I come from a small village and we used to listen to Benfica on the radio through the voice of the iconic commentator Artur Agostinho. Back then there were no TVs. I came to Lisbon aged 12 and the first thing I wanted to do was see Benfica play at the Estádio da Luz. I have been a Benfiquista ever since. I live Benfica. I remember the two European Cup wins in 1961 and 1962. After that, it was like an addiction. When Benfica play in Europe I’m there. I’ve made so many trips, but perhaps the most memorable ones were to the former USSR. It was so different. More recently, Astana in Kazakhstan was great – it was so beautiful.
I’ve had my beard for almost 50 years. Longhair and beards weren’t allowed in our country when I was growing up. After leaving the army I worked in a bank and let my moustache, beard and hair grow. My boss moaned about it so I left the bank. I told him he was more demanding than the army and the old regime. I haven’t cut my beard since. My two sons, who are over 40, and my wife have never seen me without it.