While visiting Lokomotiv’s Stadium–the Lauta–I was lucky enough to have this shirt delivered to me. There was no stadium store, so I was at the mercy of  a fan who had connections with the team. The shirt is the  classic black and white striped kit that Lokomotiv have worn for years, and sports the beautiful Lokomotiv badge as well. Although the shirt carries the Puma logo it seems to be a fake, with no inner tags. Despite that, the fabric is very similar to some late 1990s Adidas shirts as well as a few real Puma shirts from the late 1990s as well. Because of the nice fabric, I decided not to write this shirt off whole-sale. It is also not unknown for smaller clubs to actually use fake shirts on the pitch–I’ve seen it in the Turkish lower divisions. Also, when factories for various brands are located in third countries like Bulgaria and Turkey shirts can be produced at the same level of quality as the originals. Indeed, Zdravko Lazarov–the Bulgarian striker whose name is on the back of this shirt along with the number 77 (sewn into the fabric)–is wearing (what I assume to be) this shirt in a club photo.

As a fan of Turkish football it is a strange coincidence for me that Lazarov played for 7 years in Turkey from 2000 to 2007 with Kocaelispor, Gaziantepspor and Kayseri Erciyesspor–these were the most productive years of his career as he scored 60 goals in 197 appearances. Amazingly, Lazarov is still playing in the Bulgarian league as of the 2013-2014 season for Lokomotiv Plovdiv at 38 years young.

 

My Thanks to Yana Raycheva Whose Translations Were Invaluable in Acquiring This Shirt.

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The Beautiful Lokomotiv Plovdiv Badge, With Cryllic “L”

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A Club Photo of Zdravko Lazarov

 

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