THE granddaughter of a County Durham miner who went on to manage football teams around the world, including Barcelona and the Peruvian national side, has returned to his hometown to investigate her roots.
Mrs Hahn, who was visiting from her home in Toronto, Canada, with her husband Emil, was welcomed with a civic reception at Durham County Council before meeting local historians and amateur football enthusiasts who filled in the gaps in Mr Greenwell’s story.
Mrs Hahn said: “It has been very emotional for me, this was a trip my mother and I talked about doing and while I am very sad she is no longer with us, I know she is here in spirit and will be pleased with what we found.”
John Richard Greenwell, known to all as Jack, was born at Peases West in Crook in 1884 and his early career saw him work as a miner.
He played for Crook Town between 1901 and 1912 before moving to Spain where he played 88 games for Barcelona and became manager in 1917.
He is still highly regarded by the Barcelona hierarchy and the badge incorporates the English flag in testament to his achievements, which included winning five Catalonian championships and two Copa Del Reys.
While in Spain he met and married an English dancer, Doris Rubinstein, and the couple had one daughter Carmen, Mrs Hahn’s mother, during which time Mr Greenwell also managed Espanyol, Mallorca and Valencia. His family returned to Great Britain upon the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War and he moved to Peru to prepare the national team for the Berlin Olympics.
His wife and daughter then joined him in Lima, before he went on to enjoy one final stint as a manager taking over the Colombian national team.
He died aged 58 in Bogotá in 1942 from a heart attack when his daughter was 12-years-old.
Mrs Hahn said: “For my mother’s 80th birthday I decided to try and find out as much about her father as I could, I have been amazed by what he did.
“I went for a tour of Crook with historian Michael Manual and his son Paul, it is such an interesting place and has been wonderful to see where my grandfather came from.”