ContinueWe use cookies to ensure that you get the best experience on our website; if you continue without changing your settings - or dismiss this message - we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on

Return to front page

Newest article: Re: Excellent news by The Ancient One27/3 10:36Sat Mar 27 10:36:29 2021view thread

Oldest article: Cheap Train Fares to Bury by SteveHFC30/8/2013 09:25Fri Aug 30 09:25:38 2013view thread


Next thread: Annual charity bike ride – all proceeds from you matched by me for the Twelfth Man Fund by BryanR14/5/2019 12:47Tue May 14 12:47:01 2019view thread

Re: 20th anniversary of a legend’s arrival

By David B30/5/2019 09:38Thu May 30 09:38:27 2019In response to Re: 20th anniversary of a legend’s arrival

Views: 899

Bontcho is, to me a Hendon legend. I totally agree that legend status is totally overused, but in my eyes numbers don’t make legend; it is intangibles. I watched quite a lot of Hendon reserves when Bontcho was there and you only had to look at how the reserves and younger first-team players reacted to him; they utterly adored him.

Bontcho was the epitome of Frank Murphy’s football ethos: style, swagger, skill and smile on face. He was a 30-something player, who, nine months earlier, had scored in the UEFA Cup (now Europa League) round of 16 for CSKA Sofia, was three years removed from playing at Euro 96 and five years after his World Cup semi-final appearance and yet he was willing and happy to be a squad player at Hendon in the sixth tier of English football. His first goal for Hendon was an overhead scissors kick (and he nearly repeated it against Blackpool in the FA Cup 2nd round – which would probably have set up a club-history-changing third round tie at Arsenal), and he came off the bench to replace Richard Wilmot in goal to turn a one-goal deficit into a 2–1 win at Carshalton, a couple of days after the hugely disappointing FA Cup exit on an utterly dreadful Claremont Road pitch against Dagenham & Redbridge.

When he was at Hendon at the end of his first season, Ipswich needed to win at home to make the Championship playoff on the final day (they did), but half a dozen fans traipsed to Heybridge to watch Bontcho playing for Hendon instead – that is how much thousands of Ipswich fans loved him. In spring 2001, he appeared in all 11 games in 16 days at the end of our maddest ever season.

Hundreds of Hendon players have spent many more seasons with the club, won more trophies, received more honours, scored more goals, made more appearances, but Bontcho had that je ne sais quoi that made him such a special player and person.

reply to this article | return to the front page

Next article in this thread: Re: 20th anniversary of a legend’s arrival by Whispering Minotaur30/5/2019 10:14Thu May 30 10:14:07 2019

Previous thread: Southern Premier Next Season by Deadman19/5/2019 08:07Sun May 19 08:07:25 2019view thread