Over the last 20-30 years the scope of the Bulgarian football champions has gone outside the cities of Sofia and Plovdiv. The success in the local football league of teams such as Beroe (Stara Zagora), or Etar (Veliko Tarnovo) who won the titles in 1986 and 1991, was followed by four titles won by Litex (Lovech). The latest Bulgarian championship was won by the absolute debutant Ludogoretz (Razgrad)
The first football capital though was the picturesque coastal city of Varna. In 1894, 10 Swiss body instructors arrived in Bulgaria. Here, on May 14th, in the male secondary school in Varna, Georges de Regibus demonstrated for the first time how to juggle with a ball. The young lads who attended that demonstration happened to like it and started to play football in the city.
In the spring of 1909 “Varna –sport” association was founded, and few months later it was renamed to “Sportist” football association. The club was founded by Stefan Tonchev . On May 24th 1914 in the Sea garden of Varna the Sports association named Sportist merged with the officially founded on March 3 rd 1913 sports association -Ticha River. At the end of 1915 Ticha River played its first international game in the history of Bulgarian football.
In the years preceding the WW2 Varna football clubs won 5 champions titles. The first two official football competitions in 1925 and 1926 were won by the Varna club – Vladislav, who became a triple champion in 1934. We should add to those titles the ones won by “ Shipchenski Sokol in 1933 and Ticha in 1938. During the years preceding the WW2 Varna football clubs usually finished among the top three in the ranking. Ticha footballer Boyan Boyanov was the first one to become captain of the Bulgarian national football team. At present the only team representing the town of Varna in the local football league is “ Cherno more” FC, which is a successor of the legendary clubs Vladislav and Ticha. Founded on April 3rd 1916, the club of Vladislav became the first national football champion in 1925, and the first Bulgarian triple winner of the title as well as the first team who was first victory in its debut appearance on the international football stage.
On April 21st, the other leading football club from this town- Ticha won the silver cup tournament in Bucharest. The trophy won in the Romanian Capital was the first in the history of Bulgarian football altogether.
In 1945 Ticha and Vladislav were forced to merge into Ticha-Vladislav45. This was followed by several other changes of names, when in 1959 the team receives the name - Cherno More .During those years the team wins bronze medals twice- in 1053 and 1959, under the name of VMS. In 1985 and 1988 Cherno More plays in the final of the Soviet Army football cup. In 2006 and 2008 it reaches the cup final again.
Unfortunately the other famous club from this town- Spartak has become victim of the economic crisis and plays now in the third football division in Bulgaria. The team which bears the nickname Sokolite has also left big trace in the Bulgarian football history. The team that became famous under the name Shipchenski Sokol was found in 1924 when the Clubs Bulgarski Sokol and Shipka merged in one club. In 1931 Spartak won the silver medals in the championship. The team also reached the final of the state tournament in Sofia, where it met the team of AC-23. During this game a player from the Sofia football club broke the leg of the Varna player Georgy Parmakov. Then players from Sokolite refused to complete the game unless first referee sent the guilty one away. This did not happen and the game was cancelled. AC-23 from Sofia won officially by 3:0, but it did not receive any cup. Thus Varna players finished second. One year later Shipchenski Sokol won its first and only champions title.
In 1945 the team merged with two other Varna clubs named Levski and Radetski under the name Spartak. In 1945, 1946 and 1948 the team reached the semifinals in the Bulgarian football tournament and in 1955 it finished third .In 1961 Spartak reached the final for the national Cup where it was defeated by CSKA by 3:0. Then came the period between 1969 and 1985, where in 1983 under the name ZSK-Spartak the team once again reached the Cup final and won the bronze medals in the Championship a year later, in 1984.
English version: Kostadin Atanassov