Last Sunday the life of Jesus Ferro Rodrguez Argentine journalist who toured more than 140 countries between trips and coverage of all kinds, owner of the most valuable ball in the world, with the signature of the most important players in the history of football, protagonist of remembered shows on Spanish television as an impersonator of the singer Mick Jagger, and who was a columnist for the main media in Madrid during the nineties.
Ferro defined himself, in his long evening gatherings with friends in the bars of Madrid or Buenos Aires, as a “traveler” above all, and used to distinguish him from the tourist. “I don’t have a return ticket or times that condition me. I’m going on an adventure, to get to know, take as long as it takes me “, following the idea on the subject of the writer Paul Bowles, and that is how he was able to complete going around the world in 80 days, something he dreamed of since he was a child, when in the room of his house in Lomas de Zamora he studied the world map that he had hanging on the wall and knew the capitals of all the countries. The journey was made between September 4 and November 22, 2011, leaving and returning to kilometer zero of Puerta del Sol, in Madrid.
“JF”, or “Fierrito”, as he was known in the journalistic environment, he was born on June 2, 1953 and his passion for radio, reading and sports led him to study at the Circle of Sports Journalists from Buenos Aires, he graduated in 1977 and soon after he was working in the automobile team “Champions”, with Carlos Legnani, and had Luis Elías Sojit and Bernardino Veiga as godparents.
When Sojit gave Fangio a valuable photo album of his early days in motorsport, through Ferro, the journalist and the former driver began a close friendship and Ferro’s ties led him to emigrate to Brazil for three years. then another three in the United States, until he settled in Spain for more than three decades.
Restless, versatile, Ferro quickly became known in the journalistic environment of the Spanish capital and especially in the Madrid nightlife, which he knew perfectly, always surrounded by artists and athletes. He came to have great columns in the sports newspaper “Mark” and in “Radio Brand”, for which he covered countless events, and was part of a well-remembered team on Radio Intercontinental, as a commentator for the Argentine reporter Hector Delmar, “The Man of the Goal”, or together with former soccer player Ramón “Cacho” Heredia.
It was in those years that he also shone with his presence in one of the most popular programs in the history of Spanish television, “Martian Chronicles”, by “Tele 5″, imitating the Rolling Stone Mick Jagger, with whom he had such a remarkable resemblance, that he was called by the British agency “Look a Likes” for celebrity look-alikes and every so often, he joked in Madrid bars with whom this he writes proposing to put on dark glasses and hum and in a few seconds the screaming (especially female) around him would begin.
That night of “The Martian Chronicles”, the real Keith Richards, one of the members of the Rolling Stones, Due to an injury, Ferro was urgently summoned, as a replacement for Jagger, and was seen by two million viewers.
“The day I arrived at the headquarters of the ‘Look a Likes’ agency had a great impact, because it opened the door for me elizabeth taylor, and she introduced me to Clark Gable already Elton John, and ended up having tea at 17 with the Queen Isabel although all of them were his resemblances and not the originals”, he joked.
When he had to cover his second World Cup (the first was Spain 1982), in Italy 1990 -then he was in Germany 2006 and Brazil 2014, as well as the Olympic Games in Seoul 1988 and Barcelona 1992-, he had the idea of signing to the great stars of the tournament a ball, with the purpose of giving it to his nephew Germán Fernández (today, a prominent cardiologist residing in Germany). “The ball – he wrote in a notebook that he always carried with him – is the most international toy that exists in the world and besides, it’s round like him. It does not know borders or passports or visas. Everyone can play with it, from Portugal to China, from Tunisia to South Africa, from Canada to Argentina. It has to be pampered with the tenderness that only a mother can lavish on her son, or a lover on his girl.”
What started as a project, turned into a jewel of incalculable value, with the signature of Alfredo Di Stéfano, Pelé, Franz Beckenbauer, Johan Cruyff, Diego Maradona, Zinedine Zidane, Lionel Messi, David Beckham, Juan Román Riquelme, Ronaldo Nazario and many other cracks of all time, collected throughout his many coverage and after a thorough preparation, which included articles and autographed t-shirts with which it was proposed to set up a sports-themed bar in Madrid.
Ferro was turning, almost without realizing it, into a professional autograph hunter -he prepared himself down to the smallest detail and used to always have something to give to the star he was looking for in return- and he became the owner of a true museum that went from being an itinerant to being part of a small bar on Calle del Ángel in the Noviciado area, in the center of Madrid, although his declared purpose was to serve his friends and chat with them without schedule, until the wee hours of the morning. That place, he clarified, did not meet the conditions of the one he had dreamed of and planned down to the last millimeter after a trip through several countries from which he brought ideas for extension, furniture, clothes for waiters, televisions and even a menu. He had everything figured out and was busily looking for an interested investor.
Is that “Fierrito” lived at night and slept during the day. For years he was a kind of “maitre” of the Uruguayan restaurant “La Carreta”, in the Callao area, also in Madrid, attended by the football and entertainment environment, especially from South America, always with the journalist as a reference and guide and so, he rubbed elbows with Ricardo Darín, Héctor Alterio, Jorge Valdano or Ángel Cappa.
Meticulous, Ferro did not want them to lack anything and when the relationship was closer, he used to take out of his backpack, which he always carried, a stack of photos of his most important trips to tell in detail each place in India, China, Russia or Australia, and recount his travels. He was proud when he said that he came to travel by bus, bus, micro, train, metro, subway, trolley, tram, ship, helicopter, plane, ocean liner, bicycle, sulky, car, coach, motorcycle, sidecar, and even on a horse , donkey or elephant.
In 2005, her stay in Buenos Aires coincided with the centenary of her beloved Boca Juniors and he approached the Bombonera to observe the party closely, and ended (as used to happen due to the number of acquaintances and friends he gathered) entering the lawn amid flashes and shouting, along with Diego Maradona.
Always with a diary under his arm and a backpack on his back, Ferro was a classic journalist, old-fashioned, that he preferred to write his notes by hand, with a pen and notepad, and that he rejected the Internet. Only in recent times was he able to dominate some minimal aspects of technology and he was very disenchanted with the Argentine soccer tournaments, always with an independent look and in most cases, against the current.
In recent years he returned to Argentina and lived in Lomas de Zamora, although he used to spend many hours in the center of Buenos Aires and managed to collaborate on the nightly program “The Ones”, driven by Fernando Mancini, who won the “Martín Fierro” award in 2015. At the end of 2021 his health worsened until he died last Sunday, generating great commotion among his friends for his recognized and admired solidarity.
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