A new monument of the first ever football in Croatia has been unveiled on Tuesday in the eastern city of Županja…
An official ceremony held on Kralj Tomislav square in Županja on Tuesday to unveil the new monument was attended by Croatian Football President Davor Šuker and the Mayor of Županja Davor Miličević.
When the English industrialists arrived in the late 19th century to Županja, they bought with them games they played in their leisure time, mainly football and tennis. By getting to know, and then employing the locals, the Englishmen, who were short of numbers, then invited the locals to join them playing football around 1880.
Football then quickly became popular in Županja, and the English industrialists then gifted the locals with the round leather ball they had brought from England to play with.
The first football ever used was found in a house at number 5 Vladimir Nazor street in Županja around 100 years later in 1979.
The ball is made of natural leather with flaps, one of which is missing. The owner of the ball had inherited it from his ancestors who were employed at a factory founded by the English industrialists.
The ball was then sent to the Technology Centre in Karlovac, as well as to experts in England, where it was confirmed that it was made from leather between 90 and 110 years ago.
The first monument dedicated to the first ever football in Croatia was erected in 1980, to mark the 100 year anniversary, however part of it was damaged during the war and it was taken down.
This new monument in the work of sculptor Krešimir Rod and is created in the shape of a ‘Z’ with a football at the top, resembling the letter ‘Ž’ for Županja.
(photos/drago sopta hns)