For fans of Spanish football, the retro Elche jersey is a true symbol of nostalgia. The iconic green and white stripes have come to represent the history and success of Elche Club de Fútbol over the years, with a rich history dating back to the club’s formation in the city of Elche on 23 August 1923.
Over the years, Elche has gone through many highs and lows, with the peaks of their success coming in the form of several honours, including a historic quarter-final appearance in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup during the 1963/64 season. The club’s legendary players, stadium and kit designs are still recognised and revered by fans and football enthusiasts worldwide.
Elche Club de Fútbol was created in 1923 when several clubs within the city merged, and those early years saw the team participate in local Valencian leagues. The club initially experienced moderate success, but it was not until the 1940s that Elche started to make their mark on the national stage by achieving promotions to the Second Division.
The 1950s and 60s were a period of even greater success for Elche as they made it to the top tier of Spanish football, the Primera División, in 1959. Throughout the 60s, Elche managed to establish themselves as a formidable force in the top division, largely thanks to the efforts of their prolific, home-grown forward Vavá, who was dubbed “The Brazilian of Elche”.
During these golden years, Elche reached the heights of the European stage when they reached the quarter-finals of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup – a predecessor of the UEFA Cup and Europa League – in 1963/64. Unfortunately for the club, they would later have to endure relegation to the lower leagues in 1971 and then to the Third Division in 1980.
Mirroring their rise, the club fought back to the Second Division in 1984, and finally to the top flight in 1988. Since then, Elche has experienced promotions and relegations between the first and second divisions, but their current status in the Spanish football pyramid is a testament to their resilience and commitment to their city.
The colours of Elche Club de Fútbol are predominantly green and white. The retro Elche jersey is a tribute to the outfits donned by the team during their golden years in the ’50s and ’60s. The green and white stripes are still prevalent on the current team’s kits, with the home shirt now featuring a modern stripe design.
During the ’60s, the kit was primarily white with vertical green thin stripes and a green collar. It has been held in high regard by Elche fans and is known as the “franjiverde” jersey, which translates to “green stripes”. The away kit of that period saw a reversal of the colours, having a green base and white thin stripes. These iconic designs have captured the imagination of football fans, and the retro Elche jersey evokes a strong sense of pride among supporters.
The home of Elche Club de Fútbol is the Estadio Manuel Martínez Valero, a 33,732 capacity stadium inaugurated in 1976. Named after a former club president, the stadium replaced the previous Estadio Altabix, which had been used by the team since their foundation in 1923.
Estadio Manuel Martínez Valero boasts the honour of being one of the few stadiums in Spain to have hosted FIFA World Cup matches when it was chosen to stage three Group 4 games during the 1982 tournament. Amongst these fixtures was a memorable encounter between Argentina and Hungary, where then 21-year-old Argentinian Diego Maradona scored his first ever World Cup goal. Elche fans take pride in their stadium’s role in Spanish football history.
Elche Club de Fútbol has produced numerous players who have made their mark on both the domestic and international scenes, but undoubtedly the most famous Elche player is Vavá. Born in Brazil but holding Spanish nationality, Vavá made over 140 appearances for the club and scored over 60 league goals between 1960 and 1966. The powerful forward’s goalscoring prowess helped save the club from relegation on numerous occasions, and cemented his status as an Elche legend.
Another notable Elche player from the retro jersey era is forward Vicente Pahuet. He was an important figure in Elche’s rise through the Spanish football tiers and was a key part of the team’s initial successes in the top flight. His goal scoring abilities were vital during the early 1960s and his influence on the club can still be felt today.
In summary, the retro Elche jersey evokes memories of the club’s golden years, a team on the rise that overcame challenges on and off the field to define its own unique path. From their formation in 1923, the club has come a long way, with unforgettable moments in their European ventures, a stadium steeped in football history, and an array of talented players that have donned the green and white stripes of Elche Club de Fútbol. The retro Elche jersey is a symbol of the passion, resilience and success of this historic football club.