A.E.K. (sports club)

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AEK
AEK.Amateur.jpg
Full name Αθλητική Ένωσις Κωνσταντινουπόλεως
Athlitikí Énosis Konstantinoupόleos
(Athletic Union of Constantinople)
Nicknames Vasílissa (Queen)
Énosis (Union)
Kitrinómavri (The Yellow-Blacks)
Dikéfalos Aetós (Two-Headed Eagle)
Founded 1924
Colours           Yellow, Black
Anthem Empros tis AEK palikaria (Christos Kolokotronis, Stelios Kazantzidis) A.E.K. club anthem
Chairman Alexandros Alexiou
Titles European Titles: (3)
Website www.aek.gr

A.E.K., formally Athlitikí Énosis Konstantinoupόleos (Greek: AEK [ˈaek]; Αθλητική Ένωσις Κωνσταντινουπόλεως; Athlitikí Énosis Konstantinoupόleos, Athletic Union of Constantinople), known as AEK, is a major Greek multi-sport club based in Nea Filadelfeia, Athens. The club is more commonly known in European competitions as A.E.K. Athens.[1]

Established in Athens in 1924 by Greek refugees from Constantinople after the 1919–22 Greco-Turkish war and the subsequent population exchange between Greece and Turkey, it is one of the most popular clubs in Greece and the Greek diaspora. While it fields teams in many sports under the umbrella of its amateur sports arm, Amateur AEK (Greek: Ερασιτεχνική ΑΕΚ; Erasitechnikί AEK), it is best known for its professional football team, which is one of the most successful in the Superleague Greece (with 12 Championships and 15 Greek Cups), and basketball team, which has won the Greek Basket League eight times, the FIBA Saporta Cup twice, and once the FIBA Basketball Champions League.

History[edit]

1924–1945[edit]

Konstantinos Spanoudis, first President of AEK

The large Greek population of Constantinople, not unlike those of the other Ottoman urban centres, continued its athletic traditions in the form of numerous athletic clubs. Clubs such as Énosis Tataoúlon (Ένωσις Ταταούλων) and Iraklís (today Kurtuluş S.K.) (Ηρακλής) from the Tatavla district, Mégas Aléxandros (Μέγας Αλέξανδρος) and Ermís (Ερμής) of Galata, and Olympiás (Ολυμπιάς) of Therapia existed to promote the Hellenic athletic and cultural ideals. These were amongst a dozen Greek-backed clubs that dominated the sporting landscape of the city in the years preceding World War I. After the war, with the influx of mainly French and British soldiers to Constantinople, many of the city clubs participated in regular competition with teams formed by the foreign troops. Taxim, Pera, and Tatavla became the scene of weekly competitions in football, athletics, cycling, boxing, and tennis.

Ermís, one of the most popular clubs, was formed in 1875 by the Greek community of the city.

Another club of Pera (Galata), known as Pera, since the mid 1880s, forced to change its name to Pera Sports Club, and then Beyoğlu S.K., in 1923. Many of its athletes, with those of the other sporting clubs, fled during the population exchanges at the end of the Greco-Turkish War, and settled mainly in Athens and Thessaloniki.[2]

In 1924, the founders of AEK - a group of Constantinopolitan refugees (among them many athletes from the Pera Sports Club and the other Constantinopolitan clubs) - met at the athletic shop "Lux" of Emilios Ionas and Konstantinos Dimopoulos on Veranzerou Street, in the center of Athens, and created AEK.[3]. Their intention was to create a club that provided athletic and cultural diversions for the thousands of predominantly Constantinopolitan and Anatolian refugees who had settled in the new suburbs of Athens (including Nea Filadelfeia, Nea Ionia, Nea Chalkidona, Nea Smyrni).

Basketball team (1928)
Volleyball team (1932)

AEK's first president, Konstantinos Spanoudis (1871–1941), a journalist and associate of the Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos, petitioned the government to set aside land for the establishment of a sports ground. In 1926, land in Nea Filadelfeia that was originally set aside for refugee housing, was donated as a training ground for the refugees' sports activities. AEK began using the ground for training, albeit unofficially.

In 1930, the property where AEK trained was officially signed over to the club. Venizelos soon approved the plans to build what was to become AEK's home ground for the next 70 years, the Nikos Goumas Stadium. The liberal politician was present at the inauguration of the stadium.

AEK Athletics Club was established in 1924 and is one of the most successful departments of AEK. One of the first sections of the AEK athletic club was cycling. M. Kaloudis was a winner in the Balkan Games (in 1940 in Bucharest when he was 3rd) and was one of the founders of the Chamber. He first appeared in 1929 and was followed by Petoun, Tarsinian and Krisalis. Another cycling ace was Kouvelis, who won the gold medal in the Balkan Games of 1940 in the race of 33 kilometers. Both Kaloudis and his Kouvelis participated in the Olympic Games in London in 1948.

