Belgrano Athletic Club

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Coordinates: 34°34′24.70″S 58°27′47.43″W / 34.5735278°S 58.4631750°W / -34.5735278; -58.4631750

Belgrano Athletic Club is an Argentine amateur sports club from Belgrano, Buenos Aires. One of Argentina's oldest institutions still in existence, Belgrano was one of the four clubs that founded the Argentine Rugby Union in 1899.[2] The senior team currently competes at Top 12, the first division of the Unión de Rugby de Buenos Aires league system.

Escudo de Belgrano Athletic Club.svg
Full nameBelgrano Athletic Club
Founded17 August 1896; 126 years ago (1896-08-17)
LocationBelgrano, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Ground(s)Virrey del Pino 3456
PresidentMarcelo Ruiz [1]
Coach(es)Francisco Gradin (h), Luis Gradin (h), Diego Gradin, Guillermo Tramezzani
League(s)Top 12
1st kit
2nd kit
Official website

Belgrano Athletic was one of the most prominent teams during the first years of football in Argentina, having won three domestic league titles, one national cup and two international cups. Belgrano's arch-rival during those years was Alumni, also from Belgrano neighborhood. Belgrano disaffiliated from the Argentine Association in late 1910s, focusing on rugby union and other sports. Football is no longer practised at the club.

Belgrano's field hockey team currently takes part of Metropolitano championships organised by the Buenos Aires Hockey Association.

The club's facilities are divided between two locations: its main building (Sede Virrey del Pino) sited in Belgrano and another one located in Pilar (Anexo Pinazo).[3]

Apart from the sports mentioned above, several activities are practised at the club nowadays, such as bowls, contract bridge, cricket, squash, swimming, and tennis.[4]


The beginning: FootballEdit

The 1902 Belgrano football team

There are records of a football match played by the members of the "Club Inglés de Belgrano" in 1894, where Belgrano Athletic Club was officially founded on 17 August 1896.

Belgrano AC participated in the Primera División from 1896 to 1916. The squad won three league titles in 1899, 1904 and 1908, and also won a number of other tournaments including domestic cup Copa de Honor and international competitions Tie Cup (in 1900) and Copa de Honor Cousenier (1907).

Belgrano Athletic played one of the earliest football rivalries against Belgrano neighbours Alumni, the most successful team of Argentine until its dissolution in 1911. Both teams were so strong that they won all of the thirteen league titles contested between 1899 and 1911 (that was the last year of Alumni football team competing in Argentine league, being officially dissolved in 1913).[5]

Belgrano AC would achieve a historic victory over River Plate, defeating the Millonario 10–1 in 1912. That was the worst defeat of River Plate in club's history.[6]

Despite being one of the most notable football teams during the first years of that sport in Argentina, Belgrano was relegated from the Argentine Primera División, along with Quilmes in 1916.[7]

Belgrano never returned to the first division, and the club later disaffiliated from the Argentine Association, focusing on the practise of other sports, mainly rugby union.

Rugby unionEdit

The Belgrano Athletic rugby union team that won its first championship in 1907

Belgrano Athletic rugby union team is one of the most successful teams in the Unión de Rugby de Buenos Aires, having won a total of 10 provincial titles.[8] In 1899, along with club Buenos Aires, Lomas, Flores[9] and Rosario AC, Belgrano became a founding member of the "River Plate Rugby Championship", the origin of today's Argentine Rugby Union.[2]

The first title obtained in rugby union was in 1907, playing 16 matches with 13 victories, 1 drew and only 2 lost. The team scored 233 points and only received 29 at the end of the tournament. That same year the club built the stadium's grandstands (commonly made of woods by the time) with a capacity of 600. In 1909 the Government of Argentina approved the statute (rules) of the club.[10] Its main rivals are Belgrano district's other big club, Alumni. In 2016, Belgrano won its 11° URBA championship after 48 years without league titles. Belgrano defeated former champion Hindú at the final, played in San Isidro.[11][12]


The first recorded cricket match held on the clubs cricket ground came when the Northern Suburbs and the Marylebone Cricket Club in 1912.[13] First-class cricket was first played there in 1927 when Argentina played the Marylebone Cricket Club. Five further first-class matches were played there, the last of which saw Argentina play Sir TEW Brinckman's XI in 1938.[14] Still in use to the present day, the ground held matches in the South American Championships and the Americas Championships in recent times, as well as hosting matches in the 2009 ICC World Cricket League Division Three.[13]

