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Lechia Gdańsk (Polish pronunciation: [ˈlɛxʲa ˈɡdaj̃sk]) is a Polish football club based in Gdańsk. The club's name comes from Lechia, a poetic name for Poland. The club was founded by people expelled from Lwów, who were supporters of the oldest Polish football team Lechia Lwów, founded in 1903. Founded in 1945, Lechia was a powerhouse in Polish football during the mid-1950s. Next decades were lean, the team returned to form in the early 1980s, winning a Polish Cup, a Polish SuperCup, and playing in Europe. In May 2008 the club was promoted again to the Polish top division.
|Full name||Klub Sportowy Lechia Gdańsk Spółka Akcyjna|
|Nickname(s)||Gdańskie Lwy (Gedanian Lions)|
Budowlani (Construction Workers)
|Dissolved||1998-2001 (Lechia-Polonia Gdańsk)|
|Ground||Stadion Energa Gdańsk|
Early years (1945–1949)Edit
The club was founded on 1 July 1945 in Gdańsk and was originally named "BOP Baltia Gdańsk". The club was first established by the "Port Reconstruction Office" (Polish: Biuro Odbudowy Portów). The BOP's purpose was to help Polish sea ports which were destroyed during World War 2, and saw it best to create a sports club for the BOP workers. BOP Baltia's first game came on 2 September 1945, in which they lost the game 6-4 against Milicyjnym Klubem Sportowym z Wrzeszcza (Militia Sports Club from Wrzeszcza). At the end of the season BOP finished top of their qualifiers, and were promoted to the second division as a result.
Towards the end of February 1946, BOP officials had a meeting, in which it was decided that the name of the club should be changed. The team became known as Sports Club for the Port Reconstruction Office Lechia Gdańsk (Polish: Klub Sportowy Biura Odbudowy Portów Lechia Gdańsk), 'Lechia' coming from Lechia Lwów, as a majority of the workers at BOP and those who studied at the Gdańsk University of Technology had been Expelled from Lwów at the end of WW2.
Lechia fared well in its early years in the lower divisions. In the 1946/47 and 1947/48 seasons Lechia finished top of their district championships. For Lechia to be promoted to the top division (Ekstraklasa) they needed to win additional qualifying rounds against the other district champions. Lechia achieved this in the 1947/48 season when they finished top of the promotion playoffs.
Years in the Ekstraklasa (1949–1963)Edit
In 1949 Lechia played in the top flight for the first time. It was not a season to be enjoyed by Lechia however, winning only 4 games all season and losing an incredible 15 times out of 22 games. Lechia found themselves back in the second tier of Polish football in 1950, however their stay was to be short as the team once again won their district championships and won the promotion playoffs, ensuring that Lechia would be playing in the Ekstraklasa again.
Upon Lechias return to the Ekstraklasa, these were seen as being the clubs "golden years" of their early history. In 1952 and 1953 Lechia played in the Ekstraklasa, surviving their first year back in the top flight finishing 7th, before finishing bottom of the league in 1953. In 1954 Lechia were once again playing in the second division, however their stay in the division didn't last long with the team finishing 2nd in the league, and being promoted at the first time of asking.
1955 was a much better year for Lechia. In the league the team finished in 5th place, while also reaching their first Polish Cup (Puchar Polski) final. Lechia's route to the final saw them beating Sandecja Nowy Sącz, Wisła Kraków, Odra Opole and Gwardia Warszawa. The final saw Lechia play Legia Warsaw at the Polish Army Stadium. Lechia lost the game 5-0 after goals from Kempny x3, Pohl, and Słaboszewski.
The 1956 season saw Lechia's greatest achievement's so far in the league. Despite only scoring 25 goals in 22 games, Lechia finished the season in 3rd place. This achievement happened under the guidance of Tadeusz Foryś, arguably Lechia's greatest manager in their earlier years, seeing them promoted from the second tier, taking them to a cup final, and achieving their highest finish of 3rd place. The following season Lechia finished 5th, once again scoring only 25 goals in 22 games. At the end of the season Foryś left Lechia to manage arch rivals Arka Gdynia.
Lechia's fortunes declined the following season. The side fell to 8th place, just surviving relegation by a single point. This was a trend which was to continue for Lechia. While the team finished 6th in the 1959 season, the team only managed to score 19 goals in their 22 games, the only team to score fewer was Stal Sosnowiec who finished bottom of the league. The next three seasons saw the team flirting with relegation, finishing 9th in 1960, 8th in 1961, and 9th again in 1962.
1962 saw a change in the Ekstraklasa format, with the season changing from a summer league (playing from spring-autumn), to it becoming a winter league (playing autumn-spring). The 1962-63 season ended up being a difficult one for Lechia. In the 26 games that season, they only managed to win 6, drawing 3, with the side losing 17. This caused the team to finish second from bottom, and were relegated from the Ekstraklasa with Lech Poznań.
