Egur
(also played as Roberto)
Roberto Egurbide
Back
Born in Mutriku, 7/13/44
Married, with one son
Resides in Mutriku

FRONTONS PLAYED
Made his pro debut at Durango in 1961
He also played (Roberto) at Dania, 1962-1965
Orlando, 1966
Milan (Italy)
West Palm Beach and Newport, 1971 to 1983
He retired in West Palm Beach

His son Roberto played one season at Dania during the late 90's.


Dania '63 Dania '64 Newport '76 Npt/WPB '81 

DYR: Do you remember your amateur years?

"Of course! I miss those years … I really loved those years. I used to practice with Isidro Lekube and Olasolo in Mutriku … I was only 12 years old! Where does the time go?"

 

West Palm Peach, 1973

DYR: In your opinion, who were best players of all time?

"Well, I don't know if the players that I will mention were the best of all time, but in my opinion they are the best. Here is the list: Txutxo Larrañaga, Txurruka, Egurbi and Orbea."

Tomas Oyarbide, Budweiser sponsor, Egur

DYR: Were the players of your era better than current players?

"In my opinion the players of my era were better … there was a huge competition back them."

 

 

 

 

With Newport/WPB
Player Manager
Pedro Elordi

 

DYR: Roberto, let's talk about your time in Newport and West Palm Beach. I have heard that Art Sylvester (CEO of Newport and WPB Jai-Alai), was a decent man with the players. Is that true?

"I liked Arthur … I honestly believe that he loved the game … he was a friendly man and he treated us with respect … I respect Arthur. During the 60's and 70's, WPB was a respected fronton. Many players would have loved to play in WPB."

DYR: Why did you go on strike in 1966?

"We wanted to get a union, but it wasn't the right time to go on a strike … that was a huge mistake. We just didn't know what we were doing."


Egur with the legendary Saez, Newport, 1980
Saez defeated Egur 12-10 in the 1980 Singles Championship
(w/Budweiser sponsor)

DYR: Egur, I have to ask you a question that many fans would like to ask you. To be a great jai-alai player, do you have to be a 'party boy'?

"Come on, that is a bunch of crap!! Now you are going to tell me that Txurruka, Saez, Uriarte and many others were 'party boys'? Like other sports, you have players that don't take their jobs seriously, and players that train very hard … players that give everything in each performance. Jai-alai is no different than any other sport."

DYR: But, you have to admit that jai-alai players have had bad reputations, especially in the USA?

"Yes, your statement is true, but I hate when people think that ALL of us are 'Wild Boys' … personally speaking, I gave everything I had and I took care of myself."

 

DYR: Do you see your 'Old' friends?

"Yes, I see Lekube almost everyday. We also get together once a year to eat dinner in a restaurant. The last time, Laca, Gorrono, Zarandona and many other 'Old' friends were there."

L to R:
Lejarzegi,
Lopetegi,
Xabier Egurbide,
Egur.
(Newport)

 

DYR: Did you talk about jai-alai?

"Yes, yes, we like to brag about our past, hahahaha."

Mutriku, 2005

DYR: Thank you, Roberto!!

"No problem, I would like to say hello to jai alai fans in the USA, and I also want to send a big hug to my good friends in Newport, Ernest and Nick."


Roberto Egurbide with wife Belen. Mutriku, 2005


Interview date: December, 2005
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