FC Hebar (Bulgarian: Футболен клуб Хебър) is a Bulgarian association football club based in Pazardzhik. The club currently competes in the Second League, the second tier of the Bulgarian football league system.
Founded in 1918, they have played at their current home ground, Georgi Benkovski Stadium, since 1989. Hebar have played a total of three seasons in the top level of Bulgarian football, most recently in 2001. Despite finishing ninth that season, the owners of the club moved it to Petrich, becoming Belasitsa Petrich. Fans from Pazardzhik re-founded the club the same year, starting from the amateur levels. For the majority of its history, the club has played either in the second or third levels of the football pyramid.
The current name of the club was chosen in 1979: Hebar-the old Thracian name of the river Maritsa. This is the name that the club has borne for 25 years now. Under this name came the biggest success in the history of the club: participation in the premiership of Bulgaria in 1989/1990, 1991/1992 and 2000/2001.The club has also played 32 seasons in the second division. The team has very devoted supporters, known as the "gravediggers".
The re-founded club, FC Hebar 1918, was formed in July 2015. A year later, Hebar merged with third division club Chiko Byaga.
The first events of the football game in Pazardzhik are related to the name of the teacher Dimitar Tsonev, but Georgi Serbezov, who graduated from the French college in Constantinople, made the most significant contribution to the popularization of football in Pazardzhik. As a teacher in his native town of Tatar Pazardzhik, he has been practicing football since 1916 on the field of the military unit called Lagera (now the Swimming Pool Health Zone), the southern bank of the Maritsa River and the meadows and the main promenade of island. Engineer Lazar Vassilev, a student at that time in Prague, brought the first football ball in the city. At the same time, Georgi Kolarov brought a ball. The game lovers first use a ragged ball later replaced by rubber. The fans of football quickly grew, mainly among the youngster, and on May 31, 1918, a group of 10 students from the local high school, led by Georgi Serbezov, laid the foundations of the first football club "Hristo Botev", renamed afterwards -port tourist company "Hristo Botev". This is the official date of establishing the first football club in Tatar Pazardzhik. The club's statute was approved by the Ministry of Education with Order No. 8355 of April 16, 1920. The club's meetings were held in the Hadji's House - by Hadji Pop Tilev. This was a large two-story house, later turned into a school. Soon civilian citizens are also enrolled in the company. His first director was Georgi Serzhevov, as he wrote in the first official bulletin of the "Tatar Pazardzhik Sports Club Hristo Botev 1918!", published in 1925 by Dimitar Barakliyski.
The prints of the first players of Botev Pazardzhik from left to right are also printed: Georgi Serbezov, Stefan Kovachev, Krum Nenov, G. Tsarichkov, Stefan Stefanov, Kiril Stavrev, Georgi Kolarov, Nikola Krivosiev, Atanas Kyoturov, Yordan Snegarov and Vasil Dengubov.
There is also a heart-shaped club badge colored in red and white with the letter "B" in the middle. The players play with a team of red jerseys, white shorts and black socks. The first meetings were played with local students or clubs formed by the team. This is also because of the war that ended with the Neuilly Peace Treaty. The first official meeting of Botev Pazardzik was with the team of Levski from Plovdiv on May 25, 1919.
On April 26, 1921, the General Assembly of the company "Hristo Botev" changed the name of the Sports Club "Hristo Botev". Its mainly revised and amended statute was approved on 11 June 1921 by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Public Health with Order No. 1603. Hristo Botev Sports Club has developed the following types of sports: football (a representative team, second team, teenage team), volleyball, basketball and skiing.
As early as 1918, the Council of the Okolia appointed a club for the club on the right bank of the Maritsa River in Lagera, where the health zone is today. Since the creation of Botev he has been protected by the district or municipal authorities. The administration of Botev, assisted by the Municipality, casts a lot of power, mostly with personal participation, for the construction of its second main playground used until 1956. It happened in 1928, after a storm that destroyed many trees on the island. In 1934 the same is afforested with funds of the Municipality. In the same year (1929) night lighting was installed, but in the evening only friendly matches were played. A pavilion-dressing room with built-in playground used for evening balls was also built. SC "Botev" was the organizer of a special masquerade ball, the so-called "Ball-maske", held every year in the salons of the "Videlina" Chitalishte. The rich artistic and dance program has attracted the elite of the city and many guests. The special dance courses that the sports club has arranged in the Odeon cinema are also famous. There have been rare cases of charity events in the club.
City Championship (1921-1941)
In 1921, the first matches for the city football championship were organized. Including federated registered sports clubs. Two years later, the teams from Tatar Pazardzhik were included in the Southern Bulgarian Sports League to the Plovdiv District. According to the regulations of our young then Bulgarian National Sports Federation (BNSF) there are conditions for the establishment of a regional sports administration. On January 8, 1925, a congress of the Tatarpazzardzhki Sports Union took place at the Chitalishte "Videlina", which included all sports clubs from the town and those from Belovo, Kozarsko, Perushtitsa, Brestovitsa and Peshtera. Botevist Dimitar Garvanov was chosen as the first chairman. In the 1925 football season Botev won for the first time the championship of the Plovdiv Sports Area. In the same year, the pre-match rule of men to play the adolescents of federal clubs was established.