1945–1960[edit]

In the Olympic Games of 1948 in London, M. Kaloudis led to the new excursion of AEK in cycling. At the beginning of the 1950s, the sport had blossomed and AEK competed with Panionios and Panathinaikos. The department then had a plethora of skilled cyclists as Davouti, Kouyioumtzis (won the race Athens-Loutraki 1952), Chatziargyri, Georgiadis, Arapi, Barda, Alexis, Tzioti, Barla, Trasian etc.

AEK Table Tennis Club acquired the third position, both in men and in young men championships, in Greece in 1959. AEK Athens Table Tennis (ping-pong) Club, participated in Greek championships during the decades of 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

1961–1970[edit]

AEK was the first ever Greek basketball team to participate in the FIBA European Champions Cup (now called the EuroLeague) Final Four, in 1966, which was held in Bologna, Italy. Two years later, AEK was the first-ever Greek team, not only to reach a FIBA European Cup Winners' Cup Final, but also to win a European-wide title. On April 4, 1968, AEK captained by Giorgos Amerikanos, defeated Slavia VŠ Praha, by a score of 89–82, in Athens, in front of 80,000 spectators (at the time, the Guinness world record in basketball attendance) in Kallimarmaron Stadium.

AEK Athens V.C. is the volleyball team of the Greek sports club AEK. It was re-founded in 1967 by Jason Platsi. Over the years AEK have struggled to stay in the top flight of Greek volleyball, competing in A2 (Greece's second division) and A1.

The Boxing Club was founded in 1969 and during the 1970s had its first success.

1971–1980[edit]

The football team, with star player the striker Thomas Mavros, reached the semi-finals of UEFA Cup in 1977, where they were eliminated by Juventus. The Italian team eventually won the trophy.

With many star players they continued appearing in European (UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup) competitions.

1981–1990[edit]

AEK Table Tennis Club acquired the third position in Greek Cups of 1984 and 1985. The relevant department of AEK was inactive for almost 23 years (1986–2009).

1991–2000[edit]

The football team, under the guidance of ex-player Dušan Bajević won three consecutive championships in 1992, 1993 and 1994.

Since 1995, AEK also has a women's volley club team, which has advanced to the final of the Greek Cup (2011).

The Department of fencing was founded in 1996.

The basketball team reached the FIBA EuroLeague's Final Four in Barcelona in 1998, and beat Benetton Treviso, by a score of 69–66, before losing in the EuroLeague Final to Kinder Bologna, by a score of 44–58. In 2000, on April 11, AEK won their second international trophy, the FIBA Saporta Cup, by defeating Kinder Bologna 83–76.

The biggest success for the boxing department came in the late 1990s, with Tigran Ouzlian, Arthur Mikaelian and Mike Arnaoutis (who became a professional boxer in the United States).

2001–2010[edit]

AEK chess club (2008)
Players of AEK handball club
AEK boxing

AEK H.C. is also another growing department of AEK. It was founded by a decision of the General Assembly of AEK on July 12, 2005. On August 5, 2005, the Greek Handball Federation accepted a merger of GA Ilioupolis with the Handball Sports Union of Constantinople. In 2007 AEK HC was 3rd in A1 and gained the first participation in European Cups. On 31 May 2009, AEK HC won the Greek Cup in Serres.

The department of AEK Futsal Club was established in 2008 by a merger with Enosi Geraka futsal team and participated in B'Ethniki (second division), where it finished 1st at the regular season and 2nd after play-off games. However, for the period 2009–10 AEK futsal club is playing again at B'Ethniki, due to a decision taken by EPO (Greek Football Federation), forbitting all team mergers generally. AEK Futsal Club terminated at second position of B'Ethniki after play-off games in April 2010 and gained the participation in A'Ethniki (first division) for the period 2010–11 and has now been advanced to the semi-finals of the Greek Cup (2011).

The Chess department was founded by a decision of the General Assembly of AEK on July 12, 2005. The department staffed directly by September 3, 2005 is a member of the Greek Chess Federation. In 2006 AEK Chess Club was Greek Cup finalist and in 2008 Greek Cup semi-finalist (3rd place). Also won the Attica Cup in 2006 and the Attica Rapid Championships in 2006, 2009 and 2010. In 2010 participated at A' Ethniki (1st Division) and took the 7th place.

AEK VC had its finest moment with coach Stelios Prosalikas, as has prevailed in the final-4 of the European Cup Winners Cup. The races held (9–10 March 2000) in the closed Nea Liosia and AEK lost in the semi-final by Cuneo, but won 3–1 Galatasaray in the small final and won the 3rd place.

2011–2020[edit]

On 26 February 2011, AEK HC advanced to the quarter-final (best 8) of European Challenge Cup by defeating Sporting Lisboa. On 7 May 2011, AEK HC won the Greek Championship, defeating PAOK 22–23 in Thessaloniki.

In 2018, AEK BC won the FIBA Champions League and the Greek Cup.

Also, in 2018, the handball team reached the final of Challenge Cup.

