O’Higgins FC

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Country: Chile      City: Rancagua Founded: April 7, 1955          Colors: Sky Blue Stadium: El Teniente       Web: OHigginsfc

O’Higgins Futbol Club, also known as La Celeste, has a few titles in Chile: 2 Primera B titles, a 2013-14 Apertura, and 2o14 Supercopa de Chile. They’ve qualified for 4 Libertadores and were once managed by Manuel Pelligrini. They were formed after the merger of local clubs and named after the Chilean military hero of Irish ancestry, Bernardo O’Higgins Riquelme.

Bernardo O’Higgins was born in Chillan, Chile in 1778. He was the illegitimate son of Ambrosio O’Higgins, an Irish Military Governor for the Spanish Empire in Chile. Bernardo never met his father but was financially supported by him throughout his life. This included being sent to London to study. It was in London that he was first exposed to ideas of independence and nationalism that he would later bring back to Chile. When his father passed away, Bernardo returned to Chile to take charge of the land he inherited. He then became involved in the revolt against the Spanish Royalists. His first military experiences were not that successful, probably due to his poor health and lack of military training. But through perseverance, he succeeded, and after fighting alongside General San Martin in the Andes, he became the Supreme Director of Chile. As leader, he established colleges, libraries and hospitals. He also curtailed some of the privileges of the Chilean elite, an action that would lead to a loss of support, a coup, and his agreement to step down. He ended up in Peru, where he died in  1842. His remains were eventually returned to Chile where he is buried in the Citizen’s Square in  Santiago. Here’s a song about O’Higgins written by Pablo Neruda:

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