Diário As Beiras – The last interview by Jorge Condorcet, a feeling of unparalleled love for the Academic

Diário As Beiras - The last interview by Jorge Condorcet, a feeling of unparalleled love for the Academic

DB-Pedro Ramos

Today Académica lost its number 1 partner, Jorge Condorcet dos Reis Pais Mamede. He was 87 years old and since he was four he accompanied the students, having always been present in the great moments of Briosa and, also, in the most difficult times. Watched live the conquest of the two editions of the Portuguese Cup (1938/1939 and 2011/2012) that Académica has in its curriculum. Pride in a love connection to a club that has marked his life.

DIÁRIO AS BEIRAS recalls the interview published on October 21 with Jorge Condorcet.

Jorge Condorcet dos Reis Pais Mamede turned 87 in September and since the age of four he has accompanied the Academic. Briosa's partner no. 1 has a life of connection with the club and the academy of Coimbra and is one of the few people who saw live the conquest of the two Portuguese Cups of the students

When did this passion for Academics arise?
My passion for Academics came when I was four years old, when my grandfather started taking me to football in Campo de Santa Cruz. I was his company and she was mine. This was in 1937, four years after he was born. Afterwards, I never lost my addiction to go to the games. When there were no games in Coimbra, my grandfather would take me to the Parque da Cidade, to watch the exhibition of a music group, in the bandstand that is still in the city park today, I think it was from the Barracks, I think it was n. 12, of the Penitentiary.

This "love" has passed on to the family …
I now have 15 partners with me. And I'm the one who pays them all. It’s like that (laughs).

Are you an Academic clan?
Yes, although some who were born in Porto also like another club, but the first and the main one is Académica, always. I only have the Academic inside, that's all.

He has been a partner for 77 years. How do you feel when you receive recognition from the club?
Since I started to grow old, there are about 10 presidents here, they started to nurture me, in old age. I received a trophy at the time of José Eduardo Simões, at the time of Emílio Campos Coroa I received a shirt signed by the squad, with Pedro Roxo I was offered another shirt for 75 years of membership and, more recently, Pedro Roxo gave it to me a new mask and allowed me to enter the field with the players. I never had any problems with any president.

What did you feel when entering the field with the players?
No, I never imagined that this was possible, nor did I think about it. I have the addiction of Académica, and last year I saw several games at the stadium and, also, I went to some games away.
I have no problems at all going to the games. This year I am conditioned by the pandemic, and I am saddened that it is not possible to go to the games. I went to watch against Estoril, with the approval of Académica, even after having tested covid-19 and having been negative. As partner # 1 I would like to go with some people who are still going to see football at the stadium.
I intend to go and talk to the president, in Bolão, and find out if there are possibilities, say, to make an exception for Académica's number 1 partner to be able to watch some games. Currently the pandemic annoys me a lot, it is terrible not to go to the games.

Was it a proud moment to take the field with the players?
Yes, a lot. I really liked it and I was proud that they invited me to do that. This entry was supposed to have been made in Viseu, but as the game was postponed it ended up being here. It was even better for me to be in Coimbra.

Jorge Condorcet was in all the decisive moments of the club. In your opinion, what distinguishes Academica most from other clubs?
In the past, also in my time, Academica was made up of players who were practically all students. Currently there are some, but this is a big difference for the current Academic.
All of them, over the years, without exception, have always been in my heart. Before I had children and grandchildren, I went with friends and my wife, who since we started dating 66 years ago, we have already taken 60 years of marriage, also started going to football. I had great friends, some who have passed away. We would get together to watch the game, say a few jokes, watch the game and scold the referee, I don't mean insulting, but we did express our discontent.

What does it feel like to be Briosa's No. 1 partner?
There is a strange thing, the students who were from the Academic, stopped paying dues and that is bad. I am the oldest for two reasons, first, because my grandfather, and then my mother, gave a few pennies to pay the dues. I am the oldest because I always paid the dues and because those who were before me died. Besides, I don't have anything more special, apart from the desire that I always had to stay at Académica and always go to watch the games.

What memories do you have of going to watch the games?
We often went in groups, to games away from home. We were going to see all the games, now I'm going less, but last year, at the age of 86, I still went to many.

Is there a greater proximity to the club before?
I feel a bit of withdrawal from the students, I have to confess, but even so, I think they still go to the stadium a lot.
We have a very important group that is the Black Spot that accompanies the team every game, for all places.
This group is very important for the Academic. I often go to their feet. I remember once, in Guimarães, that I was on the bench and they were in a nearby area. I jumped over the wall and went to their feet. Where they are you feel more heat and also more noise.

What phrase would you use to describe what Academic means to you?
I will use a phrase that my wife usually says. She is my wife, but the Academician is my lover. I also have academic bodies at heart. For me it is something very important in my life.

