An amazing Botev Plovdiv shirt, what more can I say? Well of course I can say more, but please allow me the hyperbole. I sadly was not able to get a clear view of the Hristo Botev stadium on my visit to Plovdiv but the fact that the team is named after a poet is cause for interest in itself. In fact, I even met a Turkish ex-footballer who himself later became a poet in my visit to Plovdiv. Who knew football and poetry where so connected? It is also a reason that I aim to make it to the Lokomotiv-Botev derby some time soon. Botev are also the oldest Bulgarian side currently competing, as well as a “brother club” to Greek side Aris Thessaloniki due to the fact that they share the same colors. I mention this “Balkan Brotherhood” in my write up of the Thessaloniki derby between Aris and Paok.

After finding a faded picture of the team wearing this particular shirt on the walls of a shop in Plovdiv I made it my mission to find the shirt and—by way of the internet—I was ultimately successful. It is a size large Diadora shirt in the classic quarters that served as their template in the mid 1990s. The fact that Italian manufacturer Diadora was also one of the first Western brands to sponsor a Bulgarian team following the fall of communism only adds to its value. The Fincomm sponsor and club badge are sewn into the fabric; the number 7 is lightly screen printed on. The squares of black fading into yellow around the sponsor are certainly the most beautiful features of this particular shirt.


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A Sign of the Times (Courtesy of: AND



My Photo of Hristo Botev Standing Sentinel at the Stadium Gates.