According to evidences of such famous football historians as B.Galinskiy, A,Dougan, X.Fisher, professor Cenar, Odessa was one of the first football development centres in Eastern Europe.
According to A.Dougan, Odessa citizens were the first Ukrainians to observe a football game. They watched the British sailors having often visited our port in the end of the 1870’s play. In 1878 the Englishmen living in Odessa organized the “Odessa British Athletic Club” (OBAC), which became the first football club in the Tsar-time Russia.
Football swiftly spread all around the country. In 1891, Professor Cenar, who was sincerely interested in this sport, published his “Sport games in youth schools” thesis about different football programs in local schools. It was also him who made a great contribution in football history documentation, having described the Lvov manufacturers create the first authentic football in 1890.
In 1892, the Austro-Hungarian emperor Franz-Joseph initiated holding a biennale to reflect the local trade and culture in Lvov, which was a part of his empire that time. And on June, 5, 1892, football was presented as Ukrainian sport culture element.
To hold the football presentation at the 2nd biennale in 1894, a grand (for those times) stadium for 7 thousand spectators was built in Lviv’s Stryjski park. This stadium’s first match took place on July, 14, 1894, and featured the teams of Lviv and Krakow. As Xavier Fisher wrote in his article for “Himnastychnyj Putivnyk” newspaper, before the game, the rivals agreed that the score will be settled with the first goal, so it lasted just for 7 minutes: until the Lviv team’s first goal.
Since 1907, football began being cultivated in Odessa educational establishments. In autumn of 1908, a friendly match of the Jungmeister gymnasium young sportsmen vs. the unconquerable OBAC took place. The gymnasium students won with 1:0 score. In 1908-1910, the statutes of “Sheremetievskiy sport club”, “Odessa United sport club” and “Sporting club” were agreed. And in 1910, jointly with OBAC, they established the league to organize the First City Cup championship in a year.
The first international match to be participated by Ukrainian football team took place in 1914 in Odessa, when the Turkish Fenerbahçe, which was a professional and rather successful club at the moment, decided to test the Odessa football players.
“Sheremetievtsi” were the first Ukrainian team to accept the Turkish players, and the result was positive for the Ukrainians: the Odessites’ victory with 2:1 score.The Fenerbahçe vs. “Sporting” game ended with a goal draw 1:1, and the visitor’s match with “Odessa United Sport Club” brought Odessites one more victory with an astonishing 3:0 score. The only victory Fenerbahçe gained in Ukraine was the 1:0 score with the game vs. Nikolayev, but then the Nikolayevans managed to end the revenge match with a savage 3:0 score.
Holding of the Russia Championship finals 1913 featuring Odessa and St.-Petersburg teams in Odessa was the next stage of Odessa football development. The match began with the guests’ fierce attacks, but Odessa defenders played extremely well and managed to cope with them. And owing to the efforts of the whole team, especially Jacobs and Bogemskiy, the game ended with 4:2 score. Odessa team won the Russia Championship Cup!
The year 1936 was the epoch-making in the Soviet football history. Since that time the USSR championship among the teams representing different communities and departments (on example of the foreign countries’ championships) has begun. Such decision was adopted on March, 26, 1936, which is known as the present “Chernomorets” football club Birthday.
The epoch of the 70’ies is famous in Odessa football history because of such names as Vladimir Nechayev, Vyacheslav Leshchuk, Anatoliy Shepel, Vitaliy Shevchenko, Yuriy Romenskiy, Alexander Degtyaryov, Vitaliy Feidman, Stefan Reshko, Vladimir Makarov, Anatoliy Doroshenko, Vladimir Ustimchik, Grigoriy Sapozhnikov, Vladimir Rodionov, Viktor Prokopenko, Viktor Zubkov and many others. In the fans’ memory the 70’ies associate mainly with the 1974 “bronze” season – the unsurpassed peak of Odessa football of the Soviet times.
The greatest success was achieved in the very first year of the team’s comeback to the native elite, what became the main sensation of the 36th country championship. The debuting team headed by Ahmed Aleskerov became the owner of the bronze medals set. “Chernomorets” sparklingly won the first league tournament having scored over 100 goals and the sailors’ Anatoliy Shepel was acknowledged as the Best Forward of the Championship.
“Chernomorets” carried out his first tour to Europe on September, 17, 1975. Having won the 1973 USSR first league Championship, the Odessites burst into the prize owners trio in the Soviet football highest echelon. And during the first game in Odessa, 50 000 spectators observed a great victory over one of Italy Championship leaders. “Lazio” missed a goal on the 33rd minute of the match. Grigoriy Sapozhnikov and Vladimir Nechayev brilliantly played the two-step attack which was ended with Anatoliy Doroshenko’s accurate shot.That was “Chernomorets”’s first goal in on the history of the Odessites taking part in the Euro Cup tournaments.
The game with the German “Werder” was a certain landmark for Odessa football history. Otto Rechagel said afterwards, “We were the prisoners of the “easy-victory” image and we’ve gotten a fine shocking therapy”.
Later, the Odessites played really well with the Spanish “Real”, the Norwegian “Rusenborg”, “Vaduc” of Lichtenstein and the Finnish “HIC”.
The last, 54th USSR football championship became triumphal for “Chernomorets” among all the other Ukrainian teams. Only according to the shot and missed goals the Odessites gave the 3rd line of the tournament table up for the Moscow “Torpedo” ("Chernomorets": 39-24, "Torpedo": 36-20).
The only point didn’t let the sailors get the second bronze medal set in their Soviet Union elite games history. “Dynamo” (Kiev), “Dnepr” (Dniepropetrovsk), “Shakhtar” (Donetsk), “Metallurg” (Zaporozhye) and “Metallist” (Kharkov) did lag behind. So this was the true reason to honor “Chernomorets” as the unofficial Champion of Ukraine.
The last year, Odessa team headed by Semyon Altman gained the bronze medals set of the Ukraine National Championship and entered the club football elite having gotten a chance to take part in UEFA Cup draw together with the world greatest teams.
This season, we’ve got all the chances not only to repeat the last-year result, but also to improve it having demonstrated all our talents to the world football community.
Igor Belanov Leonid Buryak
Odessa football school has always been one of the country leading ones both in the Soviet and in the Independence times. One can just remember the surnames of the players connected with Odessa “Chernomorets” history on the international arena: Shepel, Altman (the National squad trainer’s assistant), Timoshenko, Buryak (the National squad ex-trainer), Lobanovskiy (the brilliant trainer of Kiev “Dynamo” and our National squad), Belanov (together with Blokhin, one of the two Ukrainian football players having been honoured with the prestigious Golden Ball)… The vivid and stylish forward of the Ukrainian National squad and German “Bavaria - Leverkusen” Andrey Voronin is also a pupil of Odessa football school!
And this all is a true proof of the fact that Odessa is not only a Seashore Pearl, but also the football center of Ukraine worthy of hosting UEFA Championship of Europe 2012!