Crest and Colours[edit]

Since the club's foundation AEK adopted the image of a double-headed eagle on a golden yellow background. The emblem and colours were chosen as a reminder for the lost homelands and they represent the club's historical ties to Constantinople. Its usage also survived as a decorative element in the Greek Orthodox Church, which was the inheritor of the Byzantine legacy during the Ottoman Empire, while it remained a popular symbol among Greeks. In modern Greece various variations of the two-headed eagles are used in Church flags (based on Byzantine flag patterns and heraldic emblems) and officially by the Hellenic Army; the bird found also its way into the Greek coat of arms for a brief period in 1925–1926.[4]

Departments[edit]

AEK is an amateur multi-sports club with the mission to create and advance as many sports as it is possible and its main professional and semiprofessional teams operate independently.

The club has teams in many sports, including athletics, cycling, boxing, chess, fencing, table tennis, wrestling, weightlifting, gymnastics, swimming, water polo, tennis, badminton, rugby, taekwondo and brazilian jiu-jitsu, but its most popular teams primarily compete in association football, basketball, volleyball, handball and futsal.

Titles[edit]

Emblem of the Palaiologos dynasty and the Byzantine Empire
The entrance of the old Nikos Goumas Stadium

A.E.K. Football Club[edit]

1939, 1940, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1978, 1979, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2018
1932, 1939, 1949, 1950, 1956, 1964, 1966, 1978, 1983, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2011, 2016
1990 (record)
1971, 1989, 1996

A.E.K. Basketball Club[edit]

1968, 2000
2018
1958, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1970, 2002
1981, 2000, 2001, 2018

A.E.K. Volleyball Club[edit]

2014
2012
2012

A.E.K. Handball Club[edit]

2011, 2013
2009, 2013, 2014

A.E.K. Rugby League Club[edit]

  • Greek Championship 9's (1): 2018
  • Greek Championship 13's (1): 2018

A.E.K. Futsal[edit]

2018

A.E.K. Cycling[edit]

  • Greek Championship, Overall Standings: 10
1960, 1961, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1975, 1979, 1981

A.E.K. Boxing[edit]

  • Greek Championship, Men: 6
1978, 1980, 1995, 1999, 2000, 2006

A.E.K. Athletics[edit]

  • Greek Cross-Country Championships (men) 10:
1937, 1946, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964
  • Greek Championship, Women 4:
2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
  • Greek Indoor Championship, Women 3:
2011, 2015, 2016
  • Greek Cross-Country Championship, Women 3:
2010, 2011, 2012

Notable supporters[edit]

AEK Presidential history[edit]

 
Name Nationality Years
Konstantinos Spanoudis Greece 1924–32
Alexandros Strongylos Greece 1932–33
Konstantinos Zareifis Greece 1933–35
Konstantinos Theophanides Greece 1936–37
Konstantinos Chrysopoulos Greece 1937–38
Vasileios Frydas Greece 1939–40
Aimilios Ionas Greece 1945–49
Spyridon Skoyras Greece 1949–50
Giorgos Melas Greece 1950–51
Eleftherios Venizelos Greece 1952
Georgios Chrysafides Greece 1954–57
Nikos Goumas Greece 1957–63
Alexandros Makrides Greece 1964–66
Giorgos Toumbalidis Greece 1966
Michael Trikoglou Greece 1966–67
Emmanuel Kalitsounakis Greece 1967
Kosmas Kyriakidis Greece 1967–69
Elias Georgopoulos Greece 1969
Georgios Chrysafides Greece 1969–70
Kosmas Chatzicharalampous Greece 1970–73
 
Name Nationality Years
Dimitris Avramidis Greece 1973
Ioannis Theodorakopoulos Greece 1973–74
Loukas Barlos Greece 1974–79
Kosmas Chatzicharalampous Greece 1979–86
Dimitris Rousakis Greece 1986–87
Takis Dimitrakopoulos Greece 1987–88
Chrysostomos Psomiadis Greece 1988–89
Takis Dimitrakopoulos Greece 1989–90
Dimitris Rousakis Greece 1990–91
Kostas Voutsopoulos Greece 1991–93
Athena Lefaki Greece 1993–94
Charalampos Dimitrelos Greece 1994
Michalis Lefakis Greece 1994–96
Giannis Granitsas Greece 1994–05
Achilleas Kourepis Greece 2005–06
Andreas Anatoliotakis Greece 2006–08
Dimitris Chatzichristos Greece 2008–11
Kostas Papadaimitriou Greece 2011–13
Konstantinos Kotsatos Greece 2013–14
Alexandros Alexiou Greece 2014–

Gallery[edit]

Football

Basketball

References[edit]

  1. ^ cev.lu A.E.K. ATHENS
  2. ^ [The history of AEK by Panos Makridis. Athlitiki Iho] Newspaper, 1953
  3. ^ "History of AEK: Born through the ashes". Aekfc.gr. Retrieved 2012-06-07. 
  4. ^ Crest info

External links[edit]