Sadly this week, we lost the great woman known as la Abuela del Betis – the Grandmother of Betis.
The immaculately named Concepción Andrade passed away at the grand age of 92, news which was met with sadness both locally and nationally. She was perhaps the most famous Betis fan and lived in the Heliópolis barrio, a stones throw away from el Benito Villamarín.
She was famous for her particular character, TV appearances and the fact that she lived to support the club, never seen without being accompanied by her favourite colours, green and white.
Upon her death there were countless messages of condolences, including that from former players, current players such as Joaquín and a touch of class from Sevilla FC who tweeted about the green and white family.
There was also a brilliant cartoon made by @betistoons. It shows Doña Concepción joining former player Miki Roque, who died from cancer in 2012 at the age of 23, up in the clouds. Like all good grandmothers, Concepción is asking Miki if he is sure that he doesn’t want more stew because he’s looking a bit weak. Miki replies for her not to worry, just sit yourself down, the game is about to start!
Just brilliant and sums up the feeling in one simple scene. Descanse en paz.
Betis vs Sporting Gijón
It seems quite fitting that the first game after Concepción’s passing should be against perhaps Betis’ greatest footballing friends, Sporting Gijón. There is a great mutual respect and brotherhood between the two clubs which has grown even more in recent years. As Betistoons shows below, the two could have been separated at birth.
Sporting have a terrible record when played in el Villamarín but it stands true that Betis haven’t won at home against los rojiblancos since 2012 under the guidance of Pepe Mel when Roque Santa Cruz and Jorge Molina were on the scoresheet.
Since the 1-0 loss last week to Atlético, Betis have Bruno and Petros back in the fold but José Carlos, Joaquín, Sanabria and Felipe Gutiérrez are all out, plus Mandi is at the African Cup of Nations. A win for Betis could put them fairly comfortably in mid-table but Sporting are floundering at the wrong end with just three wins all season.
Game kicks off at 5:30pm (UK)/ 6:30pm (Spain). Watch out for the one minute of silence for the Grandmother of Betis before kick off.
Viva el Betis!