Legendary Croatian football club Hadjuk Split, which has a cult following in the Dalmatian region of the country as well as abroad, celebrates its 106th birthday on Monday 13 February.
Hajduk Split was founded by a group of students from Split in a pub in Prague, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
They went to the pub following a match between AC Sparta and SK Slavia and decided it was time their own town of Split founded a professional club.
The club was officially registered with the authorities on February 13, 1911.
While trying to come up with a name for the club, the students went to an old teacher Josip Barač for advice, and according to accounts he told them to take the name “Hajduk” which symbolized “that which is best in our people: bravery, humanity, friendship, love of freedom, defiance to powers, and protection of the weak. Be worthy of that great name.”
Official Hajduk Split 106th birthday celebrations schedule:
Monday, February 13, 2017:
08:30 – Mass for Hajduk Split in the church of Sv. Ante at Poljud stadium
09:30 – Laying of wreaths at the memorial plaque at the north stand at Poljud stadium, for all the fans and members of Hajduk killed in the Homeland war
10:15 – Laying of wreaths at Hajduk’s grave in memory of all football players, coaches and officials who rest at the Split cemetery Lovrinac
12:00 – Ceremonial Session of Hajduk at the Croatian National Theatre in Split
Hajduk Split have won 18 league titles and 20 domestic cups over their history. In the 1994-5 season of the UEFA Champions League they famously advanced through to the quarterfinals.
In October 2016 the Hajduk Split fans’ association ‘Naš Hajduk’ signed a contract which saw them take control of 24.53% of Hajduk Split shares and become part owners of the club.