Athletic Bilbao join forces with non-league side to promote grassroots football

Athletic Bilbao will become the first team in La Liga history to dedicate a weekend without competitive fixtures to giving back to the grassroots game.

As part of ‘Non-League Day, ‘ a plethora of the club’s die-hard fans will make the trip from Northern Spain to Champion Hill in Southwark, London, to support Dulwich Hamlet FC, in a bid to encourage attendance at local grounds.

Athletic Bilbao support football at all levels

Renowned for their community values, ‘The Lions’ share a storied history with the English club, dating back to 1921. Since the sport’s inception, over 160 years ago, clubs like Dulwich Hamlet have kept the game alive.

As the iconic Celtic manager, Jock Stein, once said: “Football is nothing without the fans.”

Ultimately, it’s this early support that allowed the game grow into the global phenomenon it is day.

In a testament to the sheer brilliance of football, the English spread the word. During a trip to Campa de los Ingleses, a group of sailors, enjoyed a kickabout and simultaneously introduced the sport to the people of Bilbao.

This buried a seed, which over time, blossomed into a beautiful tree that’s stood the test of time. But while Athletic have grown into one of the biggest teams in world football, one of their eldest friends have stayed as they are. Thus, the La Liga giants have decided it’s time to give back.

Athletic Bilbao and Dulwich Hamlet FC have a long-standing relationship

The club’s choice to promote the South London team on March 25, didn’t come around by chance. Not only do Athletic stand in unison with the side’s spirit and social values, but they share a bond cemented by two fiercely-competed fixtures back in 1921. And while the Spaniards have reached incredible heights, the non-league club will always have the bragging rights, having won both collisions.

To put it simply, Athletic and Dulwich Hamlet will forever remain intertwined by ‘auzolan’, which translates as ‘neighbourhood working together for common good’.

With a history dating back to 1893, the English club have overcome countless hurdles. They play in pink and blue to symbolise their triumphs over adversity. Recently, they found themselves evicted out of their beloved stadium. However, they showcased incredible resilience, and with the help of Rio Ferdinand and Peter Crouch, they made their way back to the ground they call home.

Read: La Liga slam the European Super League with ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ jibe (

Athletic Bilbao will dedicate September 9-10 to giving back to their footballing family

To mark its 125th anniversary, Athletic, will go the extra mile for the grassroots game. In association with the Biscay Federation, they will promote attendance at the local stadiums.

While they believe in the modernisation of football, the history of the sport remains close to their hearts. In addition, the campaign will undoubtedly grow Athletic’s brand across the UK.

In short, the weekend will give fans an opportunity to express their gratitude to the work carried out to all Athletic affiliated clubs ranging from the Segunda Division to the amateur leagues.

After all, Bilbao is affiliated with most of the 141 clubs in the Biscay area. They also consider 19 clubs in Baque as part of their ever-growing football family.

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