The Second and Third Divisions (1963–1982)Edit
Lechia struggled to bounce back to the top flight at the first time of asking. For the 1963-64 season Lechia found themselves struggling in 10th place. This seasons disappointment will have been lightened by the fact that Lech Poznań who were also relegated with Lechia suffered another relegation, showing the competitiveness of the league they had found themselves in. The following year Lechia made a slight improvement, finishing 7th in the League, as well as facing Arka Gdynia for the first time in the Tricity Derby, with the two clubs quickly becoming fierce rivals. Lechia won the first meeting between the two clubs with the game finishing 2-1. The following season also saw another improvement, with the team finishing 6th overall, however they were still far off the pace of the two teams who were promoted. The 1966-77 season saw Lechia relegated from the second tier, after having never really competed with the other clubs looking for promotion. Lechia finished 13th, one point from safety.
The 1967-68 season saw Lechia in the third division since the first year of their creation. The season in the III Liga (now II Liga) almost saw Lechia promoted at the first time of asking. The team finished second, just behind Arkonia Szczecin, however only the winning team from each of the four groups in the third division were awarded promotion. The season was filled with derbies for Lechia, with their first ever game against Polonia Gdańsk, as well as facing Bałtyk Gdynia and Flota Gdynia.
1968-69 saw the introduction of Zdzisław Puszkarz, a youngster from the Lechia academy, and who would one day become a club legend. The season didn't go as planned for Lechia, with the team finishing in 5th, seeing rivals Arka top the league and getting promoted at the first time of asking. Lechia's fortunes slowly improved of the following three seasons from 1969–72, with the team finishing 3rd, 2nd, before winning the league and achieving promotion in the 1971-72 season.
For the 1972-73 season Lechia once again found themselves in the second tier, finishing comfortably in 7th place. For the 1973-74 season the Polish second division experienced a change, with the tier going from 16 teams to 32,and being split into a North and South group. This therefor made it harder for teams to get out of the division, with teams now having to finish first to be promoted. The first season saw Lechia finishing 4th in the new format, before finishing second in the 1974–75, 75-76 and 77-78 seasons, just missing out on promotion by a few points each time. The following season they finished 3rd, and for the second season in a row missed out on top by a single point. In 1975, despite Lechia playing in the second tier, Puszkarz was called up to the Poland squad to face East Germany.
Lechia's fortunes slowly declined after 1979 after having been competitive in the league for the previous 5 seasons. For the 1978-79 season the second tier once again experienced a change, with the groups changing from North and South. to becoming East and West, with Lechia joining the West group. Strangely this had an effect on the team. In 1979-80 the team finished 6th, before 7th in 1980-81. After the '81 season, Zdzisław Puszkarz left Lechia. A player who had been seen as too good for the second tier for many years finally left the team he supported. His effect on the team became evident for the 1981-82 season. The team fell to 14th after winning only 6 of their 30 games, and were 7 points from safety. Lechia found themselves once again in the third tier, this time without their best ever player to help them out.
'Rebirth', Polish Cup, Polish SuperCup, and the Ekstraklasa (1982–1988)Edit
Although Lechia found themselves in the third tier for the 1982-83 season, it turned out to be a historic year for the club, and was seen as the clubs 'rebirth'. The team finished top of their division, going on to concede only 9 in their 26 games. Due to Lechia being in the third tier they joined the Polish Cup (Polish: Puchar Polski) in the second round. The first game of the competition saw them play Start Radziejow, who they narrowly beat 3-2 on penalties. The cup saw them playing 4 Ekstraklasa teams on their route to the final. They beat Widzew Łódź 5-4 on penalties, after drawing 1-1, Śląsk Wrocław 3-0 in the round of 16, Zagłębie Sosnowiec 1-0 in the quarter finals, and Ruch Chorzów in the semi-finals 4-3 on penalties. The final saw them playing Piast Gliwice who were in the second tier. They won the final 2-1 with goals from Górski and Kałużyński, to win their first ever piece of silverware.
In 1983-84 Lechia were again in the second tier (west group), and qualified for the Polish SuperCup (Polish: SuperPuchar Polski) due to winning the Puchar Polski the season before. It was the first ever season of the Super Cup, and saw the cup winning team play the Ekstraklasa winning team, which saw Lechia play Lech Poznań. Despite Lech being heavy favourites Lechia won the super cup with a late goal from Jerzy Kruszczyński. This resulted in 1983 being the club's most successful season in cup competitions, with the team winning both despite not being in the top division. Lechia's stay out of the Ekstraklasa wasn't to last long however, with the team winning the 1983-84 II Liga season, and as a result were promoted back to the Ekstraklasa. A division they had narrowly missed out of playing in many seasons before, and was their first time back in the top tier for 21 seasons. That season Lechia also qualified for the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup due to winning the Puchar Polski the season before. In the first round Lechia were drawn to Juventus. The first game was played in Turin, Italy, with Juventus easily winning 7-0. With the team knowing they were all but knowcked out already the team put on an inspiring performance scoring 2 goals against the European giants.
