Sergei Pavlovich Baltacha
||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (May 2014)|
|Full name||Sergei Pavlovich Baltacha|
|Date of birth||17 February 1958|
|Place of birth||Mariupol, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|FC Metalist Kharkiv|
|1976–1988||FC Dynamo Kyiv||245||(6)|
|1994–1995||Inverness Caledonian Thistle||9||(0)|
|1994–1995||Inverness Caledonian Thistle|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
|Olympic medal record|
|Competitor for Soviet Union|
|Bronze||1980 Moscow||Team Competition|
Sergei Pavlovich Baltacha (Ukrainian: Сергій Павлович Балтача) (born 17 February 1958 in Mariupol) is a former professional football player who won 45 full caps for the Soviet Union and made nearly 300 appearances for Dynamo Kiev.
Life and career
Baltacha was developed by the famous coach Valeriy Lobanovskyi from Dynamo Kiev hero and one of the most respected football coaches of the 20th century. He was spotted by the Dynamo boss while still a teenager at the Kharkiv academy of footballing excellence which he had left home to attend at the age of 13 
Baltacha was on the winning side in the Cup Winners' Cup in 1986, the Soviet Top League and Soviet Cup four times, and the Soviet Super Cup on three occasions. He also appeared in the FIFA World Cup in 1982, was a finalist in the European Championships in 1988 and won the bronze medal at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow
His later career was spent in England and Scotland, playing for Ipswich Town and St. Johnstone. His debut for Ipswich (in which he scored) was the first time a Soviet international had played in the Football League. He also had a spell as player manager of Inverness Caledonian in the Scottish Highland Football League, and was with Caledonian when they amalgamated with Inverness Thistle and entered the Scottish Football League in 1994 as Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
Baltacha worked as a physical education teacher and tutor at Bacon's College in South East London until 2012, having formerly been a physical education teacher at Geoffrey Chaucer Technology College (Old Kent Road, London) and a coach at the Charlton Athletic academy.  Since 2012 Sergei Baltacha works as Professional Development Phase Lead Coach at the Charlton Athletic FC Academy 
His former wife, Olga, master of sports in athletics, could have been on the Soviet olympic pentathlon team in 1980 Summer Olympics, but instead opted to remain at home to care for her one-year-old son.
Although he was born in the Ukrainian part of the Soviet Union, Baltacha regards himself to be multi-national. His career achievements resulted in him being inducted into the Viktor Leonenko Hall of Fame in March 2012. Baltacha has stated in interview "I’m a citizen of the Soviet Union, but I love Ukraine. As for now, I’ve been in the United Kingdom for over 23 years, it’s my home. But I still go back to Ukraine regularly. It’s a beautiful country with good, kind people. I want to see it become more like European countries. But, I don’t think it has to lose ties with Russia, we are similar people, it’s in our blood.” 
- "The Soviet who tore down English football's Iron Curtain - CNN.com". Edition.cnn.com. Retrieved 2014-05-09.
- Football at the 1979 Spartakiad of the Peoples of USSR
- New focus for former Town star East Angliah Daily Times, 26 June 2008
- "Charlton Athletic FC Coaching Staff Profiles". Cafc.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-05-09.
- "Sergei Baltacha" (Russian)
- "Baltacha brings new life to British women's game", The Independent, 10 November 2000
- "My daughter Elena, the rising star"[dead link]
- "What's On Kiev | News | Run, Run Away". Whatson-kiev.com. Retrieved 2014-05-09.
- Profile on the Pride of Anglia Website
- St. Johnstone fansite Blue Heaven's interview with Baltacha
- Sergei Pavlovich Baltacha – International Appearances