Gijon forms part of the modern day Spanish Principality of Asturias located in Northern Spain.

This area of Spain is a narrow strip that sits between the Cantabrian Sea and the Cantabrian Mountains, some call it “little Switzerland” because of the height of its peaks.

Most of the Asturias is situated in a mountainous setting with vast greenery and lush vegetation.

We you are on the bus between any of the large cities it can feel you are elsewhere – somewhere else – not Spain. But the area is known as Green Spain because it has a wet and temperate oceanic climate with lush pastures and forests.

It has a feel which is similar to Ireland or the West Coast of France.

In the second half of the 1st century AD it was the Romans who moved to this northern areas of Spain. The area was now known as Cerro de Santa Catalina.

The Romans wanted to control an area which they believed was rich in gold deposits. They surrounded the city with a wall from which some remains still exist. They also baptized the area Gigia Civitatis from which the name ‘Gijon’ originates.

With the fall of the Roman Empire and the Reconquest (Reconquista) of Spain the Kingdom of Asturias was founded in 718 by the Visogoths.

Different wars throughout the centuries led to the city of Gijon becoming completely uninhabited in the 4th, 14th and 15th centuries. In the 16th century the first port was built from which the important developments of the modern city of Gijon emerged.

On the shores of the Cantabrian Sea Gijón offers an attractive combination of maritime tradition, monumental heritage and modern urban space.

The football club was established in 1905 with the name ‘Sporting Gijones’. The first game took place on 18th August 1907 against Sporting Ovetense.

The title of Real Sporting Club Gijonés came about in 1912 when King Alfonso XIII accepted Royal patronage of the club.

It was not until 2 April 1916, that another new name change took place and the club adopted the denomination, Real Sporting de Gijón.

After the era of General Franco an era where Sporting were refused the right to use the word ‘Sporting’ in the club title – the club entered into a golden era.

European participation and domestic success was achieved.

Players like Quini and Antonio Maceda came to the fore making the 1978-79 season the best year in the history of the club. Successive Copa Del Rey finals were reached in the early eighties – 1981 and 1982.

Real Sporting de Gijón have worn red and white striped jerseys since their inception as a club.

They were the first Spanish team to wear red and white, as both Athletic Bilbao and Atlético Madrid wore blue and white until 1909.

The colors comes from those of the official flag of Gijón. The colors of the shorts have alternated between blue and white.

Currently, Sporting wears both blue shorts and socks but until the 1980’s black was also common.

Like most football clubs, Real Sporting de Gijón did not initially have any badge displayed on their shirts. Their first official badge was introduced in the 1920’s and it consisted of a traditionally shaped shield split into three sections, representing the club and the city.

The club’s badge is a triangle with red and white vertical stripes with ‘S’ (for Sporting) and ‘G’ (for the city of Gijón).

A royal crown in the top of the crest symbolizes the royal patronage that was bestowed on the club.

Gijon is an Atlantic sport city – vibrant and celebratory this is an old stadium unmatched when the club is doing well.

El Molinon – or the Big Windmill – is the home stadium but it is hardly reminiscent of a windmill. In truth its shape and feel has changed little since the 1982 World Cup when it hosted the Disgrace of Gijón between West Germany and Austria).

Match-day at Sporting sees traditional Asturian gastronomy and cider on sale to the exuberant fans.

On 28 February 2018, just one day after the death of Real Sporting’s all-time top scorer Quini, the City Council of Gijón agreed unanimously to rename the stadium as Estadio El Molinón-Enrique Castro “Quini”.

Three months after the death of Quini Gate 1 of the stadium was renamed after former goalkeeper Jesús Castro, brother of Quini.