For the 1984–85 Ekstraklasa season, a season in which all teams struggled for goals (an average of 1 goal a game), Lechia finished 12th having scored 23 goals, and with only 2 of their wins that season coming from scoring 2 more goals than their opponents. The following season Lechia finished just above the relegation zone, by a single point, seeing locals rivals Bałtyk Gdynia getting relegated in their place. Lechia were lucky that season, with the team finishing 3rd from bottom, with four teams normally getting relegated. However a change to the division below saw only 2 teams going down that season. 1986-87 saw the team once again fighting relegation. For the 3rd season in a row, Lechia only managed 23 goals in their league 30 games, however the team once again stayed up finishing in 11th. Once again Lechia were fighting a relegation battle during the 1987-88 season. Lechia legend Puszkarz rejoined the team after having left 5 seasons prior. It had always been his dream to play for Lechia in the top flight, and this was the season where he achieved this accomplishment. However it didn't go according to plan. Despite the team finishing in 12th, which would normally be one position above the relegation zone, for that season though there was a relegation play off, with 14th playing 11th, and 13th playing 12th. Lechia played Olimpia Poznań in the relegation playoff and lost both legs 3-2 on aggregate. This saw Lechia being relegated with Zagłębie Lubin, the other team who would otherwise have normally been safe also suffered relegation after they lost both legs 4-3 to Górnik Wałbrzych on aggregate. The following season the relegation playoffs in the Ekstraklasa were scrapped.
Lower leagues and mergers (1988-2001)Edit
After relegation from the Ekstraklasa, Lechia found themselves in the second division (I liga). During the 1988/89 season Lechia struggled to adapt to the new league, finishing 10th out of 16. Things failed to improve for Lechia during the 1989/90 and the 1990/91 seasons, finishing both 11th and 12th. The situation slightly improved for Lechia during the 1991/92 and the 1993/94 seasons finishing in 8th before the highest finish since their relegation in 6th place. During this period there was a greater rivalry with the three major Tricity clubs, Lechia representing Gdańsk, with Arka and Bałtyk Gdynia representing Gdynia. The 1993/94 was an important season for the Tricity teams. Bałtyk Gdynia finished highest in the league for the 3rd season in a row, while both Lechia and Arka faced each other for the first time in history during in the 1993/94 Puchar Polski, with Arka winning the match 1-0. The season was another difficult one for Lechia, in which they finished 14th, 1 place above the relegation zone. The struggles for Lechia reached a devastating end by the end of the 1994/95 season, with the team ultimately being relegated to the 3rd Division, along with fellow rivals Arka Gdynia.
The 1995/96 season saw Lechia merge with Olimpia Poznań, becoming Olimpia/Lechia Gdańsk. Lechia/Olimpia Gdańsk played in the top division, while the continuation of the Lechia Gdańsk team played in the 3rd division. By the end of the 1995–96 Ekstraklasa season Lechia/Olimpia Gdańsk finished 16th, and were ultimately relegated. The continuation of the Lechia Gdańsk team also narrowly miss relegation, finishing just above the relegation places. At the end of the 1995/96 season Lechia/Olympia Gdańsk was renamed as Lechia Gdańsk, promoting the team from the 3rd division to the 2nd. The new Lechia team failed to capitalize on the return to the 2nd division by being relegated to the 3rd division straight away. The 1997/98 was a better season for Lechia, with the team finishing in 3rd place.
Before the 1998/99 Lechia had their 2nd merger within 3 years, this time merging with Polonia Gdańsk to create Lechia-Polonia Gdańsk taking Polonia's place in the 2nd division. This merger lasted 3 years, with the team's fortunes slowly deteriorating, finishing 7th in 1998/99, 14th in 1999/2000, and 19th in the 2000/01 season, and thus suffering another relegation to the 3rd division. In 2001/02 season Lechia/Polonia competed in the 3rd division, while a newly formed Lechia Gdańsk team was formed in the 6th division. After the 2001/02 season Lechia/Polonia dissolved, resulting in the 6th division Lechia becoming the continuation of the original club, with Polonia Gdańsk having already reformed in 1999.
Re-formation and re-start from the sixth tier (2001–2008)Edit
The newly formed independent Lechia Gdańsk team had a lot of initial success, winning the league in its first year in the 6th tier in 2001/02 season. This form continued finishing first in the 2002/03 season in the 5th tier, as well as winning the 2003/04 season in the 4th tier, and also finishing first the season after in the 2004/05 3rd tier. After 4 seasons of being an independent club after failed mergers with Olimpia and Polonia, Lechia found itself back in the 2nd tier of Polish football.
Back in the 2nd division, Lechia finished the 2005/06 in 10th, comfortably above the automatic relegation zone, and clear of the relegation playoffs. With Lechia making more improvements during the 2006/07 season finishing in 5th.
The 2007/08 season was the team's 20th season outside of the top flight, having to come from two failed mergers, and working their way back into the 2nd division. During the season the MOSiR Stadium became a fortress, with Lechia winning 14 of the 17 games at home, losing only once at home, against Odra Opole. Lechia struggled more away from home, winning 6 of their 17 away games. Lechia were helped during the season with goal scoring contributions from Maciej Rogalski, Paweł Buzała, and Piotr Cetnarowicz, with all 3 players scoring more than 10 goals over the course of the season. Despite the clubs decent away form, it proved by the end of the season that their home form had massively helped Lechia in the league, with Lechia finishing the 2007/08 season as champions, and as a result, secured promotion to the Ekstraklasa.
