Pelynt FC, based in Cornwall hamlet of Barcelona, play at 'New Camp'
Tintagel's football team are off to Barcelona for a league game on Oct. 20 at the New Camp. As the spelling suggests, though, all is not as it seems. It's not the Nou Camp in Catalonia -- it's the New Camp in Cornwall, the home of Pelynt FC.
Barcelona is a hamlet in the north of England's most southern county. It couldn't be much more different to Barcelona on Spain's east coast. The Cornwall version consists of half a dozen houses and a very small holiday complex. It also used to house a forge, but that's turned into a place that makes picnic tables and chairs. It's also where, for the last decade, Duchy League side Pelynt have played their home games.
"We had a pitch in the village of Pelynt itself but the owner decided he wanted to develop it," club secretary Keith Davies told ESPN FC. "So, we were sort of stuck without a bit of grass to play on. A local family had a couple of fields on the side of a main road that they used to keep a few sheep in and they said: 'Why don't you have that?'
"We never thought it would work but we got an army of people there and a few local farmers helped out and turned it into a bit of a football pitch. In fact, it's very good surface -- albeit on a bit of a slope."
The connection with Barcelona was instantly made and Pelynt's new home, which averages around 50 or 60 fans for every game (in stark comparison to the Nou Camp's 100,000 capacity), was quickly given the name the New Camp. Keith took the initiative to let the La Liga side know what was going on.
"I emailed them, tongue-in-cheek really, just letting them know what we were doing and pretty much saying 'Is it OK?'" Davies explained.
"Thank you for your interest in our club," began a letter sent back to Davies, signed by Barca's then director of institutional relations, Ramon Pujol Nunez. "We are delighted to be able to help you. In the name of FC Barcelona's president, Joan Laporta, we are pleased to send you a pennant signed by all of the first team squad."
Davies is at a loss to explain why it's only now, 10 years on, that the story has come to light after being picked up by BBC Cornwall last month. However, it's not something which went unnoticed by the Cornish football community.
"One or two people took the Mickey," he says. "They said they could call their ground Old Trafford, but I said you're not in Manchester, we're in Barcelona. There is a connection, if only in the name of the places."
There are no plans afoot, however, to further exploit the connection. Pelynt will not become known as Pelynt-Barca, nor will they start to dress in blaugrana colours -- at least not at home.
"There was a mention of [changing the name] at one stage," Davies said. "But some of the people involved in the club didn't like it, so I don't think so. As for the colours, we have a problem, because we are from Pelynt, which is Trelawny's parish and there's this insistence that we must wear amber and black. Maybe one day our away colours will be the Barcelona colours. I think that would be quite good."
In the meantime, the club have more pressing matters to deal with on the pitch, where they don't benefit from the help of Lionel Messi. An exodus of players has seen them slip from the Duchy Premier to Division Two. Things look promising this season, but it's a case of taking things one game at a time.
And what will the "other" Barcelona be doing when Tintagel face off against Pelynt? The defending La Liga champions will be hosting Sevilla 1,150 miles away.