Chapter 10 – Igualada: first appearance of Nicolau Casaus

Throughout history, supporters’ clubs have been distinguished between sporting and social, although some have covered and continue to cover both aspects of their activity. In the 1920s, there were many sporting penyes that had football teams, and their origin is probably to be found in the existence of FC Barcelona’s fourth teams. In a previous chapter, we explained that a relevant example of this is the great winger Vicenç Piera (over the years, known as “the Witch”), who became one of the legendary players of that era in Barça’s first team after training as a player at Penya Nova Germanor.. The Penya Barcelonista de la Ràpita bears his name.

Igualada, forerunner of Barça supporters’ clubs in the Catalan territory

But now we move on to Igualada, because regarding the name “Germanor”, precisely in the capital of Anoia was born what we consider – unless new documents appear to the contrary – to be the first supporters’ club outside Barcelona or its metropolitan area. This was Penya Nova Germanor from Igualada, a penya that had its own football team and organised activities of all kinds aimed at both men and women. It also made trips to Barcelona to watch Barça at Les Corts, with a group of young people who possibly used the fact of going to Les Corts as an excuse to visit the Catalan capital.

However, before the appearance of this penya, according to La Vanguardia, in 1928 a team from Igualada played against a so-called “Peña Azulgrana”. And both in their rival and, later, in the Penya Germanor, there was a character who was to become a key figure in the history of the FC Barcelona supporters’ clubs: Nicolau Casaus. On the one hand, he played football with the Ateneu Igualadí team, and on the other, he joined and led the Penya Germanor.

Casaus, a promoter full of unknowns

Like all of Casaus’ life, this part of his youth before the age of 18 raises doubts. The official biographies say that Casaus created this penya in 1931 with a single objective: to play football matches and travel by coach to see Barça at Les Corts or on other trips. But there are some biographical passages that generate doubts, especially considering that Casaus himself was a person who, despite having a gift for words worthy of admiration, there are some pieces of his own life where there’s an impression (rightly or wrongly) that he created some fable with a story of his own that could be far from the exact reality..

In this case, on the one hand, it is said that he created and presided over the Penya Germanor in 1931 (when he was only 18 years old, or maybe less), but on the other hand, there are reports that state that this supporters’ club was already created in 1930, and that they even played a match in Santa Coloma de Queralt. And that it was precisely Nicolau Casaus who, on taking over the management of the penya, gave it a new impetus and enthusiasm.

Be that as it may, and without wishing to detract from its merits, there is the possibility that this penya was created in 1928, when it played matches at the Pobla de Claramunt ground; furthermore, there are photos from 1930 where people from the penya can already be seen on excursions or other leisure activities. It all remains one of the many unknowns that such an elongated and emblematic figure as Nicolau Casaus has always produced.