Joaquín and Samuel, members of Furia Conquense’s fan club, were among those who witnessed the team’s promotion to the Division of Honor B in Pamplona back in 2005. Eighteen years later, on June 3rd, the team’s promise to never walk alone was fulfilled, as Joaquín, Samuel, and other fans celebrated their team’s second-place finish in the Liga Asobal of handball in Torrelavega.
A group of thirty fans from Cuenca, including Joaquín and Samuel, traded their traditional Mediterranean holiday destinations for the Cantabrian coast to support their team at the most important game in their history. The good weather allowed the fans to feast on rabas, cachopos, and cocido montañés, as they engaged in sports and culinary tourism, returning home with a newfound devotion to Santuario.
Similarly, Torrelavega, a city with 50,000 inhabitants, shares the same passion for handball as Cuenca. Sports are integral to the city’s social life, and bars and restaurants display Bathco Torrelavega scarves.
Los Cabrones del Norte, Torrelavega’s fan club, played host to the conquenses and other fans visiting the city. The locals, who form a community with a rich history in handball, expressed their admiration for the achievements of the conquenses in recent years.
As the players and fans celebrated their historic second place finish, the speaker at the Vicente Trueba stadium welcomed “one of the greatest teams in Spanish handball,” with Torrelaveguenses applauding the victors and setting an example for sportsmanship.
Pablo Simonet and Nacho Moya were among the players who shed tears of happiness. The latter’s parents accompanied him in his final match of handball.
The celebration was a family affair, as relatives of players such as Teixeira and the Fernandez brothers partied with the fans. The triumph was particularly special for Manolo, a peñista who embraced those without a close connection to the team.
The players’ fathers, who had followed the successes of their sons in teams like Ciudad Real and Ademar, commented on the significance of this second-place finish due to the much lower budget of the conquenses.
Lidio Jiménez, the head coach, proudly declared that the achievement was a triumph for everyone, while the party continued outside the stadium with cigars, beers, food, and songs by Izal and Supersubmarina.
As the players boarded the bus back to Cuenca, the conquenses dispersed throughout Cantabria to continue the celebration. Torrelavega had become the new Mecca of handball for the fans of Cuenca.