Return to the Ekstraklasa (2008–2018)Edit
For the 2008–09 season Lechia returned to the Ekstraklasa for the first time since being relegated after the 1987–88 Ekstraklasa championship. Lechia struggled in their first season of being back in the top flight of Polish football. The 2008–09 Ekstraklasa season saw Lechia losing 16 of the 30 games that season. They ended the season three points above the relegation zone, and stayed in the league mostly due to their home form (having 7 of their 9 wins that season from their home games). Lechia fared better during the 2009–10 season finishing in eighth, while also enjoying a cup run that took the team to the semi-finals of the 2009–10 Polish Cup (Puchar Polski) losing in the semi-final to eventual cup winners Jagiellonia. In January 2009 the members of Lechia Gdańsk (OSP) signed a document forming Lechia Gdansk S.A. (Spółka Akcyjna = Stock Corporation). It was during this season that Gdansk was chosen to be one of the host cities of the UEFA Euro 2012 championships in Poland and Ukraine, meaning the team would be moving from their current MOSiR Stadium (Gdańsk) to a new 43,000 capacity stadium in 2011.
In Lechia's 3rd season back in the top flight, it was another season of consolidating their Ekstraklasa status. In the 2010–11 season the team once again finished in eighth place. It was however a more positive season that showed progression for the team as a whole. It was the first time since their promotion back to the top league that Lechia had won more games than they had lost, finished with a positive goal difference, and Lechia player Abdou Traoré finished joint runner up for most goals that season. And for the second season in a row Lechia reached the semi-finals of the Puchar Polski, before losing 5–0 to Legia over the two legs. This was the last season in which Lechia played at the MOSiR Stadium (Gdańsk), the stadium in which Lechia had played all of their home games since their formation in 1945. The last game to be played at the stadium was the final game of the season against Zagłębie Lubin, a game in which Lechia lost 2–1.
The 2011–12 season saw Lechia move into their new stadium, the first game to be played there saw Lechia playing against Cracovia, a game which finished 1–1. Lechia struggled during their first season inside the new and much larger stadium, winning only three of their home games that season. Lechia slumped to a 13th-place finish, in a season where they scored 21 goals in 30 games. In 2012–13 there were more positives for Lechia, again finishing in a mid-table eighth. The team once again struggled at home, winning only three games. With the relegation of Polonia Warsaw (who finished the season in sixth) due to financial issues, Lechia effectively finished seventh, and secured their highest finish since their return to the top flight.
There were major changes made for the 2013–14 Ekstraklasa season with the introduction of a Championship Round (teams who finish 1st–8th) and a Relegation Round (teams who finish 9th–16th). This took the overall games played in a season from 30 to 37. As ever Lechia finished eighth after the 30 game season qualifying for the Championship Round. Lechia finished the first ever Championship Round in fourth place and just missing out on qualification for the qualifying rounds of the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League due to Zawisza Bydgoszcz wining the 2013–14 Puchar Polski. The 4th-place finish meant that Lechia had achieved their highest finish since the 1956 season, in which Lechia finished third.
2014–15 saw Lechia struggling towards the lower end of the table by the time the winter break took place. During the mid-season transfer window Sebastian Mila rejoined the club where he had started his professional career 14 years earlier. The Polish international became Lechia's captain for the remainder of the season, and helped the club to an eighth-placed finish for the regular season. During the Championship Round, Lechia managed to finish in fifth, once again just missing out on qualifying for the Europa League.
2015–16 saw an intent for progression for Lechia. Joining Mila and Łukasik, the Poland internationals who were already at the club, saw the arrivals of Borysiuk, Peszko, Wawrzyniak, Wojtkowiak, as well as former Serbian international Miloš Krasić. Despite the new players Lechia struggled at the start of the season and hovered above the relegation zone until the winter break. The team managed to reach seventh place by the end of the regular season. During the Championship Round Lechia once again finished fifth, and narrowly missed out on qualification for the Europa League Qualifiers. Grzegorz Kuświk who joined Lechia from Ruch during the summer finished the season with 11 goals, and was one of the top goal scorers that season.
2016–17 saw the improvements that fans had been anticipating. With players such as Haraslín as well as the internationally experienced players who joined the season before had now settled into the club. New arrivals such as twins Marco Paixão and Flávio Paixão, as well as Wolski arriving from Fiorentina and Kuciak from Hull City. The regular season saw Lechia winning all but three of their home games, and were top of the table at the end of 10 of the game weeks. Lechia ended the regular season in fourth. In the last home game of the season against Pogoń Lechia celebrated the careers of Piotr Wiśniewski and Mateusz Bąk. Both players had played over 10 years for Lechia, while Lechia was the only professional club Wiśniewski played for. Both players came on as substitutes in the 4–0 win over Pogon, with Wiśniewski scoring the final goal of the game, while Bąk made an important save to keep a clean sheet for the team. Going into the final game of the season Lechia were in fourth place, two points behind Legia who were top, Lechia knew that with a win away to Legia they had a great chance of winning their first ever Ekstraklasa title. The game finished 0–0, and due to Lech and Jagiellonia drawing with each other, Lechia did not gain any positions and finished fourth with the same points as Lech and Jaga who finished in second and third. For the third season in a row Lechia once again missed out on qualification for the Europa League by a single position, this time due to their main rivals Arka Gdynia getting the place from winning the 2016–17 Puchar Polski. Marco Paixão finished the season as the top scorer in the league with 18 goals, an award which was jointly shared with Marcin Robak.
