Why players (and fans) of the Athletic Club are known as 'lions'?
The world of football is full of nicknames and pseudonyms which is known to fans or players of a given team. The Spanish League is no exception where we found several examples. Today we will discuss ‘the Lions’ of the Athletic Club de Bilbao.
Why were the Athletic Bilbao players known as the Lions??
The name by which the players and fans of the Basque club are known is linked to the name of their stadium, San Mames, built next to the hermitage that venerates this saint. Mamés was a Christian born in the 3rd century in Caesarea of Cappadocia (Turkey) who was persecuted by the Romans. Apparently his parents were murdered for not denying their faith and he suffered the same fate but not before being tortured.
Legend has it that the Romans took Mamés to the circus and before his refusal to renounce his Christian faith they threw him to the lions but, curiously, far from attacking him, the beasts were tamed by the saint and fell at his feet.
The fact that this saint has a tradition in the city of Bilbao and that the stadium bears his name for being, as we stated above, built next to the hermitage of San Mames, made you get to know the footballers of the rojiblanco team with this nickname since they also played and defended their house fiercely. Of course, the pseudonym passed to the club's fans who wear it with pride as it could not be otherwise. If you want to know the reason for the nicknames of the Spanish teams you can read in this article.