OG credited with introducing the game of football to Portugal
28 Feb 2017
We were contacted recently by a descendant of Guilhema Pinto Basto who attended Downside from 1876 until 1879. He had been researching the family history and discovered that in 1886, Guilherme’s younger brother, Frederico, brought home to Portugal a peculiar object from school. It was a football. Two years later Guilherme was to organise the first football game ever played on Portuguese soil. Together with his two younger bothers he is credited with introducing the game of football to Portugal and for founding its first football club.
He writes “His keen sportsmanship, which I can only surmise had its origins on the playing fields of St Gregory’s College, also extended to lawn tennis – a new game he introduced to the Portuguese Court (and to which the king, Carlos I, a very close friend of Edward VII, was particularly enamoured) – cycling, and automobile racing among others. Guilherme went on to become 9-times national tennis champion and the first Chairman of Portugal’s Lawn Tennis Federation. By 1950, aged 86, he was the oldest practising sportsman in Portugal”