Lechia There was much anticipation for the 2017–18 season after having the chance to win the title up until the final game the season before. However any optimism of a repeat was short lived. Lechia spent most of the season in the bottom half of the table, and finished the regular season in 14th, one place and one point above the relegation zone. This was the first season Lechia had featured in the Relegation Round. Wins against Termalica Nieciecza, Arka Gdynia and Piast Gliwice ensured that Lechia finished the Relegation Round in 13th place, two places and three points above the relegation zone. Marco and Flávio had a huge contribution to Lechia staying up, with 16 goals from Marco and 10 for Flávio. At the end of the season Mila retired from football, after having had two spells with Lechia. The announcement of Mila's retirement was lessened by the arrival of the hotly anticipated and talented youngster Egy Maulana Vikri from Indonesian club SKO Ragunan.
Stokowiec and new success (2018–present)Edit
Piotr Stokowiec was in place for the final few games of the disappointing 2017–18 season and was in place ready for the 2018–19 Ekstraklasa season. The first game of the 2018-19 season saw Lechia beating Jagiellonia Białystok, with Sławomir Peszko receiving a straight red. After the game Peszko received a three month ban for a dangerous kick at Arvydas Novikovas. The season started well, with Lechia winning five of their first seven games, while also holding Legia to draw in Warsaw. Lechia's first defeat of the season came away to Wisła Kraków after the international break, before losing a 3-0 lead and drawing 3-3 with Zagłębie Lubin in the game after. After a difficult September, Lechia went on a 13 game unbeaten run, including wins over rivals Arka Gdynia and beating Lech Poznań away in Poznań for the first time in 52 years. The unbeaten run lead to Lechia leading the Ekstraklasa when the league broke up for the winter break. During this time Lechia also went on a cup run beating Wisła Kraków, Resovia Rzeszow and Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza to reach the quarterfinals. After the break Lechia continued their good form losing only 2 of the 11 games after the restart. After losing the final game of the regular season to Cracovia 4-2, they found themselves in first place due to goal difference, having +3 goals more than Legia Warszawa. Lechia's good fortunes in the cup also continued after the restart, beating Górnik Zabrze in the quarterfinals, Raków Częstochowa in the semifinal, meeting Jagiellonia Białystok in the final. The final was played on 2 May 2019 at the National Stadium in Warsaw. After a close game Flávio Paixão scored for Lechia in the 85th minute, before it was disallowed by the VAR. Artur Sobiech scored the winning goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time, winning the Polish Cup for the second time in their history. After the cup triumph the championship group was a disappointment in comparison. After losing only four games in the previous 30, Lechia lost four of the seven championship games. Despite the disappointing end it was an historic campaign for Lechia after winning the Polish Cup for the second time, and finishing third in the league, their joint highest finish in the league which was last achieved in 1956.
Historic club namesEdit
- 1945: Biuro Odbudowy Portów Baltia Gdańsk
- 1946: Klub Sportowy BOP Lechia Gdańsk
- 1947: BZKS Lechia Gdańsk
- 1951: ZS Budowlani Gdańsk
- 1955: Terenowe Koło Sportowe ZS Budowlani "Lechia"
- 1959: Budowlani Klub Sportowy Lechia Gdańsk
- 1991: Klub Sportowy Lechia Gdańsk
- 1992: FC Lechia (S.A.)
- 1995: Klub Piłkarski Olimpia/Lechia Gdańsk
- 1996: Klub Sportowy Lechia Gdańsk
- 1998: Lechia-Polonia Gdańsk Sportowa Spółka Akcyjna
- 2001: Ośrodek Szkolenia Piłkarskiego Lechia Gdańsk
- 2009: Lechia Gdańsk (S.A.)
In the 1980s many of the club's fans were active in the Solidarity movement which was fighting the communist regime in Poland. It is therefore not unusual to see anticommunist slogans or phrases like "we make history" on the stands.
They have a friendship with Śląsk Wrocław with which the two clubs fans have had a friendship since 1977, and have had friendly relations since 1967. This is the oldest fan friendship in Polish football. During the 2017/18 season, the two sets of fans celebrated their 40th Friendship Anniversary. Games between the two are often called "the friendship match".
Many of the fans of Gryf Słupsk have friendly relations and sympathize with Lechia Gdańsk. Gryf Słupsk are also from the Pomoranian area of Poland. The two teams have rarely met competitively due to Gryf often playing in the lower regional divisions. Gryf set up the Amber Cup Tournament, an indoor football tournament which takes place during the winter break. Gryf Słupsk hosted the tournament and have featured many times, winning in 2009, before the tournament was moved to Gdańsk due to the rise in popularity, and has been hosted by Lechia Gdańsk since 2016.
