For some, they're only old, plastic seats - not exactly the last word in comfort and with no commercial value - but to several thousands Atleti season ticket holders, their old seats from the Vicente Calderón have a special, personal significance. The seats, which many fans collected from the stadium free of charge last month, are the only physical link to match nights down by the Manzanares - memories good and not so good of the ground which was Atlético's home for half a century.
Season ticket holders get a piece of the old Calderón
The Calderón, which hosted its final official game in 2017, is due to be demolished next year and the last club employees will leave the stadium at Christmas. Atlético decided to give season ticket holders the chance to own a piece of the Calderón, offering fans the chance to claim their old seat free of charge in May last year. The seats were boxed up and distributed last month. A total of 26,000 written requests were received through the club's web site - out of which, 22,000 seats were picked up in person by supporters at the start of July. Among the fans who queued up to claim their old seats were Ángel Peinado and his son Álex. "Nobody can imagine how much these seats mean to us", Ángel told AS. "They might seem worthless to anyone else but for us, they have a great sentimental value. They are a reminder of the 12 years we spent coming down to the Calderón to watch Atleti and it's just a nice memento of all of those years. It's a bit emotional for us to be back here today because, since Atlético moved to the new stadium, it's been a long time since we were last down here".
Great memories down by the Manzanares
Álex continued: "It was a great gesture from the club and it's nice to own a little part of the Calderón, where we went through so many things but it's a bit sad too because you know you are never going to be able to go back inside, it'll never be open again". Álex's old seat, No.16 North Stand second tier, Row 3, is now where he sits by his computer desk while on top of his father's, No.15, is where they keep their Atleti scarves and shirts ready for matchday.
Atleti fans find new homes for their old Calderón seats
Season ticket holder No. 2.274. Luis Miguel Benito retrieved his old seat at the start of July. It now takes pride of place as the centrepiece in his living room.
Season ticket holder No. 35.850. Michael McCleary took his old Calderón seat home to Washington. On top of it, a small part of the old terrace to remember Madrid by.
Season ticket holders No. 8.513 and 16.464. In these seats Lola and David Rodríguez cheers Atleti on for years. Now with feet