Tekstilshchik – The Football Club From City of Brides

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250 kilometers northeast of Moscow, you find the city of Ivanovo and the local football club Tekstilshchik.

As the name of the football club suggest, the city was once famous for manufacturing textile products on a scale that earned it the brand ‘Russian Manchester’. This industry attracted a large amount of woman to the city seeking work, and it quickly became known as the City of Brides. This day, many of the factories are closed, but the nickname has stuck to the city and her 400,000 inhabitants.

Although not being famous for football, Ivanovo has a long history with the beautiful game. In 1909, in Ivanovo-Voznesensk, as it was known until 1932, the first organized football game was played in the city. Taking on neighboring city of Kokhma, the local Ivanovo-Voznesensk won with the indecent score of 21-0.

After the October Revolution in 1917, and the following Russian Civil War, football in Ivanovo blossomed. In the 1920s and 1930s, before the foundation of the Soviet Championship in 1936, the city selection participated in various football tournaments with huge success. The biggest perhaps, when the Turkish national team in 1933 conducted a tour of the Soviet Union, which brought them by Ivanovo after having already beaten a Soviet national team and drawn with a city selection of Leningrad. On 3rd August, 30,000 spectators packed the Dinamo Stadium for the game against Turkey, and they saw their local heroes achieve an overwhelming 7-3 victory against the Turks. Ivanovo was truly among the strongest football cities in the country at the time.

A few years later, in 1937, the current Tekstilshchik was founded under the name of Spartak Ivanovo, and it joined the Soviet championship in the D Division, the fourth tier. It was a success from the start, as the club finished first and earned promotion.

The following year, the club left the Spartak sports society and changed its name to Osnova Ivanovo instead. This didn’t affect the results though, and 1940 became one of the club’s most successful years ever. That year, the club won the RSFSR Cup, a tournament for lower league teams, where 900 teams participated, and amateur teams supervised by the major sports societies. Starting at the 1/16 final, Osnova played their way to the final, where they faced Torpedo Moscow, but were defeated 4-2 in a hard-fought struggle.

Unfortunately, World War II put a stop to the development of the club, and as the soldiers went to the front, the Dinamo Stadium became a base for anti-aircraft batteries protecting the important industrial sites in Ivanovo and the nearby cities.

Following the Great Patriotic War, Ivanovo went through times of turmoil as the club changed its name several times. In 1946, it became Dinamo Ivanovo, later Krasnoye Znamya and in 1958, it was finally named Tekstilshchik.

The 1950s saw the Ivanovo club come the closest to the Soviet and Russian elite in the club’s history. It played in Class B, the second tier, and in 1953, it finished fourth, which remains the club’s best result ever, but it wasn’t enough for promotion.

Thus, the club has never played in the top flight, and soon after the tides turned. In 1974, the dream of reaching the top flight disappeared as the club was relegated. Eight years later, the club managed to return to the first division, but it was relegated after only one season.

Then, in 1986, the fans once again had reason to cheer as Tekstilshchik won the RSFSR Cup, now a tournament for the teams in the second division, after a victory against Torpedo Rubtsovsk in the final.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, times got even darker for Ivanovo. In 1998, Tekstilshchik had to withdraw from the tournament for financial reasons, and the city’s only team was an amateur team called FC Ivanovo.

Clearly, this couldn’t satisfy the football loving citizens of the city, who managed to revive Tekstilshchik from the ashes. The team not only returned in name, but also came to great success. In 2006, it won the West Zone of the Professional Football League, granting it a comeback to the first division, the FNL, of Russian football after 24 years absence. The joy only lasted shortly though, as it was relegated the year after.

These days, Tekstilshchik plays in the West Zone of the PFL, in which they finished third last season. The head coach is Vadim Evseev, a former Spartak Moscow and Lokomotiv Moscow defender and Russian international, and known to be a tough defender with a strong character, who did well in his debut season.

With Evseev on the sideline, and funding from the Ivanovo Oblast and local knitwear plant Ivash-ka, the fans of the city of brides are now once again optimistic for the future.

Comments

  1. A nice article, but you forgot to mention an important fact of the union between Textilschik and Spartak from Shuya when the club was called Textilschik-Telecom

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