Simon Harris
The reason why Atlético de Madrid are known as The Mattress Makers – Los Colchoneros in Spanish – is an interesting one and is all down to the red and white striped shirts that Atletico play in.

The club’s original ground was in a working class barrio of Madrid near to the Ronda de Vallecas, which was home to a number of mattress factories. Atletico was always the poorer of the two big Madrid clubs and in 1911, it was on the point of becoming independent from its ‘mother club’ – Athletic Club de Bilbao – and had no money to buy football shirts.

The practical madrileños found a simple solution by buying cheap red and white striped material that was used to make the mattresses, and then got local women to make the team’s shirts.

As their fans knew where the material came from they started calling the team Los Colchoneros . The Mattress Makers – and the name is proudly used to this day becauses it reminds us of Atlético de Madrid’s humble origins!

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