He spoke of the academic bodies of the Academic Association of Coimbra. What connection did you have / have to these autonomous bodies?
The first one I went to was Orfeon Académico de Coimbra, in 1951. Then I also signed up for Tuna Académica. A little bit later, I was a few months, but I never acted, at the Theater of Students of the University of Coimbra (TEUC).
My father was an honorary member of TEUC because he purchased a steel wire recorder. TEUC came to our house to rehearse with my father's tape recorder, and then they made him an honorary partner. I tried to join TEUC, but Paulo Quintela never wanted me to be part of a show.
I was at Orfeon, in Tuna, after the Mixed Orfeon that later originated the Mixed Choir. In 1962, at a meeting of Orfeon, at Clube do Calhabé, independence was made as a section of the Mixed Choir, which was born there. I was elected the first president, but I was short-lived, because afterwards I went to Coruche to teach.

Her life “merges” with the Academic…

With the Academic, the academy and Coimbra. It was here that I was baptized, that I married, in the New Cathedral, and where I celebrated 60 years of marriage and six more courtship, which is also important. Old fashioned dating. I remember, for example, being in Penedo da Saudade with my girlfriend, future woman, whom I kissed on the cheek and was arrested. I had to go to the police at the foot of Colégio Alexandre Herculano and then the boss tried to intimidate me and he said “look, this is it for now, but you have to apologize to the police”. I thought, what does it cost me to ask, I asked and I left, but all this, because I gave a kiss on the face.

I brought, let's say, a cheat sheet with the various ups and downs pointed out …
Yes, I went to see this and I was amazed that there were so many descents.

Has Academic lost strength and importance in Portuguese football?
When we are in a second division, the force is much less. We are in the 2nd League, which is a sad thing for me, but ready, we have to fight and do what is written on the back of the jersey with which I entered the field in the game with Estoril: "believe". Believe that we will rise.

Watched live the conquest of the two Portuguese Cups…
It is true. In the first, in 1939, I went with my grandfather by train to Campo das Salésias, where I sat on a wall and that's when I saw Académica win the trophy. When we won the second, in 2012, I took a picture with a poster that said “I was in both”.
Regarding the Portuguese Cup, I wrote a sentence that, I think, is still on the Académica website, which was something like “if the Academic won a Portuguese Cup again I would die satisfied”, it was something like that. What is certain is that Académica won, shortly after, the Portuguese Cup again and I am still alive. Now I'm hoping I won't die before Académica gets to the 1st League, we'll see.

Do you have memories of the 1939 final against Benfica?
In addition to staying at the wall in Salésias with my grandfather, I remember that there was no trophy for the Portuguese Cup, because it was not done yet. It was only delivered some time later in Coimbra.

And in 2012, at Jamor, what did you feel when you saw Briosa win the trophy again?
It was wonderful. I rented almost an entire truck to take the whole family, that was all. I took the children, the daughters-in-law, the grandchildren, all in a truck where João Santana also went, with another group. My family was almost all.

Are you sad to see Académica in 2nd League?

I am, but now we have to fight for it to rise again, to fight with our presence, with our screams.

I challenged him to name some players who have remained in his memory …
I have many. The whole team from 1966 marked me. It was fantastic that formation that won the 2nd place.
Then, when I was a kid, Alberto Gomes, and the whole group that won the Portuguese Cup in 1939. We were with them, on a tour of the Old Tunos, in Luanda, in 1972. We were on tour, we stopped there, and watched the game between Académica in 1938/1939, with the players who were still alive, against a team from Luanda, also from 38/39. It was games at the Estádio dos Coqueiros in August 1972.
I have many, for example the Campos brothers, Gervásio, Maló. Manuel António is another of the references, but saying one or the other is not fair, I am very friendly to everyone.

Is there a game, other than the finals, that is a reason for a good memory?
A very important game that Académica won against Sporting, I don't remember the year. I went to the Alvalade Stadium and Augusto Rocha and Mário Wilson played for the first time. In that game, Académica was winning 3-1 and there is a shot by an Académica player, the ball was going to go in, but the referee whistled for the end before the ball went in, it was 4-1. That game stayed in my memory.

And at the level of coaches, are there any that stand out?
Mário Wilson was brilliant, but Cândido de Oliveira is the most famous and put Académica to play fabulous football. It was the best team to play football. No ball in the air. It was very important.

What would you say to the current squad?
Even now, I sent them my congratulations on the victory at Varzim and I intend to congratulate them again on the victory against Penafiel. I am always with them and I had the opportunity to greet them all.

What words did you choose to describe what the Academic means to you?
A big love.

It is an “illusion” of love, what do you feel for the Academic?
What I have and feel for the Academic is not really an illusion, it is something absolutely true.

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