Europa FC was established in 1925 and became one of the teams forming the backbone of Gibraltar football together with Prince of Wales, Britannia and later Gibraltar Utd. These clubs continued their progress during the years between the world wars, including a number of league championships for Europa FC, and was only interrupted due to the forced evacuation from the Rock during world war 2.
This however did not deter the football spirit and many football teams were formed named after the places in London where the evacuees were based. The young in particular were kept entertained and played games in stadiums such as White Hart Lane (Tottenham Hotspur) and QPRs ground. Post war on the return of the evacuees, Gibraltar United dominated the League until Europa FC broke that in 195152. This was the last trophy the club won and some years later disbanded. Many people between the age of 30 and 50 will have fond memories of their father or grandfather telling them all about their sporting exploits as footballers during the golden age of football and the Board of Directors of what was College Europa FC are no exception. In 2012 13 a group of youth coaches and players seeking a senior structure to develop with were offered to link up with a senior side in the shape of College. Pepe Mir run College as a wide scope of social and sporting interests.
The football interest of the College club became College Europa FC separate and distinct from all other College social and sporting interests. Why was Europa added, firstly the college club was based in the south district known as Europa, secondly as mentioned above there was a desire to resurrect one of the big names in football from the past for the new age, and one of the coaches, later to become the Club secretary was also keen to resurrect the team his Grandfather had helped win titles in the thirties.
In 2013 the new club encouraged investors who had an affinity with College to join and invest in the future of the club. The new President Peter Cabezutto, had been been a coach and a player, the Vice President Patrick Cabezutto had also been a player, and their father had played for Europa FC in the 50s.
The 2013 season coincided with the inclusion of Gibraltar into UEFA.The new Board had a strong desire to make the name Europa FC mean something again. As mentioned previously some of the board members father had played for Europa FC in the 50s and the Club Secretaries grandfather had been a part of the multi league winning team of the late twenties and thirties and a coach of youth teams during the evacuation years in London and Northern Ireland, contributing to what became the strong footballing years in Gibraltar post war. The scene was set College Europa FC reinforced a team that had been promoted from the second division under the stewardship of Ian Manasco and challenged albeit inconsistently for the League and cups against the mighty Lincoln. Its runner up spot in the Rock cup Lincoln goal scored in the last minute of the match) gave it a place in the UEFA Europa League preliminary rounds…the first club to do this in Gibraltar, joining Lincoln as the first club to play in the Champions League preliminary rounds.
College Europa was now in the Europa League. A difference of opinion on the running of the club meant a separation of ways of Mr Mir and the new board of the College Europa FC at the end of the 201314 season. The GFA imposed a change of name on the club due to Mr Mir leaving the club and having historic rights over the work “College” and left the way free for the clubs ambition to resurrect the historic Europa FC name totally and the change was developed through the season 20142015. Mr Mir wanted to regenerate some Youth teams under the original College name. Although the club continued as College Europa FC for the season 20142015, an agreement was reached whereby the youth would be called Europa FC as a first step in a change for all teams to Europa FC from College Europa FC. Mr Mir had his own plans for College.
All the necessary boxes were ticked with both the GFA and the UEFA through the season and the name was officially changed for the day after the end of the 20142015 season and a badge
was designed keeping the concept of the original badge whilst modernising and adding some Gibraltar details.
The strip colours are the same as the old team of green and black stripes. The metamorphosis is complete and this year the club qualified for the Europa League by virtue of its second place in the League and is competing in the Europa League as Europa FC. A dream come true for the Board of Directors for the reasons explained previously..We are proud of its history and contribution to Gibraltar football and now working to build its future with its rightful place in European Football, something our forefathers were denied. We hope others will work towards resurrecting Prince of Wales and with Gibraltar United and Britannia active in the premier league we can bring a mix of the historic with the new era of football.
Europa FC now has a full compliment of teams in the various categories of football and a strong Youth structure with a dedicated Youth development officer. It achieved UEFA club licensing following the yearly audit for a second year running, and a strong commitment to developing a breed of Gibraltarian footballers in the brave new and semi professional age of football, which with its Pros and Cons, is here to stay.
We will also continue to invest in a competitive first team and learn and develop a setup to mark the yardstick for our up and coming youth to aspire to and commit to, helping to make Gibraltar
clubs and National side punch well above their weight in the years to come. The board of Europa FC (Peter Cabezutto, Patrick Cabezutto, John paul Risso, Daniel Linares, Guy Langton, Nigel Acris and Ian Torrilla) continues to work hard behind the scenes with passion to strike the balance between professional structures, dynamic outlook and nurturing the passion for football.
This will create in due course the right environment, coaching and attitudes for the development of the current local youth to achieve success not only in and for Gibraltar but equally for themselves and Gibraltars reputation abroad. In the meantime we continue to build brick by brick with all the youth coaches who are an integral part of this clubs development and critical part of its future.