Football club „Celik“ was founded by a group of war veterans just after ending World War II, and after liberation Zenica from fascism. In May 1945 they decided to start football club, and they named it “Celik” which is symbol for city of steel. In translation “Celik” means “steel”. June 16th is written as official date of founding.
Foto 1 - Old Bilino polje in 1950's
Football in Zenica was always played by the hart, so “Celik” had sympathizers all over Yugoslavia, although because that kind of play they had less formal successes. Celik was regularly at the top of Yugoslavia Second division, but by promoting to First division nobody could play easy with them. During the time Celik played a lot of games, from Regional division in Former Yugoslavia to Premier league of Bosnia and Herzegovina where it plays today. At top division Celik played 1112 games. They played 17 seasons in First division of Yugoslavia (574 games) and best result from that time was 6th position in season 73/74. Last game in Yugoslavian First division Celik played in 1989, when they were delegated to second division.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina „Celik“ played very important role from the beginning. In 18 seasons so far, Celik played 538 games, and it will be written in history that „Celik“ was first champion and Cup winner of independent Bosnia and Herzegovina. Celik won double crown in championship that was played during the war 1994, and after that Celik won two league competitions 95/96 and 96/97. In season 95/69 they were cup winners , too.
After these successes, Celik's best results were: in season 97/98 when they were runner ups, in seasons 2000/01 they were fourth and in 2007/08 when they came as third. Closest to winning another trophy after 14 years Celik was in season 2010/11 when they lost in Cup final.
Celik played in UEFA competitions in several occasions. First time it was in season 70/71 when Celik as debutant in euro cups came as winner in Mitropa Cup. Season after that they also won this competition by winning Florentine in final. This competition was called intertoto cup in later stages, and Celik played it in seasons 72/73, 74/75 and 79/80.
Foto 2 - Celik - Fiorentina 04.10.'72 - Opening of new Bilino polje stadium
In newer history Celik played twice in intertoto cup. In season 2000/01 Celik won against Denislispor from Turkey, but unfortunately lost in next round against Gent from Belgium. Celik played this cup in 2008 after when this cup was cancelled because of restructuring of Europa league. In Euro cups Celik played 38 games and has 23 wins.
Celik's home is at Bilino polje. This stadium is famous in Bosnia and Herzegovina by many reasons. It was built in 1972 and after construction it was the best stadium in former Yugoslavia. It was built without athletic track and unlike other stadiums it was made just for football. Stadium was built in square English style. On it’s first official game on Bilino polje Celik made attendance record. Celik played Intortoto cup final against Florentine from Italy and on stands were 35.000 spectators.
Foto 3 - Celik - Denizlispor - 2002.
During the years stadium had many reparations. After placing seats on all stands, Bilino polje attendance is 13,632. Also, in last year it got heated field and all other facilities so it could be at top rank stadium for UEFA and FIFA competitions.
Stadium location is also impressive, since it is in the middle of the city. It has it’s own parking, and in the area of 500 meters there are three hotels of top classes.
Foto 4 - Bosnia and Herzegovina - Turkey 1:1 - 2008.
One of the reasons that this stadium is famous for Bosnia and Herzegovina is that it is home of national team. First home game after aggression Bosnia and Herzegovina played against Albania in 1996 at Bilino polje. After that, our national team played it’s games in Sarajevo, but during the years game were played in Zenica, too. Because of atmosphere that is made during the games, players of national team wanted to Bilino polje become their home, so last two qualifying rounds all home games were played at Bilino polje. So far B&H played 26 games in Zenica and had 15 wins.
Foto 5 - Bosnia and Herzegovina - Portugal 0:0 - 11.11.2011.
National Football federation is building it’s training camp in Zenica, also. With all these facilities Zenica is truly centre of Bosnian football.