Las Delicias sports ground
grupación Deportiva Ferroviaria,
popularly known as “La Ferro,” was founded in 1918 by the
Andalusian railwayman Leocadio Martín Ruiz, so that railway
workers would be able to practice sports such as athletics,
cycling, gymnastics, boxing or football in their free time. The
railway companies’ policies of industrial paternalism included
promoting sports and leisure activities among their employees,
with the objective of appeasing in part the latter’s labour
demands. During its first years, “La Ferro” received small
economic contributions from MZA, Norte and MCP, with this last
one donating in 1921 a plot of land beside Delicias Station,
called “campo de Las Delicias,” which could hold 8,000
After the Spanish Civil War, the sports ground enjoyed great popularity in the neighbourhood and throughout Madrid due to the numerous sports events held there, the main ones being “La Ferro’s” football matches. During those years, the “blue eleven” enjoyed a successful spell by completing three seasons (1939-1940, 1941-1942 and 1942-1943) in Second Division A. Boxing and wrestling matches were also organised, mainly at weekends in the summer, and were very popular with the public during the post-war period.
In 1947, RENFE told the Board of Directors that they would have to leave Las Delicias sports ground, since the company wanted to build blocks of flats for its railway workers.
This marked the beginning of “La Ferro’s” decline; it lost
its fans and its roots when it started playing its home games
near Ciudad Universitaria, in the 1947-48 season. Today, “La
Ferro” is Madrid’s fourth oldest team, after Real Madrid (1902),
Atlético de Madrid (1903) and Real Carabanchel (1916).
Sports activities returned to the Madrid-Delicias railway facility in 1978 when RENFE’s Sports and Recreational Cultural Centre was set up in one of the station’s freight-loading bays. This initiative was promoted by railway workers with the public company’s support and is still active today.