Pattullo, the soccer player who returned from the war

It was the goal scorer whom Paulino Alcántara wanted to look like, and Josep Samitier considered him the best player that Barca had had. It revolutionized the center front position with its famous half-turns, more than one meter tall and was handsome, charismatic and extremely popular among fans. It was called George Pattullo. This Scottish, whose fans called the Grand Pattullo, was 21 years old when he debuted with Barça in September 1910, marking a tie to 1 against Espanyol. His stage at Barça only lasted 23 games, but in this short career he scored nothing less than 43 goals. In May 1911 Pattullo left the city that had stolen his heart to return to his land, Scotland.

However, in March 1912 Barça had to face Espanyol in the semifinals of the Copa de los Pirineos. Taking care of the desperate need of the club to play a final match with the Barça shirt, Pattullo traveled almost 1,800km from Glasgow, his city, and went to the field of Industry Street. He scored two goals in Barça's 3-2 win – one of them at the time of discount – and when the final whistle sounded, he left the field acclaimed by the fans. His condition as a hero was immortalized with a portrait published in Stadium : " The football player of the day and great favorite of the Barcelona audience ". In April 1912, with the devotion of the followers of Pattullo intact, the Scot returned again to his country.

Five years later, in the same month, Pattullo was in a muddy and muddy area of ​​northern France. Time was not appropriate for that time of the year: they fell snowflakes from the plumic sky and made a cold of fear. The Scotsman had already witnessed many horrors of World War I, but in April 1917 the crucial offensive was being launched at the Battle of Arras and the British army was gaining positions for the Germans. Pattullo, like all his friends, had joined the British army in 1915 and that same year had been destined for France. He was gradually ascending until second lieutenant of the 21 battalion of the Scottish Tyneside Brigade.

Problems for toxic gas

The days when he played Barça in crowded crowds seemed to be light years away. Now the role of Pattullo and his company was to steer clear of danger between the unoccupied terrain that separated the British and German positions and provide supply points to prepare for the advance of the army. On April 10, the company of Pattullo, headed by his friend, Captain Herbert Waller, captured a German trench. General Ternon, from the Scottish Tyneside Brigade, wrote about the battle: "I deeply regret that, among the dead officers, unfortunately, there was Captain Waller. He found death while chasing an enemy sniper who had caused problems from the top of the ridge. " Although, in general, historians consider that the battle was a British victory, throughout the offensive the Great Britain lost more than 150,000 cash and gained little ground. Due to the death of his close friend, Pattullo became a captain in the functions of his company. In June 1918, on the occasion of the anniversary celebration of the king, Pattullo was decorated with the military cross for his value.

George Pattullo survived the war, but suffered respiratory problems the rest of his days due to the toxic gas used in the battlefields. Apparently, the month of April was always monumental in the life of the Great Pattullo. Ten years after attending the horrors of the war in France he returned to the city he loved, to the city he had never forgotten. On April 15, 1928 George Pattullo came to the bright green of the lawn of the Cortes. They had invited her back because the fans could see him once again. The followers devoted a cheerful ovation as he walked towards the central circle before the quarter-final game of the Cup. Josep Samitier, inspired by the knowledge of his hero, scored four goals in the 7-3 victory against Oviedo. I Pattullo was welcomed as a hero he deserved.

As a player, he did not have the technique of Alcántara, Samitier, Cruyff or Messi, but, as a man, he faced death in the camps in France and survived. Barça should pay tribute to their memory to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War.

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