In 1972 a few guys led by Mike Birkett in the British Embassy along with friends who were working in businesses in Madrid got together for a kick around one Saturday morning. As interest grew, an official team called FC Británico de Madrid was formed and in 1976 became original and founder members of an amateur league what is now called La Liga Santillana.
In those early years the club played matches in Pozuelo till the late 1970´s until Pozo del Tio Raimundo became the permanent home ground of the club. Many Britanicos will always refer to this ground as simply Pozo and the club is fondly remembered by locals in the area. Sadly in 2001 the owners couldn´t maintain the ground and it lay in ruins for a few years until the local Council took over and refurbished the complex into a modernised complex with much in demand artificial grass. FC Británico de Madrid keep going and now play their league matches all over the city stretching from Barajas to El Pardo and Canillas to Getafe. Matches take place on Saturday mornings and during the season the club trains on the all weather grass pitch at the Instalación Básica Las Cocheras, La Elipa.
In the early years of the club, you either worked in the Embassy or in business. But as English became a very popular language to teach, lots of teachers arrived in Madrid. Those who liked their football were soon playing for the club. Nowadays, the players have a variety of careers. In keeping with the modern era FC Británico de Madrid opened their club to others also. While the fundamental reason for existing is to offer a competitive game for those from English speaking countries, the club does allow 3 “extranjeros“ to play in its teams.
The ultimate success of winning the league always eluded the club but often finished in the top half of the league. The highest position was 2nd in season 1982-83 when it came down to the last game of the season. The club has also finished 3rd on a few occasions including season 2005-06. The current team continues to maintain this tradition and is getting used to being in the top half on a regular basis.
So who do FC Británico de Madrid play against. Most of the teams are company based and previous & current opposition includes Michelin, Telecinco, Portland, Santillana, Sanitas, Banco de España and Navidul. The club also play friendly matches, entertain visiting teams from England and from time to time tour parts of Spain. Such places have included Segovia, Toledo, Bilbao, Barcelona, Sevilla, Montilla and perhaps the highlight was the visit to ‘The Rock’ to play against Gibraltar, then temporarily managed by ex- England international Peter Barnes to help them prepare for the Inter Island European Nations Tournament.
The club continues to develop and in 2005 started a second league team. For a few seasons prior to this, there had been a friendly team, which went one step further and became members of the Bunwer League playing most of their matches at El Pardo on the northern outskirts of Madrid. In its first season the team finished a very creditable 7th out of 15 teams. The team has steadily improved and in 2008 finished as Runners Up.
2008 also saw the emergence of a third team playing in a League Cup Competition form Spring to Summer which then went on to be league champions in the newly formed Mivam league. From that success, the Mivam team together with key members of the Bunwer team, amalgamated to enjoy yet another fresh new challenge. For season 2009-10, the club decided to move forward by affialiating to the Federación de Futbol de Madrid, where the club will now feature amongst other barrio teams within the South Eastern area of Madrid.
Apart from League action FC Británico de Madrid does involve itself in other football and social activity. They organize their own company 5 a side and inter country competitions known as futbol sala in Madrid. And at the end of every season the club represents Great Britain when they are invited to take part in the Mundialito a tournament for the various immigrant populations in Madrid.
With such a history it´s inevitable that players come and go but some will never disappear. With this in mind the club now has a Veteran´s team which plays a few games during the season. There is even talk of them entering a league – watch this space.