13 February 2022 – Croatian football club Hajduk Split, which has a cult following in Dalmatia and also around in the Croatian diaspora, celebrates its 111th birthday today.
Hajduk Split was founded by a group of students from Split in a pub in Prague, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
The students 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 football 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 symbolised “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.”
On Sunday the club will morn all former players, coaches, fans, and members who passed away. Wreaths will be laid at the memorial plaque at the north stand at Poljud stadium and at Lovrinac grave in memory of all the fans and members of Hajduk Split killed in the Homeland War.
Later in the day Hajduk play Slaven Belupo at Poljud stadium. Hajduk are currently 4th on the HNL table, 8 points behind leaders Dinamo Zagreb but they have a game in hand.
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.