There are many other teams in the Pomeranian province which have friendly relations with Lechia or have sympathies towards the team. The Tricity Derby which is contested by the two biggest teams in the Pomeranian area has split the teams in the region with many fans backing Lechia in the derby. These are generally fans from; Chojniczanka Chojnice, Bytovia Bytów, Cartusia Kartuzy, Czarni Pruszcz Gdański, KP Starogard Gdański, Unia Tczew, Pomezania Malbork, Rodło Kwidzyn and Olimpia Sztum.
While not a friendship, Lechia fans have had an “agreement” (Polish: układy) with Stomil Olsztyn since 2016. Typically if agreements last the two teams become friends and develop a “friendship” (Polish: zgody).
Their biggest rivals are Arka Gdynia, with the games between the two are known as the "Tricity derby" (Polish: Derby Trójmiasta). The two teams are the largest in the Tricity area, with Lechia representing Gdańsk and Arka representing Gdynia. These are the two largest cities in the Tricity area.
The fans of Lechia and Śląsk formally had a friendship with the Wisła Kraków fans, creating the "Three Kings of Great Cities" (Polish: Trzej Królowie Wielkich Miast) coalition. Wisła fans left the coalition in 2016. Since 2016 Wisła Kraków itself has since turned into a rivalry.
Lech Poznań and Cracovia are rivals dating back to the time with their alliance with Wisła. This was due to the two largest fan coalitions in Poland, "Three Kings of Great Cities" (Lechia, Śląsk, and Wisła) and "The Great Triad" (Arka, Cracovia, and Lech) with any of the opposite coalition teams playing each other resulting in a big and hotly contested match.
In recent years there has been a growing rivalry with Legia Warsaw. While Legia have often been challenging for titles and trophies for much of their history, Lechia have not. While Lechia have been more competitive in recent years, and are finishing higher in the table, the matches between the two sides is starting to have more importance, with the Lechia home game against Legia often being one of the highest attended games of the season.
Bałtyk Gdynia is another rivalry due to the geographically close proximity between the two clubs. Over recent years however this fixture hasn't been much of a rivalry due to the teams having been in different divisions for many seasons. This rivalry was at its biggest in the 1990s when the two clubs played each other often in the second tier.
Gedania Gdańsk and Polonia Gdańsk have historically been a derby for Lechia with games between any of the three teams being known as the Gdańsk Derby (Polish: Derby Gdańska). The rivalry with Gedania was at its biggest in the 1940's and 1950's while the rivalry with Polonia was at its height from the late 1960's to early 1980's. Due to the current leagues the teams are in, this is no longer seen as a major rivalry.
While not rivals per se with any of these teams in a competitive capacity, these local teams fans are all aligned with Arka for the Tricity derby and are as such seen in lower regard compared to other local teams; Gwardia Koszalin, Kaszubia Kościerzyna, Gryf Wejherowo, Wisła Tczew and Orkan Rumia.
Stadion Energa Gdańsk, previously called Baltic Arena and PGE Arena Gdańsk, is the home stadium of Lechia Gdańsk. The stadium is located on ul. Pokoleń Lechii Gdańsk ("Generations of Lechia Gdańsk street") in the northern part of the city (Letnica district). The capacity of the stands is 41,620 spectators, all seated and roofed. Stadion Energa Gdańsk is the largest arena in Ekstraklasa and the third largest in the country (after National Stadium and Silesia Stadium).
Construction of the stadium started in 2008 and was completed mid-2011. The opening match was between Lechia Gdańsk and Cracovia and ended with 1–1 draw. The first international match, Poland – Germany, took place on 6 September 2011 and ended 2–2. The match was relocated from Warsaw because the National Stadium was not ready. Stadion Energa Gdańsk is used by Lechia Gdańsk since 'the White-and-Green' relocated there from MOSiR Stadium.
The stadium was also one of the designated venues for the finals of Euro 2012. It hosted four matches during the tournament. Three matches in Group C and one quarter-final were played here. In 2010 the official name of the stadium changed to PGE Arena Gdańsk, on the basis of a sponsorship agreement with Polska Grupa Energetyczna (PGE Group). The contract with PGE ended, however, on 30 September 2015, after PGE chose not to renew the contract. On 9 November 2015 Energa was revealed as the new stadium's sponsor until 2020.
Colours and badgeEdit
Lechia Gdańsk's colours have always been green and white. In the first years of the club, Lechia wore green shirts with white shorts and either green or white socks. Predominantly throughout Lechias history the team has worn all green shirts, however there were a few seasons in which Lechia wore white as their home colours. During the 1960/61 season, Lechia wore green and white stripes for the first time. It was this season when the Lechia badge featured on the shirts for the first time, however the badge did not return to the Lechia shirts until the 1996/97 season. After that season Lechia wore all green shirts until the 2002/03 season when Lechia wore an all white kit. 2006-07 saw for the first time in Lechia's history the team wore an all white kit with green hoops on the shirt, the same colours worn by Lechia Lwów, from which the expelled fans after WW2 created Lechia Gdańsk. Since the turn of the century Lechia has been more creative with their designs for the home kits. From the team wearing all green home shirts from 1960-2002, there has since been a return of the green and white stripes for the 2011/12 season, an all white kit wish a green sash on the front for the 2012-14 seasons, as well as the hooped design, which was first worn in the 2006/07, and has since been worn during the 2008-10 seasons, and continuously since the 2015/16 season.
