After previously looking at the spooky imp of Lincoln, this Halloween sees us turn to the bat of Valencia.

Six-time winners of La Liga, and seven-time Copa del Rey champions, Valencia C.F. have hardly taken a backseat to the more illustrious football teams of Spain. The club was formed in 1919 by a group of football enthusiasts, with Octavio Augusto Milego Diaz named as their first president. Remarkably, his prestigious position was decided by a coin toss! From here the club have gone from strength to strength, helped over the years by their incredible 55,000 seat fortress: the Estadio de Mestalla.

The 2018-19 season has seen Valencia C.F. adopt a special iteration of their iconic badge, in order to mark 100 years of the club’s existence. The players are wearing a ‘Centenari’ crest for their matches – and though the colour schemes have changed, key aspects remain the same on the emblem.

As seen below in both the standard Valencia badge and the ‘Centenari’ badge, the bat is a crucial component. The bat is thought to date back to 1238, when King James of Aragon was fighting to take Valencia back from the Moors. It is said that after battle, when the King entered the newly-liberated city, a bat flew from the sky and flapped in front of him. The moment was seen as a blessing, and thereafter the bat has spread its wings across the city of Valencia, even getting incorporated as the central figure of city heraldry.

All this made it somewhat inevitable that the creature would find its way onto the badge of the city’s famous football team centuries later. The club continue to grow in stature to this day, pursuing greater success on the Spanish and European footballing scene.