Remarkable achievements Botev Pazardzhik achieved since 1926, when Major Angel Angelov was elected as chairman of the club, for Todor Kamenski, Vice-Chairman and Secretary Vladimir Popov - Chief of Staff. editor of the Lacha newspaper. The list of football players who have contributed to the success of the club can be extended by many more names. Interesting matches are set up between the city's city championship teams. In a colorful way - launching a rocket from the island of Freedom, it was reported to the citizens that the football game started. From April 11, 1926, the journal of the club "News of Sports Club" Hristo Botev started to appear. It was this year, on 16 July, Botev and SK Levski united under the name "Hristo Botev" Sports Club with the statute, color and emblem of Botev. One of the teen teams was already with a blue team - like Levski's old. In August of the same year, Botev achieved his greatest success in his previous history. In the games for the State Championship and the Royal Cup, the team from Pazardzhik eliminated in the first round the champion of Stara Zagora district Beroe with 4: 0. In the second round, Botev's team defeated the leader of the Orel (Vratza) Vratsa region by 5: 1 and lost to Slavia (Sofia) by 2: 6! This brings a lot of revenue to the club and great recognition for football in the city. At the opening of the Vacha Power Plant in 1929, electricity was fed to Park Ostrova and to the stadium and the first match in Bulgaria for electric lighting between the local Botev and the Austrian workers was held. (The matches played by Levski and Slavia (Sofia) in 1919 are projectors !!!) During the games of those years, there were also no "curiosities" that have reached and "developed" in our days. In 1934 in a game with SK Levski, 4: 2 for Levski, the referee at the end of the match played a penalty in favor of Sofia citizens, which gave rise to a strong protest by Botevci. But the audience interferes and prevents the scandal.
As a regional champion SK Botev participated in the final round for the royal cup in 1935. Botev (Pazardzhik) qualified in the quarter finals, where he beat the team of Pobeda (Pleven) with 7: 1! The semi-final loses Ticha (Varna) with 0: 7!
SK Botev was a town leader from 1918 to 1933, in 1935, 1936 and 1937; the football champion of the Plovdiv region in 1925, 1926, 1927, 1935 and 1936; winner of the Junior Cup of the Plovdiv Region in 1930, 1932 and 1938. In the summer of 1935 he was a touring country in Yugoslavia - Krushevac. He plays against local champion Sk Oblic and defeats him with 5: 1.
More popular coaches were the national competitor of SK Levski Sofia Kiril Yovovich, Nikola Shterev (Starika), Lyuben Manev, Ivan Radoev, Gabrovski and others. The matches in Pazardjik were referred to by Lyuben Manev, Vasil Koev, Vassil Yurtov, Zareh Mesubyan. For responsible matches, judges were appointed from Sofia and Plovdiv, with Judge Boris Lekishev remembered. From 1931 to 1941 only 4 clubs competed in the city football championship: Botev, Levski, Benkovski and Slavia. This is due to the clustering of the clubs and some unions in 1925, as Thracian Pobeda and Rakovski with Botev Botev, Samson with Bar Kohba under the name Bar Kohba, in 1926 Levski and Botev unite until 1928 under the name Botev; Thracian and Slavia become Thracian glory. In 1943, a work club called Ibonit, called the Rubber Factory, was founded and it collapsed in September 1944. Due to the Second World War, the Pazardzhik City Championship was not held in the years 1941-1944.
With the changes that occurred after 09.09.1944, the football in Pazardzhik also changed. So far the existing 4 clubs in the city have joined together to form 2 new clubs on June 8, 1945 - Spartak of the Botev and Levski unification, and September of the unification of Slavia and Benkovski. A year later two new clubs were set up in Pazardzhik: Textiles and Dynamo. They competed for only one year because on 8 June 1947 they joined with Spartak and Septemvri. The new club bears the name Chavdar until 1948 and the teams are entirely in white. On September 20, 1948, Chavdar collapsed and two clubs were formed: September and Spartacus. So Pazardzhik has two teams again. In 1949 there was a reorganization in football in the country and in our city formed 7 DSOs (Voluntary Sports Organizations). They are created on a departmental and professional basis as follows:
DSO Spartak - to the Ministry of Interior DSO Dynamo - to the trade unions of postal workers, textiles, food processors, tobacco workers, leatherworkers and others. They play in blue silk teams. DSO Torpedo - to transport workers, metallic, chemical, electro-workers and others DSO Stroitel - to the workers, builders, agricultural and forestry workers. DSO September - to the trade unions' cooperatives DSO Lokomotiv - to Pazardzhik Railway Station DSO The Red Flag - encompasses the administrative, hygienic, cultural, social, theatrical, musical, educational, and so on.
