Chapter 9 – The penya “Els Tres”

In 1928, two news pieces appeared both in La Vanguardia and El Mundo Deportivo referring to a penya called Penya “Els Tres”. In the case of La Vanguardia, in its edition of March 3 of that year, it publishes:

“Tomorrow at 11.00 am, the popular penya “Els tres” will inaugurate its new premises at Rambla de Cataluña, 2 (in the Barcelona Theater building). Members of the first teams of FC Barcelona and Real Unión de Irún, as well as their respective delegates, have promised to attend the inauguration ceremony. In addition, all the clubs of groups A and B, swimming clubs, boxing, athletics, etc. have been invited”.

We can only be surprised before the level of this penya, which we could compare with those of our times, or even with more responsibility than the current ones. A penya that opened its new headquarters, and that had already had another one, according to the news. And, in addition, we must highlight where this place was: no less than Rambla de Catalunya.

But let’s have a look to the final vision of the news given by El Mundo Deportivo a day later, in the edition of March 4:

“The vermouth of honor dedicated to the players of the Real Unión de Irún and FC Barcelona will be, with no doubt, a nice act that will serve to further strengthen the bonds of friendship between Irun and Catalan sportsmen. The event will be enlivened by the Patria orchestra, performing the best of its repertoire”.

In nine years, we went from entertaining a party with the Sextet Esquerra to an orchestra called Patria. Things of dictatorships.

Tribute to Arocha, Piera and Sastre

To finish, we must say that this penya honored three players who were admired at the time: Arocha, Piera and Sastre. And that this celebration had been organized because on March 4 there was a match of the knockout round of the Spanish Championship between Barça and Real Unión de Irún. That day, basques and catalans would tie to 4 goals. These penyes of the 1920s show us what it meant to be an FC Barcelona embassy, a term that today is only used to embellish the facade of some electoral program.

Àngel Arocha was a scorer from the Canary Islands who was highly esteemed by the FC Barcelona fans. He played 240 games with the first team and scored 236 goals. Arocha had a sad end because he died at the front in the Spanish Civil War. He was 31 years old.

As for Vicenç Piera, he was a fast right winger that everyone knew as “the witch”. With a refined style and millimetric passes, he was in charge of serving the goals to Samitier, Sastre, Arocha, etc. Today, there is a penya that still bears his name: the Penya Barcelonista Vicenç Piera de la Ràpita (Federació Terres de l’Ebre). He wore the Barça shirt between 1920 and 1933, with 395 matches and 123 goals scored.

Finally, Josep Sastre was one of those silent forwards, but with a great performance. He played 203 games with the first team, between 1926 and 1932, and scored 146 goals. As an anecdote, it is worth mentioning that in the first edition of the Spanish League (1929) he scored the winning goal against Real Madrid. Barça would be proclaimed champions.