“I was born on present-day Rua de Nossa Senhora de Fátima, where the café was my grandfather’s house and I was born in this house, then I went to Lugar do Montinho. Meanwhile, my father bought a plot of land at the back of the football field and we moved there to live.”
Fernanda Alves lived near where the ball was headed. From there I could hear the echoes of those who supported Clube dos Caçadores. Almost spontaneously, she became part of them, or was it not for her father, Manuel Alves, one of the former club managers.
It all happened in the ’70s. While the dirt was building up, the stands weren’t covered and there were a few clubs besides Taipas. “In the past, people were more neighborhood-oriented than now and more people were going to football. Taipas has also played in the Second National Division, also because there weren’t all these little clubs that are now. People who don’t have anything else They went to watch the matches on Sunday, the field was full.”
For the inhabitant of Lamyra, this was the beauty of this context: the union that was created. When players won, they sometimes got prizes, but didn’t get paid. And people were more interested in the club, because the players showed that affection. There was loneliness,” he repeats.
To save on bills, Manuel Alves asked his daughters to help out with some tasks. The kids were then responsible for taking care of the players’ clothes. In the summer it was easier, because she washed off and the sun was responsible for the dryness. In the winter, it took longer, so they made fires and spread the clothes at the foot “and if it smelled of smoke, unfortunately, there was no other solution.” Then distribute the clothes to each player. At that time, “shoes were not as comfortable as they are now, they hurt a lot” and each player had to wear two pairs of socks. Fernanda recalls an incident between two Taipas footballers. “Every bag had the equipment and the name of each player, and when they went to prepare themselves, there was someone who had lost the thick sock, and without that thick sock, the boot would hurt. We were sure we had everything in place. My dad said no one left. The locker room without the sock showing. The accused was the one who widened his shoes and injured his foot the most. I remember that episode because the local team players were already preparing and Taipas never left,” he says.
Working for free turned out to be not bad, in the end there were good rewards. “How did my father pay us? We always went with him to the games and he would take us to eat lamprey rice if we went to Valencia, or Sarapollo rice in Ponte de Lima. And who was doing that at the time? Few people in Taipas ate these things. People lived tight Very. We were all happy to go for a walk,” he recalls.
The times are evolving, and if there was no shortage of houses and houses, 60 years ago that residential area consisted of five houses. “The house of my uncle, Teixeira dos Combs, who had a comb factory, and ours, Quinta do Rabelo and then some people, of the Galhuvas family, who made two plant houses.” The houses were few, but inside each house many children grew up. “It was funny because when a woman was pregnant before, they were all pregnant.” What made Fernanda develop many friendships. “It was good to live there in La Mer, we were all the same age, we all went to school and that’s why we were good friends, we even went to fetch the grass for the rabbits together. Then we lived a minute from the river, so every day in the summer was We bathed the night in the river, put on some slippers, took a bar of pink soap and went to shower.”
The rivalry and the spirit of neighborliness was more present in everything, not just in football. At that time, the village was divided between Lamira and Centro. “There were processions for everything, and now nothing was done. Everyone joined, but no people from the center and a princess mingled. We saw who did the best and who made the most money. There was only one procession in which a young man from the center went with our car. It was kind of a gamble. They defied him and he went. I was the groom and he was the bride, and it was a procession for church business,” he says. “I miss you, I think people were more honest. Nothing is done for free anymore, back when there was something where people came together for good and not for their own good.”