Without being a DSO, the DNA army team also participates in the city championship. The biggest role for the football in the city played two teams - Red Flag and Dynamo. They compete in higher divisions, while other clubs are satisfied only with the city championship. In 1950, Dynamo was included in the Southern B-RAG. Despite finishing in 6th place with 17 points and 25:33 goal difference, the team fell. In 1953 five "B" groups were formed and the Red Flag team was in the Southeast. The existence of the DSO continued until 1957, when it was decided to form societies. In Pazardzhik, this happens as Red Flag is renamed and transformed into a Georgi Benkovski Physical Society and Dinamo becomes a Vasil Levski Physical Society. Benkovski participates in the South Group B while Levski competes in "A" District. This goes on until July 31, 1959, when the two companies unite to form one team "Hristo Botev".
Since 31 July 1959, Pazardzhik has one representative team. The Botev II, which competes in lower divisions, is also set up to make reserves.
After 1959 the team of Botev Pazardzhik competed relatively successfully in the composition of the Southern B-RGC. In August 1957 for the needs of the club was built a new stadium - "Lyuben Shkodrov". At the beginning of the 1960s Pazardzhik developed the workers' sport. Enterprise soccer teams are set up in the city. Most successful is that of the Iskra Rechargeable Plant, which successfully participates in the championship and participates in the competition for the Cup of the country. The team of Botev initially played in red and white, and the emblem is the letter B in the circle. In 1966, when the team entered the "B" group, the teams were striped and were in yellow and black or red and black. In 1970 at a general meeting of the club it was decided that he would be renamed Botev to Maritsa - the name of the river that runs through the city. This is happening during the season and the teams are in blue and yellow or all blue to symbolize the waters of the river. Under this name, the club lasted only three years until 1973. On July 10, 1973 the name of the football club was changed again. This time it was decided that the team be named Georgi Benkovski. During this period Pazardzhik team changed three names and played successfully in the South BFRG and in the Zone Thrace.
During the period 1965-1979 there was also Iskra team in Pazardjik, who competed for the Soviet Army Cup during the 1976-1977 season. In 1992 there was also the Botev (Pazardzhik) team in the regional championship, but it was competing within one or two seasons. In the 1960s, there were many workers' teams.
This name was preserved until 1979, when at the General Assembly it was re-changed to Hebar - the Thracian name of the Maritsa River. This name is preserved to this day. In 1985 FBI (Hebei Society for Sport and Sport), Hebar, the club became the Football Club of Hebar. In 1989, the auxiliary playground "Septemvri" was transformed mainly into a project for repair of the old stadium "Lyuben Shkodrov". In 1989, the team of Hebar qualified for his first participation in the highest stage of football in Bulgaria - "A" RFG. Despite the good games at the end of the season, the team falls into the B-RFG. In 1991 the stadium "Septemvri" was renamed to the "Georgi Benkovski" stadium or only "Benkovski" stadium. Hebar returns to "A" RFG next season, but again for only one season. In the following years, Hebar played in the B group (until 1996), in the Southwest "V" group (until 2000). In 2000 the team joined with FC Iskar (Sofia) and for the third time in its history after winning barrage qualifies for "A" RFG. The team was called Hebar-Iskar, PFC Hebar 1920 and finished the season in 9th place. Despite the good performance, the team moved to Petrich and was renamed to the local Belasitsa Petrich team. FC Hebar is forced to start from the lowest step in his history: "A" Pazardzhik FRF, where his spare teams have been rebuilt before. However, Heber was ranked for the Southwest "V" group the same year after winning a barrage. In the third division, Hebar played three seasons and after the 2004–2005 season they ranked second, giving them a promotion for the creation of two "B" Groups. PFC Hebar played two seasons in the Western "B" group before dropping out of the Southwest "V" group. In the first season he ranks seventh in the final standings, and in the second he dropped out of the Western "V" group, ranking in 13th place and from season 2007/2008 to season 2011/2012 playing in the Southwest "V" group. In 2012 they finished in 17th place and fell from the "V" group, and then ceased to exist.
In 2016, the club was rebuilt under the name Heber 1918, united with FC Chiko (Byaga) and played in the renamed Southwest Third League. He finished sixth in the final standings with 58 points from 34 games - 18 wins, 4 equal and 12 losses, with a goal difference of 68:41.
In the season 2017-18, Hebar finished in second place, 8 points from the champion, CSKA 1948; the two teams fought each other fiercely and changed the lead several times, although Hebar finished second in the end.
In the 2018-19 season, Hebar was a convincing leader for the majority of the season. Led by former club player Nikolay Mitov, they ended up winning the Southwest Third League, and promoted back to the Second League.