During Lechia's history, the away shirt colours have always been the opposite of the home shirt. When the home shirt was green, the away was white, and vice versa. 2009 saw the introduction of Lechia's first non-white/green kit, with an all black away kit introduced. Lechia released an all red third shirt for the 2014/15 season, with an all red kit being used since as the club's third colours. The 2018/19 season saw the introduction of another previously unused colour for a kit. Lechia wore an all grey away kit for that season, replacing the all green kit which had been the away kit for the previous season.
On 9 February 2019 Lechia wore an all black kit for their home game against Pogoń Szczecin to commemorate the death of Paweł Adamowicz, the mayor of Gdańsk at the time of his murder, and a lifelong Lechia fan. This was the first time in their history a predominantly green or white kit wasn't worn by Lechia for a home game. The game finished 2-1 to Lechia, with goals from Filip Mladenović and Flávio Paixão.
The badge design of Lechia has stayed roughly the same since 1945 with only slight changes when the club's name changed or when Lechia had a merger with another club. The design of the Lechia badge has always been a triangular flag with the flagpole on the left. The flag has always been green, with a white horizontal stripe through the middle, and the symbol of Gdańsk coat of arms in the centre. The name "Lechia" has always featured on the badge. In 1995 Lechia experienced a major change to their official club badge. The merger with Olympia Poznan saw the flag featured in a circle with Olympia/Lechia Gdansk featured at the bottom. A similar thing happened again when Lechia experienced a merger with Polonia Gdańsk in 1998. After the Polonia merger broke up in 2001, Lechia returned once again to their normal badge design, which has been used continuously since then with only minor changes in 2018.
The badge was often not worn on the shirts. They were first worn on the kits in 1960, with a return in 1963. After the 1963/64 season the badges did not reappear again until 1996, and have featured on every shirt since. The first symbol to appear on a Lechia shirt was a large white "L" which featured on the shirts for the 1947/48 season
Records and statisticsEdit
- First Ever Game: September 2, 1945, Milicyjnym Klubem Sportowym z Wrzeszcza, 4-6
- First Ever Win: September 9, 1945, Wojskowy Klub Sportowy, 9-1
- Biggest Win: May 11, 2000, LKS Waplewo - 15-0
- Biggest Defeat: November 13, 1949, Polonia Bytom - 8-0
- Highest Scoring Game: May 11, 2000, LKS Waplewo - 15-0
- Most Goals in a Game: September 20, 1945, Stanisław Baran vs Wojskowy Klub Sportowy - 7 goals
- Most Goals in a Season: Jerzy Kruszczyński 1983-84 season - 31 goals
- Most League Goals for Lechia Gdańsk: Zdzisław Puszkarz - 55 goals
- Most Goals in all Competitions for Lechia Gdańsk: Roman Rogocz - 109 goals
- Most Apps for Lechia Gdańsk: Zdzisław Puszkarz - 325 apps
- Highest Transfer Fee Paid: Daniel Łukasik, 2014- 2,750,000zł (£560,000)
- Highest Transfer Fee Received: Vanja Milinković-Savić - 10,500,000zł (£2,150,000)
- Debut Match in Ekstraklasa: March 20, 1949, Cracovia – Lechia Gdańsk 5–1
- First Win in Ekstraklasa: March 27, 1949, Lechia Gdańsk – Ruch Chorzów 5–3
- Most Lechia Goals in the Ekstraklasa: Flávio Paixão - 41 goals
- Most Lechia Apps in the Ekstraklasa: Roman Korynt - 207 apps
- League Top Goalscorer: Jerzy Kruszczyński (1983-84 - II Liga) - 31 goals
- League Top Goalscorer: Marco Paixão (2016-17 - Ekstraklasa) - 18 goals
- Most Different Leagues Played in for Lechia Mateusz Bąk (2000-2010, 2013–17) 6 different divisions - Klasa A group Gdańsk IV (sixth tier), Liga okręgowa group Gdańsk II (fifth tier), IV liga group Pomorska (fourth tier), III liga group II (third tier), II liga (second tier), Ekstraklasa (first tier).
- Most Promotions with Lechia: Mateusz Bąk (2000–10, 2013–17) 5 promotions - Sixth tier to first tier.
