There is a city in the hearth of Bulgaria, ancient in origin and with a bright and prosperous present. It is known as The Pearl of Thrace and for a reason. It is the city of lime trees, poets, straight streets… It is the sixth largest city in the country. This is Stara Zagora.
But there is one most important thing you should know – it is also the city of football. And in Stara Zagora football has only one meaning – Beroe. This is the club that is, has been and always will be the symbol of the city. Stara Zagora lives, breathes, celebrates and agonizes to the rhythm of the club’s ups and downs. Therefore, it is not a coincidence, that the most popular chant of Beroe’s fans, which is the hallmark of the club and recognizable throughout Bulgaria, goes on to say „Няма мое, няма твое – светът е Берое!“. This roughly translates to „Everything else is irrelevant, Beroe means the world to us!“
And the boys in green, sometimes also called the Crazy Gang, with their glorious and rich history, one of integrity and sportsmanship, of endurance in the face of all kind of hardships that fate confronted them with; one full of famous victories and great players; wearing the shirts of a club with proud past and undoubtedly bright future are constantly making sure that Beroe remains in the hearts and minds of the people of Stara Zagora.
For them Beroe will always be much more than a football club – it’s their identity, devotion, hope and religion. That’s why the club prides itself with some of the most numerous, vocal, ardent and competent supporters in the country.
This is our team and we are proud with it.
History of football in Stara Zagora
Football was played in Stara Zagora as early as 1916. With no organized championship in Bulgaria until the late twenties of the twentieth century, numerous clubs enjoyed regional success in those early years for the game in both the city and Bulgaria itself. Beroe can trace its roots back to the 4th of May 1924, when it is founded as Beroya, after the merger of two other clubs – Borislav and Rekord.
The club manages to withstand the almost constant chaos and strife of the times, often caused by numerous shifts in the political regimes of Bulgaria, and despite many mergers and name changes throughout the first four decades of its history, it is constantly among the top 3 clubs in the city. It has also often been the platform for attempts to unite all the clubs in Stara Zagora, which foreshadowed it’s role and meaning for the city in the years to come.
The establishment of an organized league to determine the champion of Bulgaria in the late 40s coincides with the consolidation of football in Stara Zagora, the city finally seeing a one single strong club emerge to represent it at the highest level of Bulgarian football. Of course, that club was Beroe, at first bearing the names of Udarnik and Botev, before finally restoring its old name in 1959.
The advent of democracy in Bulgaria ushered a new period of chaos and economical hardship for the country, and that didn’t pass by Beroe. Nevertheless despite several seasons of crisis the club again withstood the test of time, and despite needing a helpful merger with another team – Olimpik (Teteven) – managed to remain a key player on the Bulgarian football scene.
Throughout all this time since the establishment of the football league, Beroe was always among the top Bulgarian teams, being present at the top flight – the „A“ group – in 42 of its 61 seasons to date, and playing more than 1200 matches there. This ranks Beroe 8th in the all-time ranking table of the „A“ group, with only teams from the three biggest cities in Bulgaria – Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna surpassing it.
Beroe’s presence at the top level however has always been not only lasting, but memorable – this culminated with the winning of the championship title in 1985/86 – making at the time Beroe only the third team outside Sofia to win the championship since the founding of the „A“ group – a feat that only four other non-Sofia teams have managed to emulate since then.
In 2010 Beroe won the Cup of Bulgaria for the first time in it’s history.
The Greens were also four-time finalists for the Cup of Bulgaria competition and are to-date one of the most successful Bulgarian clubs in the international football scene, having won a whopping four Balkan Club Cup championships, and reached the 1/4 finals of the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.
– Seasons played in „A“ Grupa (highest level of Bulgarian professional football): 1954, 1958/1959, from 1960/1961 to 1969/1970, from 1971/1972 to 1973/1974, from 1975/1976 to 1981/1982, from 1983/1984 to 1994/1995, from 1999/2000 to 2001/2002, from 2004/2005 to 2007/08 and from 2009/10 up to now (in total 37 seasons in „A“ Grupa).
– Most appearances for the club in „A“ football group: Evgeni Yanchovski – 341
– Most goals for the club in „A“ football group: Petko D. Petkov – 144
– Biggest win in terms of goal margin: 8:0 against Minyor Pernik (1973/1974)
– Bulgarian champions: season 1985/1986
– Bronze medals: 1971/1972
– Cup of Bulgaria winners: 2009/2010
– Bulgarian Supercup winners: 2013
– „A“ Grupa top-six finishers: 1965 – 5th place, 1966 – 6th place, 1978 – 6th place, 1979 – 6th place, 1980 – 4th place, 1984 – 5th place, 1988 – 6th place, 1989 – 5th place
– Balkan Cup winners: 1968, 1969, 1982, 1984 (a competition record!)
– Quarter-finalists in the Cup Winners Cup competition – 1973/1974
– Round of 16 in the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup competition – 1979/1980
– Round of 16 in the UEFA Cup competition – 1972/1973
– Four times finalists in the Bulgarian Cup competition – 1962, 1965, 1967 and 1977
– One of the three Bulgarian clubs (Beroe, Litex and CSKA) with positive balance in the European cups competitions: 22 games, 10 wins – 3 draws – 9 losses, goal difference 39:21.
– Highest attended games: Beroe – Levski in front of 42 000 spectators in 1972, Beroe – Slavia in front of 40 000 spectators in 1986.
– Greatest match: Beroe – Juventus (with 8! world champions in the team) 1:0 on 24.09.1979.
– Bulgarian top goalscorers who played in Beroe: Petar Zhekov – 1967, 1968 (1969, 1970, 1972, 1973), Petko D. Petkov – 1974, 1976, Stoycho Mladenov- 1978.
– Beroe is the only team relegated from „A“ football group with positive goal difference and having the group’s top goalscorer in its ranks (1973/1974), when we had recorded wins such as: 8-0, 8-1, 6-2, 4-0, with a total balance of 7 wins, 7 draws and 16 losses, a goal difference 50-46 and 21 points earned!
– Holding the record of all times in „B“ group for goals scored in one football year – 38 games played with 26 won, 8 drawn and 4 lost with a goal difference 113-32 and 60 points earned.
– Top topscorer of all times in „B“ group (with a still unbeaten record of 53 goals): Petko Petkov in 1974/75.