Author of five books, four of them on football, journalist Rubens Lemos Filho (Rubinho) ended a period of three years of intense research, which resulted in the publication of the book Juvenal Lamartine – Primeira Estádio – Minha Versão. The launch party and autograph night is scheduled for the 13th of September at AABB, located on Avenida Hermes da Fonseca, with a program that will start at 6 pm. The price for those who wish to “delight in a light reading full of relevant facts from the period described” is R$80. The author guarantees that there will be 480 pages of pure magic for football lovers and those who, like him, have a very strong sentimental value for JL.
Diving into a research work to gather detailed details of the stories lived inside and also around the old stadium, Rubinho decided to “repay” in words and deeds the joys of Juvenal Lamartine by writing his trajectory. This story began in a city where men still wore tailcoats and top hats, women attended in elegant clothes and games kept the flavor of semi-amateurism.
The magic that JL caused the eight-year-old boy, first started with childhood curiosity and it was through an aunt that he came to know about the existence of the football stadium. The first time he stepped on the stage that enchanted him at first sight, it was in the company of his father, the commentator for Rádio Cabugi in Natal, Rubens Lemos Filho. The details of that visit are stored on the noblest shelf of his good memory.
When provoked to talk about the subject, he manages to confuse the interlocutor who is in doubt if he started to like football because he loved JL or became attached to Juvenal Lamartine because he liked football. He usually narrates the first meeting as follows: “Once upon a time, there was a poor boy crazy about football who was enchanted by a tiny sanctuary two blocks from his house, where he settled in with his friends to dive into the mysteries of the place and literally get to know it up close. the charms of a football game”.
It was the year 1978 and, at the age of 8, already a regular at Castelão, accompanying his father, commentator Rubens Lemos, Rubinho, as he was always known by family and close people, met with childhood friends and started to attend the Juvenal Lamartine Stadium. , inaugurated in 1928 by the governor of the same name and stage of the first sporting emotions in Potiguar.
“Since I got through the turnstiles at the entrance of Juvenal Lamartine for the first time, overcoming the resistance of administrator Emanoel, I started to consider Juvenal Lamartine part of my life. I watched amateur division games, youth divisions, Matutão, I saw ABC being champions twice, the other time it gave Rosemary in 1986. When I had nothing to do, I found an excuse to know every corner of the field, listening to magical old,” he said.
Even those who don’t follow potiguar football will have no difficulty in savoring the plot of the work. As he treats his books as pieces that can serve as a basis for research, due to the wealth of information, Rubens Lemos Filho makes a point of describing even the events that occurred when the stadium was still just a dream of football players at the time.
“Juvenal Lamartine is named after the governor who built it so that clubs would have adequate space to play. The matches were played on the ground where the Metropolitan Cathedral is now located on Avenida Deodoro. The sports square was built at a cost of 74 contos de réis, the Stadium (in solemn Latin) was built on the noble Avenida Hermes da Fonseca, in a project by the architect Clodoaldo Caldas, born in Rio de Janeiro, who only accepted the governor’s call if he donated and did not charge for the work. So it was done. The entrance portico called attention, above it, poles for raising flags”, describes the author.
Rubinho believes that the stadium was the initial push that the clubs needed to start the project of professionalization of football and that is why it should be immortalized in the memory of all potiguares.
“After opening, Juvenal Lamartine gave a new dimension to Christmas football, intensifying the rivalry between ABC and América over the years and receiving distinguished visitors. There were historic games, dramatic decisions, fantastic stars emerged, which, synthesized in characters such as Jorginho Professor, Alberi, Cileno, Cadinha, Xixico, Delgado, Edson Capitão by ABC, Saquinho, Pancinha, Véscio, Zé Ireno, Cezimar Borges by América, Vasconcelos , Pedrinho, Valdomiro, Icário and Odilon for Alecrim. Ivan Matos for Riachuelo and ABC, Jácio for Alecrim and Globo, Talvanes for Globo, ABC and América, Aladim for Riachuelo. Outside epic characters like Liliu, the high roller,” he pointed out.
Each championship is told with electrifying content. ABC’s three-time championship in 1953/54.55, América’s exchange for its second championship in 1956/57, the tumultuous 1959 championship, which ended in a four-day fight through the streets of Natal, the ABC title and the licensing of América until 1966, when it built its Babylonian headquarters on Avenida Rodrigues Alves.
The second half of the 1960s shows the strong return of América, champion of 1967 with a spiritist goal by Bagadão against Riachuelo in the final moments, the undefeated conquest of Alecrim in 1968, the dramatic mug raised by América in 1969, title that ABC considered a win and the awakening of the star Marinho Chagas in the ABC of 1970, completely reformulated and champion after four years.
“Each ending is described with emotion. There were a lot of research and testimonies, there were dives into archives considered lost, which made me sure: Juvenal Lamartine was the most exciting place in the city”, dares Rubinho to say. That he was about to give up the idea of finishing the project due to lack of support and attributes his perseverance to the support of two friends: the former president of América Jussier Santos and the alvirrubro doctor Maeterlinck Rêgo. “Without their strength, I would have given up because of the countless problems I faced and face,” he said.
Emotion and humor are part of the job. Which is divided into local championships and special chapters that narrate, in detail, the presence of Santos de Pelé, Garrincha in Alecrim and Flamengo, Vasco de Bellini, Pinga and Delém and then with Silva Batuta, from Fluminense de Telê Santana playing and as coach, along with the legendary goalkeeper Castilho, from Zizinho, the greatest Brazilian player before Pelé playing against América.
The work also describes the humiliation of goalkeeper Barbosa, from the 1950 team, playing for Santa Cruz (PE), six years later, for Palmeiras de Ademir da Guia, for Botafogo de Jairzinho and Paulo César Caju. From international teams like Alianza Lima, base of the Peruvian national team in 1970, Rampla Juniors of Uruguay, of the Romania national team in 1968.
But nothing, according to Rubinho, beats the games of the Rio Grande do Norte team in 1959, in the Brazilian Championship, eliminating Ceará and winning the northeast title and facing Rio de Janeiro. “These were the games that decreed: Christmas football could be called great and professional. Those were the most important moments of the stadium. I’m not going to say anything else because it’s going to lose the fun.”
Before this new literary project, Rubinho had already published five works: Danilo Menezes, O Último Maestro, biography (2001), O Homem Óbvio (chronicles, 2008), O Rosto Alegre da Cidade Centenario do ABC (2015), Memórias Póstumas do Estádio Murdered (the story of Castelão (Machadão) in 2017, Doutor na Bola e na Vida (Biography of Doctor Maeterlinck Rêgo, 2019).
The new book escapes the bureaucratic tone: “Whoever gives me the honor of reading Juvenal Lamartine – First Stadium, My Version, will not find the reporting and statistical style. The text goes through nostalgia and the (giant) importance of the tiny stadium, in glorious times, in the life of Natal”, describes Rubinho.