Paola – The Club’s Home Town
Hibernians, a Maltese football club, are based in the small town of Paola, which is located in the south-east area of the main island. The area, situated at the foot of the Grand Harbour, seems to be among the earliest to host British serviceman playing some of the first football games in the country. The oldest club known from Paola is Malta Wanderers who played a match against a team from Pembroke called St. George’s Tigne in 1894. Since then several other clubs were formed some of which took part in the national league. Two that still stand to this day are Paola Wolves who now play amateur football, and Hibs who are the most successful beyond any doubt.
It is impossible to speak about Paola, a town on the south-west side of Grand Harbour, without considering the Hal Saflieni preshistoric underground complex, listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site. This hypogeum, which no visitor to Malta should miss, is an archaeologically unique site. Paolites can trace their roots back to the hardworking and religious buliders of this underground complex built more than 5000 years ago.
Likewise, Paola was among the first places on the island where the game of football was practised. Infact, football has helped tomake the townï¿½s social history unique in various ways. As one of the best known football clubs in Malta, HIBERNIANS F.C. has both created popular enthusiasm and offered people an opportunity to participate in the life of the community. It has also enhanced the townï¿½s name, both locally and abroad, through its participation in international football events.
Like the famous hypogeum, football has evolved into a phenomenon of worldwide importance, an important aspect of contemporary culture and civilisation. The Paola football clubï¿½s present and past directors, as well as all the players, are proud to have contributed to the international reputation of the town built by the Grand Master of the Order of St John, Antoine de Paule, during the first half of the seventeenth century.