story about Hajduk, its great victories and triumphs is
not complete without the TORCIDA.
It is hardly worth
mentioning a football team without its supporters, and
the story about Hajduk's fans, their supporting, fanatic
devotedness could go on for days.
In the past Split
had many champions - European, world, Olympic, but each
victory of the masters of football was received and
respected in a very special way. Very soon after having
founded Hajduk as early as 1911, this club became a
symbol of the town. Among numerous Hajduk fans, members
of the most passionate group, the TORCIDA, have a
special place. What is TORCIDA in fact?
question can be answered in so many ways and each of the
answers can be correct. Each member of the TORCIDA will
proudly say that it is the oldest supporters'
organisation on the territory of former Yugoslavia and
consequently in the free and sovereign Republic of
Croatia. This group of supporters was founded in 1950
before the great match between Hajduk and Red Star that
was to be played in Split on October 29. The match was
to decide the champion so the Hajduk supporters,
following the example of the Brazilians, decided to
create a unique atmosphere and help their club. Students
from Split in Zagreb were specially active and brought
along from Zagreb several thousand students and other
Hajduk fans. There was excitement in town whole day and
the venue gathered more than 20.000 spectators. Many of
them remained outside the stadium listening attentively
to what was happening on the field. Led by the TORCIDA,
the spectators fanatically rooted for Hajduk whose
players scored the decisive goal in the 88th minute of
the match. Enough reason for an incredible celebration
in Split. The government in Belgrade was unfavourable
towards this organised supporting and some of the
TORCIDA founders were sentenced to few years of
imprisonment after the match. The activities of the
TORCIDA were forbidden. Nevertheless, from year to year,
at all Hajduk matches the spectators rooted just as the
TORCIDA, although it had to be done discretely.
1980, the most passionate Hajduk supporters who followed
their players at all away matches, restored the TORCIDA,
united a number of fan groups wishing to achieve a
southern-like, thundering atmosphere at all Hajduk's
years the TORCIDA played an important role in building
up national awareness among young people. Many were
therefore imprisoned which makes it understandable why
the majority joined the Croatian army from the very
beginning fighting for the sovereignty of their nation.
Some of them laid down their lives and a memorial tablet
was laid in the northern part of the Poljud Stadium,
where the TORCIDA stands, for eternal remembrance. The
war reaching more peaceful days, the TORCIDA took its
position at the northern stand again. Along came new
generations of fans who supported their team three times
to the title of National Champion, two Cups and a
Supercup, to the great victories in European Champions
League in 1994/95.
exactly are these supporters like is best indicated by
statements of top players such as Preud'homme, Cannigia,
Rijkaard and others who played at this stadium last
season and were thrilled by Torcida's supporting... At
the end of this story that continues, we have to remind
that TORCIDA is not made only of fans from Split. Hajduk
is very popular and there is hardly a town in Croatia
that does not have organised TORCIDA supporters. Torcida
is active abroad. At international matches you will
always notice the great banners - TORCIDA Rotterdam.
When Hajduk plays major matches, its fans come from all
over Europe, America, Australia...
After all, long ago
on Hajduk's stadium a graffiti was written saying
"Hajduk lives forever". With these words the
story of its unique supporters lives on...