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Ponferradina: The pilgrimage that changed one football obsessive's life

Marc S.

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Since 2012: CF, CdN, CP, Salvador, Aragones, Via Regia, Elisabethpfad, Jakobsweg NRW, Jakibspaad.
I know football is a trivial matter for many (and in that case: ignore this thread), but I came across this article, and it made my day.

It tells the story of Chris Pidgeon, an Englishman walking the camino in 2011 and getting obsessed with Ponferradina, from Ponferrada, then playing in the Spanish third division. Chris says: "I have always been drawn to football but I saw the stadium in Ponferrada and it just had an effect on me, almost unexplained - a lot of people have spiritual experiences doing that Camino walk, perhaps mine was a calling to El Toralin? "I got chills, it was spine-tingling - a massive part of my heart is and forever will be in El Bierzo."

In 2014 he went on to live near Ponferrada for two years. And he still visits their matches10 times a season, while living again in the UK. "I left part of me there and I've kept going back to find it ever since,", according to Chris.

The article also mentions: He has become something of an unofficial mascot for the club, moving to the city, celebrating promotion to the second tier with players on the town hall balcony, building a Ponferradina museum in his home that boasts almost 3,000 items and even appearing on Iranian TV in recent months.

(I have to admit his story resonates with me. I vividly remember my first arrival in Muxia, where I forgot all about the chapel that was supposed to be the end of my camino. Instead I almost automatically walked to the beautifully located ground of CF Muxia - floodlights simply appeal to me)

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