Monday, 30 January 2012

When Scarborough FC Met Red Star Belgrade......

When Scarborough FC .......

... met Red Star Belgrade........

A trip down memory lane

Monday 30th July 1990 saw Scarborough FC host one of their more exotic pre-season friendlies. Sandwiched in amongst warm-ups against East Fife, Frickley Athletic & Harrogate Town came a visit from non other than the Balkan giants of European football, Red Star Belgrade.

It was an unlikely clash of Football League Division Four "bottom-halfers" verses the champions of Yugoslavia & it was billed as an "International Club Challenge Match"

The game was played at the McCain Stadium Scarborough, and the home team were resplendent in their new playing strip sponsored by "Black Death Vodka" complete with the "dripping blood" logo which would later have to be toned down at the behest of the Football League.

The final score was Scarborough FC 2-4 Red Star Belgrade. Lee Hirst and Adrian Meyer netted the Seadog goals with Darko Pančev (2) , Dejan Savićević & Mitar Mrkela scoring for Red Star.

The game was played in front of a crowd of just under 2,000 on a balmy summers eve.

The season ahead was to pan out somewhat differently for both clubs, Boro ended the season placed 9th in Football League Division Four whilst the Red Star Belgrade team went on to win the European Cup as well as retaining their National Championship!

Sadly the Civil War that was about to ravage the Balkans interrupted any more success for this side and the Red Star players gradually dispersed to other teams in Europe.

Since these days of course, Scarborough FC lost their Football League status and were eventually liquidated in 2007 (almost 17 years to the day after this match) and the McCain Stadium was demolished in 2011.

Phoenix club Scarborough Athletic have risen from the ashes and play in the Northern Counties East league playing "home" games in Bridlington some 18 miles away.

After the chaotic years of the Balkans War and the break-up of the Former Yugoslavia Red Star Belgrade have settled into life in the new Serbian League and whilst they have had some domestic success they are not quite the European force that they once were.

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