Toledo – Estadio Salto del Caballo

by Chris Clements | Posted on Friday, July 1st, 2011
Toledo is a city that has been steeped in history from Roman times, but little of any consequence has been the product of its football clubs. 50 miles south of Madrid, football came to the capital of Castile-La Mancha at the turn of the twentieth century and by the 1920’s many modest clubs had sprung up. Some of the leading teams came from the strong military presence in the town and another, Fábrica Nacional de Armas was a works team from the local armaments factory. Attempts were made to form a stronger representative for the city and Sociedad de Foot-ball Toledo was founded in April 1928. On 30 May 1930 the city’s first enclosed football ground, Campo de Palomarejos was opened and in June 1932, Sociedad was renamed Toledo Foot-ball Club. All this was to no avail as the city of Toledo suffered terribly during the Civil War and all traces of the club were gone by the end of 1936.
Toledo010711d

Looking east and the Campo de Palomarejos is in the foreground

Having been a Republican stronghold in the early days of the war, the town took a fearful battering and much of the infrastructure needed rebuilding. After the war the city of Toledo became a cause célèbre for Franco and it is a measure of the damage and the lack of a credible team in the city, that Toledo did not gain a place in the “restructured” La Segunda in 1939. In fact it took until July 1941 for a new club, Club Deportivo Toledo to register with the National Football Federation. The club took up residence at Campo de Palomarejos and made it to the Tercera for the 1943-44 season. There they stayed until 1972, winning the title in 1949-50, but the majority of the next 25 years was spent in the regional league. There was the occasional flurry in the Tercera, but that was often spent battling relegation.
Toledo010711a

Approaching the end of its days. Campo de Palomarejos in 1971

The stand out event during this period of drabness was the opening on 25 November 1973 of a new stadium. As the city expanded westwards, the land on which Campo de Palomarejos stood was earmarked for a new clinic. The old stadium was demolished in 1972 and the club decamped to the Campo Municipal Carlos III for the 1972-73 season, whilst the new stadium was built around a kilometre to the east of their old stadium, close to the Rio Tagus. Named Estadio Salto del Caballo, which translates as Leaping Horse Stadium, it was inaugurated with a match against Atlético Madrid, who promptly beat the locals 1-3. CD Toledo didn’t do much leaping around at their new stadium and in fact their next appearance in the Tercera, in season 1977-78, had more than a hint of a leg-up as it was due to the restructuring of the Tercera. Four years later however, the club was back in the regional league and facing financial ruin.

Toledo030305-74

Salto del Caballo in 1974

The next six seasons were spent in the regional leagues but at least the financial worries had diminished when CD Toledo returned to the Tercera in 1987-88. Two seasons later, with their second Tercera title to their name, they won promotion to Segunda B. CD Toledo’s debut season was a promising affair with the club finishing in a comfortable ninth place with a total of 37 points. 1990-91 was a different story and in a tight division CD Toledo finished in seventeenth position and was relegated due to an inferior head to head record with Real Balompedica Linense. This proved to be a minor set back for under the presidency of Emiliano Carballo and with a third Tercera title under their belt, CD Toledo was about to enter the most successful period of its history.
Toledo190114h

Estadio Salto del Cabello – Note the eagle design at southern end

Back in Segunda B for the 1992-93 season, CD Toledo secured third place with a total of 51 points. They were joined in their play-off group by Deportivo Alaves, Real Jaen & Sant Andreu and after swapping home defeats with Alaves, entered the final match needing to beat Real Jaen to win promotion. This was done in style with a 3-0 victory and after two successive promotions, the club had made the second tier for the first time. The progress didn’t stop their, for in their first ever season in La Segunda, CD Toledo turned on the style. In a strong division that contained Espanyol, Real Betis & Real Mallorca, CD Toledo finished fourth and entered a relegation/promotion play-off with Real Valladolid. 180 minutes from a place in La Primera, CD Toledo continued their good home form winning the first leg 1-0 at Salto del Caballo. A week later on 29 May, the Nuevo Estadio Jose Zorrilla was packed with a partisan crowd who witnessed the home side take apart CD Toledo and win 4-0.
Toledo020711b

The west “Bungalow” comes down in the summer of 1994

Undeterred, Toledo planned for the future and this included the building of a new stand to replace the old Tribuna on the west side of the ground. I say Tribuna, it looked more like a bungalow with a porch stuck on the side. The new stand was an altogether more impressive structure, with additional seating in the paddock area and two tiers of executive boxes. This was topped off with a slim green cantilevered roof. The popular north Fondo and east side were also seated. The south side had housed dressing rooms when the stadium opened. This triangular wedge also featured a flower-bed that was shaped in the style of the club crest, but sadly, this was removed, concreted over and given a lick of green paint.
Toledo140205a

Ready for the push that never came. Salto del Caballo in 1995

What a shame then that CD Toledo never again reached the heights of the 93-94 season. With coach Gonzalo Hurtado still in charge, they finished the 94-95 season in eleventh, but fared better in the Copa del Rey. Victories over Racing Ferrol, Real Murcia  & Real Valladolid saw them reach the last 16, before losing out to Real Mallorca. Hurtado was replaced midway through the 1995-96 which saw a slight improvement with a final placing of ninth. Mid-table finishes were achieved in 96-97 and 97-98 before coach Gregorio Manzano steered the club to a seventh place finish. The turn of the century however, saw CD Toledo lose its place in La Segunda. With a measly total of 10 wins and a just 34 goals in their 42 matches, the club finished in bottom place and their seven season adventure was over.
Toledo190114c

Salto del Caballo – Waiting for the leap back to the big time

CD Toledo hit a gradual downward spiral and by 2004 they were back in the Tercera. They then endured three consecutive seasons of play-off misery before finally overcoming CD San Roque 3-0 on aggregate in the new play-off format that pitched divisional champions against each other for a place in Segunda B. CD Toledo’s 2009-10 season was played at the wrong end of the table and a sixteenth place finish saw them paired with CD Roquetas in the relegation play-offs. The Andalucians prevailed sending CD Toledo back the the Tercera. Clearly the strongest team in the Castile-La Mancha division of the Tercera, CD Toledo won the title again in 2010-11 and then in the play-offs, put Naxara CD to the sword (Toledo steel of course!), to regain a place in Segunda B.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tags
ESTADIOS DE ESPAÑA - STADIUMS OF SPAIN