- Last Game at the MOSiR Stadium Gdańsk: May 29, 2011, Zagłębie Lubin, 1-2
- Last Win at the MOSiR Stadium Gdańsk: May 22, 2011, Lech Poznań, 2-1
- Last Lechia Goalscorer at the MOSiR Stadium Gdańsk: May 29, 2011, Abdou Razack Traoré
- First Game at the Stadion Energa Gdańsk: August 14, 2011, Cracovia, 1-1
- First Win at the Stadion Energa Gdańsk: September 12, 2011, Górnik Zabrze, 2-1
- First Lechia Goalscorer at the Stadion Energa Gdańsk: August 14, 2011, Fred Benson
- Highest Attendance: September 29, 1983, Juventus, UEFA Cup Winners Cup - 40,000 (estimate)
Club sponsors and kit manufacturersEdit
|1998–2000||Centrum Handlowe Ptak|
(Ptak Shopping Center)
|2000–01||Pomorskie Towarzystwo Leasingowe
(Pomeranian Leasing Association)
|2007–10||SNG & Energa|
|2019–present||Energa & PayTren|
Lechia in EuropeEdit
|1983–84||European Cup Winners' Cup||1R||Juventus||0–7, 2–3|
In 2014 it became known that 72% of the club shares are controlled by an investment company named Wroclawskie Centrum finansowo (WCF). This company again is owned by Swiss investor W+C Vermögensverwaltungs AG in which Philipp Wernze, the son of German business man Franz-Josef Wernze, is involved. Franz-Josef Wernze is officially only a consultant to Lechia. In summer 2014 this German control over Lechia became more and more obvious, when several players from Germany joined the club. Under Wernze's wings are also the German clubs Viktoria Köln and Lok Leipzig.
- As of 10 July 2019
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Out on loanEdit
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Had international caps for their respective countries.
Amber Cup TournamentEdit
The Amber Cup Tournament (created 2006) is the biggest indoor footballing event in Poland, taking place in January during the football leagues' winter break. Lechia Gdańsk have taken a team to the Amber Cup every year since 2011 and are the tournaments most successful team, winning the tournament four times (2011, 2013, 2016 & 2017). Players who have won the tournament with Lechia on more than one occasion are;
|Marcin Kaczmarek||22 May 2004||16 June 2006||34||11||12||11||32.3%|
|Tomasz Borkowski||17 June 2006||27 August 2007||41||16||12||13||39%|
|Dariusz Kubicki||30 August 2007||22 July 2008||32||22||4||6||68.7%|
|Jacek Zieliński||23 July 2008||5 April 2009||37||9||7||21||24.3%|
|Tomasz Kafarski||7 April 2009||8 November 2011||94||32||27||35||34%|
|Rafał Ulatowski||9 November 2011||14 December 2011||4||1||-||3||25%|
|Paweł Janas||1 January 2012||24 May 2012||13||3||5||5||23%|
|Bogusław Kaczmarek||6 June 2012||4 June 2013||32||11||8||13||34.3%|
|Michał Probierz||4 June 2013||26 March 2014||42||12||15||15||28.5%|
|Ricardo Moniz||27 March 2014||4 June 2014||10||5||3||2||50%|
|Quim Machado||16 June 2014||21 September 2014||9||3||3||3||33.3%|
|Tomasz Unton||21 September 2014||17 November 2014||7||1||2||4||14.2%|
|Jerzy Brzęczek||17 November 2014||1 September 2015||30||11||9||10||36.6%|
|Thomas von Heesen||1 September 2015||3 December 2015||12||3||2||7||25%|
|Dawid Banaczek||3 December 2015||13 January 2016||3||2||-||1||66.6%|
|Piotr Nowak||13 January 2016||27 September 2017||66||31||16||19||46.9%|
|Adam Owen||27 September 2017||3 March 2018||16||4||6||6||25%|
|Piotr Stokowiec||5 March 2018||present||54||28||13||13||51.8%|
All stats are correct as of 31 December 2018
- Spółka Akcyjna = Stock Corporation
- "SŁAWOMIR PESZKO ZOSTAŁ UKARANY NAJSUROWIEJ W HISTORII EKSTRAKLASY". przegladsportowy.pl.
- "Lech Poznań - Lechia Gdańsk 0:1. Zwycięstwo po ponad pół wieku". sport.trojmiasto.pl.
- "PUCHAR JEST NASZ!". lechia.pl.
- "LECHIA GDAŃSK Z BRĄZOWYM MEDALEM MISTRZOSTW POLSKI!". lechia.pl.
- "Gdańsk: Już bez PGE, wkrótce demontaż logo". stadiony.net. Retrieved 2015-10-01.
- "Wzruszający gest Lechii Gdańsk. Tak upamiętnili zamordowanego prezydenta Adamowicza". natemat.pl.
- "Wernze-Filius steigt bei Lechia Danzig ein" [Wernze son invests in Lechia Gdańsk] (in German). RevierSport. 19 March 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
- ""Lok gehört in die 3. Liga!"" ["Lok belongs in the 3. Liga!"] (in German). Bild. 16 July 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
- "Pierwsza drużyna" (in Polish). Lechia Gdańsk. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
- "Adam Owen zwolniony z Lechii" (in Polish). 90minut. 3 March 2018. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
- "Piotr Stokowiec trenerem Lechii" (in Polish). 90minut. 5 March 2018. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to BKS Lechia Gdańsk.|
- Official website – lechia.pl (in Polish)
- Fans website – lechia.net (in Polish)
- Fans website – lechiahistoria.pl (in Polish)
- Fans website – lechia.gda.pl (in Polish)
- Fans website – lechia-gdansk.pl (in Polish)
- Sports website – www.90minut.pl (in Polish)
- Stadiums website – stadionenerga.pl (in Polish)
- Social Media – Official Facebook
- Social Media – Official Twitter
- Social Media – Official Instagram
- Social Media – Official YouTube