Saturday, January 17, 2009

Finally, at home – Bulgaria. Levski-Spartak made a double, winning both the championship and the cup. But I was with mixed feeling… it was my club and it was not. A year earlier, in the middle of the season, Bulgarian football was ‘reorganized’. Meaning, out of the blue few clubs, mostly from Sofia, were amalgamated. My Levski was merged with Spartak and a third division club – Sportist (Kremikovtzi, Sofia’s suburb). The new club was named Levski-Spartak. It was a heavy blow… Spartak were the Police club. Levski was traditionally the people’s club… The whole story is worth telling, but not now. Suffice to say that the merger alienated many old fans, including my father. They stopped going to the stadium and if watching the team at all, it was only on TV. I followed to some point – until I left the country in the late 1980s, I went to see no more than 20 live Levski’s matches.
Levski-Spartak, champions in 1970.
Second row, left to right: G. Kamensky, M. Gaydarsky, D. Zhechev, Al. Kostov, G. Asparukhov, R. Vitlacil (Czechoslovakia) – coach, Iv. Zdravkov, St. Peshev, R. Goranov.
First row: St. Aladzov, Tz. Vesselinov, Sl. Stoilov, P. Kirilov, B. Mikhailov, P. Panov, N. Kotkov, V. Mitkov, St. Pavlov, Y. Kirilov.