ELTA commemorative stamps mark history of football, athletic clubs

The Greek Post Office (ELTA) has issued a commemorative series titled «Historic Football and Athletic Clubs» bearing well-known names such as Panathinaikos, Panionios, Iraklis, PAOK and the Panhellenic Gymnastic Association. Missing is Olympiakos («The Legend» as it is known to its fans). Tomorrow Olympiakos and archrival Panathinaikos compete for the Greek Championship at the Karaiskaki Stadium in Neo Faliron. Omilos Ereton. The first purely athletic club was Omilos Ereton, founded to develop and cultivate the sport of rowing. The idea came from Pavlos Damalas and the official charter approved by Royal Decree on June 15, 1885, with prominent members of old Piraeus society among its founders. Panellinios Sports Club. Founded at the initiative of lawyer and gymnast Nikolaos Katselopoulos, its first president was prominent sportsman Ioannis Fokianos. The club played a major role in reviving the Olympic Games, the club’s target even before the idea was tabled at the Paris Congress. Iraklis. The history of Iraklis football club dates back to 1899 when the Omilos Philomouson, a literary and music association, was established. In 1903, the members of this association decided to include sports in their activities. The first official football game was held on April 23, 1905. Iraklis was born in 1908, in cooperation with «Olympia.» Panionios. In 1890 «Panionios Smyrna» was born out of the merger of the Orpheas music club and the Gymnasio sports club on the coast of Asia Minor. Following the Asia Minor disaster, Panionios was transferred to Athens and resumed its activities in 1924, with the Panathenaic Stadium as its home field. The football branch was established in 1895. PAOK. The historical successor of the Hermes sports club founded by the Greeks of Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1875, PAOK was transferred to Thessaloniki in 1926 and renamed Panthessalonikian Athletic Club of Constantinople (PAOK). The club’s first emblem was a four-leaf clover and a horseshoe, borrowed by Costas Koemtzoglou from a cigarette packet. Panathinaikos. The history of this club dates back to autumn 1908 when it was called the Athens Football Club, founded by George Kalafatis in what now the Pedion tou Areos. It assumed its current name in March 1924. Panathianikos, with the trefoil as its emblem, has created its own history on the football fields. Ethnikos Sports Club. The Ethnikos Sports Club evolved from the Panellinios Sports Club on May 23, 1893 and its first president was Stefanos Fragiadis.

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