Nicasio Goitisolo, the first Spanish in English football

Nicasio Goitisolo, the first Spanish in English football
One of the first bands in the history of the Royal Society in the year 1910. Goitisolo is the second from the left of those who are seated.

We often talk of the first foreign players to arrive to our football. But nevertheless, Today we will tell the story of Spanish first arrive to English football.

Nicasio Goitisolo Zubizarreta He was born 10 of October 1889 one Liverpool. He was the son of Basque and always kept his Spanish nationality. His father, natural de Lekeitio, he was captain of the merchant marine and was stationed in that city as head of a shipping company. Contact football from his earliest childhood, first in the Saint Francis Xavier’s College, where he studied and, later, at Old Xaverians, team mainly composed of students and alumni of that Catholic school, one of the few in such a condition in a city of Protestant majority, and where a high percentage of students came from descendants of Irish emigrants. The wealthier among them, yes.

Quickly begins to stand out in the college club and is picked for a team of more relevant: the Racing F.C. de Liverpool, where he begins to see the dream of becoming a player at the highest level. In 1905, racinguista as joint top scorer draws the attention of one of the two biggest clubs in the city: The Liverpool F.C. a friendly held between Racing and the Anfield, in order to observe and evaluate the possible incorporation of Spanish to set "red".

Goitisolo He passed the test and made an acceptable match playing at the right end position, but the bureaucracy of English football crossed his path and prevented the front of Basque origin was the first Spanish man to wear the shirt of today sextacampeón Europe. A new standard of "Football League" English, prohibiting clubs playing under eighteen. The young man was barely sixteen, should play with youth teams, something that seemed a throwback, after the great season he had in the Racing, disputing games against opponents twice his age.


But the young man did not despair in their eagerness to be a footballer. That same year 1905, to finish high school, He convinced his parents of his intention to study magisterium and the need to pursue such studies in a prestigious and these, alleged, They were in London. And there went with documentation falsified his age, eighteen years instead of the sixteen I had, and with the intention of knocking at the door of those clubs needed. And he got his first goal. After testing with Arsenal It was signed by the club "gunner" to the right end position.

It was a time when there were no changes during games and, such circumstance, severely limited options for playing younger. after a while, and after playing some games with the gunsmiths, less than he wanted, He decided a change of scenery in search of a greater role and joined Crystal Palace, another renowned English football. There had even worse luck, when she is wearing little more than a month, and after having played two or three games, controversy erupts: discover, It is not known whether because of a tip-off, falsifying his record and is forced to leave the London club and any option of playing in England at the highest level before the age of eighteen. Too much waiting for an anxious Goitisolo.

also he leaves college and return back to Liverpool, a year later, enroll for a few months, and strengthen the end of season one of the most important teams of the moment of Scottish football: the Third Lanark Athletic Club de Gasglow, since in the Scottish competitions federated there was no age limit. Seventeen signing with a team that last year won the Scottish Cup and Goitisolo the template plays the final of the Cup 1906, although the Spanish did not dispute it, losing it against Hearts.


After his stay Scottish returns to Racing F.C. de Liverpool for another year and at the end of next returns to Spain. After a short period of inactivity, test with Athletic Bilbao, who gets to play a friendly match. Missing the cut and is discarded. Thence, it will play with its neighbors in San Sebastián, with the Real society. Goitisolo is part of the first meeting contesting the San Sebastian club, the 26 March 1910, against London Nodmans. In the Basque team also they played two English players who would make history in the early days of the club: Simmons and great goalscorer McGuinness.

Four years of success in Real society did he received the nickname, by the Basque press, from "The Wizard of Dribble". In 1914, She decides to return to England, but the outbreak of World War I., It makes football is paralyzed, especially the already semi-professional. In 1919, returns to Spain and it does Aviles, where he lived his sister Adelina. There, befriends which was also a footballer, the Spaniard Joaquin Cadavieco, who would find a job English translator for a shipping company. So that, installed in Aviles, receives the offer by the president Stadium Avilesino (today, Real Aviles) Julio González Pumariega, to play on your computer. Goitisolo accepts and reinforcement for blanquiazules is of vital importance.

In 1920, the Stadium Avilesino Spain proclaims champion of Second Category, his only title in his long career. After five years of success as a player in the club Espanyol, boots and passes hangs, directly, to exercise the same team coach. Seven years in Dean Asturian club football and another in Racing de Sama They close their direct link with football and their effective withdrawal, going to become an amateur more. A Spanish fan who was the first political play in the prestigious English football, at Arsenal and the Crystal Palace, among others. Nothing more and nothing less.

5 thoughts on “Nicasio Goitisolo, the first Spanish in English football

  1. According to the book of baptisms of the Church of St Alban Liverpool, Nicasio was born 11 October 1888, He is baptized 18 the same month. Godparents were Florencio Goitisolo and Dominga Mosquera.
    Nicasio plays at Real Sociedad year 1910, participating in the first Challenge International du Sud de la France (Pyrenees Cup). Play the semi-final against Stade Toulousain winning by 8 a 0, with 2 Nicasio goals, and the final against FC Barcelona, losing 1 a 2.
    Photo shown is for the squad for the friendly match against Stade Bordelais UC, winning by 1 a 4. Unfortunately, in almost all publications it is said to be the semifinal match of the Cup Pyrenees, disproved thing in my blog (

  2. Thank you very much for your input, Pep. He knows which party they belonged photo, I only knew the year. Regarding the birth date I took the one on his record as a coach that is available in the archives of Real Avilés.

  3. Hello, I am the grandson of Nicasio Goitisolo, her daughter Meri live in Baracaldo, and his son Jose Antonio (Choni) Soto del Barco (Asturias). I was surprised the knowledge of the history of my grandfather who is the author of reportage. Also studied should not be one of the first Englishmen to play in Spain, because I believe that had dual nationality, and Juice 1910 Sporting Club in Vasconia, the Royal Society, And so I saw somewhere related to Club Ciclista de San Sebastián. They called the lequeitiano.

    1. Hello, Juan Nicasio, I am the author of the article,yes, they called “Lequeitiano” and that nickname is reflected in the press in the friendly match played with Athletic Bilbao, meeting served as evidence to joining the rojiblancos, although there was finally hiring. There were some in English before Spanish soccer, from his own birth in Huelva, Spanish but in English football was the first, the pioneer. Not long ago I was lucky enough to speak with her granddaughter, Paula Goitisolo, residing in Asturias. I'm glad you liked the article.

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