Uniform evolutionEdit

It is believed that the first Belgrano A.C. football squad wore black (or dark grey) and gold shirts, as they were depicted in early team photos. In 1907 the club adopted the Central Argentine Railway corporate colors (red, green and silver) as most of the club members were employees of that company. In 1919 Belgrano A.C. changed its colors again, adopting the brown (specifying "chocolate" tone according to the statute of that time) and gold as the railway had changed its colors shortly before.[15]

  1. ^ This uniform has been worn as the away kit by the rugby team, as a tribute to the football squad of the club


Belgrano's home venue (popularly known as "Virrey del Pino" because of its location on Virrey del Pino and Superí streets in Belgrano) host rugby and cricket match. After some time playing on Pampa and Melián streets, the club acquired that land in 1902 to two of its members, Charles Dickinson (who was also a notable footballer of the club)[16] and Roberts.

The first grandstands were built with wood from surplus railway material. By 1910, the field had an official grandstand, with roof,[17] named "Donald Forester", which has remained up to present days.[18]



  • Primera División (41): 1902–03, 1905–06, 1906–07, 1907–08, 1908–09, 1910–11, 1911–12, 1914–15, 1918–19, 1923–24, 1925–26, 1926–27, 1928–29, 1929–30, 1931–32, 1932–33, 1953–54, 1954–55, 1955–56, 1958–59, 1961–62, 1965–66, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1969–70, 1970–71, 1973–74, 1974–75, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1983–84, 1984–85, 1988–89, 1989–90, 1991–92, 1997–98, 2001–02, 2005–06, 2010–11, 2013–14, 2015–16[19]



(Left): the football squad that won the 1908 Primera División title; (right): the rugby team of 1909, posing with their trophies


Rugby unionEdit

  • Torneo de la URBA (11): 1907, 1910, 1914, 1921, 1936, 1940, 1963, 1966, 1967, 1968, 2016

Field hockeyEdit


Notable athletesEdit


  1. ^ As the senior team was competing in Primera División, the club played the second division with reserve teams.


  1. ^ Comisión directiva, retrieved 25 May 2019
  2. ^ a b "Hechos históricos de la Unión" at UAR website
  3. ^ Sedes on BAC website
  4. ^ Deportes – Belgrano AC official site Archived 18 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Alumni: en el nombre del fútbol", Clarín, 2003-04-24
  6. ^ ""River Plate en la era amateur 1901–1930"". Archived from the original on 9 October 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
  7. ^ "Asociacion Argentina de Football – 1916", RSSSF Archived 23 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Todos Los Campeones de La URBA (in Spanish)
  9. ^ Fundación del River Plate Rugby Union Championship on Atlético del Rosario website, 10 Apr 2019
  10. ^ "Belgrano y Alumni en sus comienzos"
  11. ^ "Belgrano rompió el maleficio: tras 48 años es campeón del torneo de la URBA al vencer a Hindú", La Nación, 15 Oct 2016
  12. ^ "Histórico: Belgrano Athletic venció a Hindú y vuelve a ser campeón tras 48 años", Minuto Uno, 15 Oct 2016
  13. ^ a b "Other matches played on Belgrano Athletic Club Ground, Buenos Aires". CricketArchive. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  14. ^ "First-Class Matches played on Belgrano Athletic Club Ground, Buenos Aires". CricketArchive. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  15. ^ "Hoy celebramos 115 años" – Belgrano AC official blog
  16. ^ Caras y Caretas, 31 Aug 1912
  17. ^ "Belgrano" on Viejos Estadios
  18. ^ Estadio de Belgrano Athletic on Estadios de Argentina
  19. ^ Historial de Campeones on Cricket Argentina website
  20. ^ Campeones del Fútbol Argentino on AFA website, 13 Jul 2015
  21. ^ Colección 100 años de fútbol – Historia ilustrada del fútbol uruguayo, Franklin Morales
  22. ^ Historia Del Fútbol Amateur En La Argentina, Jorge Iwanczuk (1992)
  23. ^ El fútbol curioso, Clarín, 26 Dec 1998
  24. ^ Se fue Arturo Forrester, El Gráfico, 1959
  25. ^ "Belgrano y Alumni en sus comienzos"

External linksEdit