Club becoming League Champions once again, and 31 years after its last celebration the `palmito de Aldaya´ was held aloft again. The raising of the `fan´ was repeated for the League and UEFA Double season of 2003/04.
In recent years, it has been on show to the public at the Science and Sport exposition at the Valencia Arts and Sciences Muesum, and after that it was displayed at the Mestalla Forever Tour, until it was restored, an initiative by Valencia CF Foundation´s VCF Patrimony and Museum Department. On the 29th of March, it was put back on display in the latest Algiros Forum “The Fingerprint in the Memory” alongside other works of great artistic and sentimental video for the Club, after having been restored by the Polytechnic University of Valencia´s Institute for Restoration.
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