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Bulgarian great Dermendzhiev passes away

Bulgaria is mourning one of its favourite footballing sons following the death of forward Dinko Dermendzhiev at the age of 77.

Dinko Dermendzhiev pictured with Bulgaria in the 1970s
Dinko Dermendzhiev pictured with Bulgaria in the 1970s ©Meridian Match

Bulgaria is mourning a footballing great after it was confirmed that Dinko Dermendzhiev had died on Wednesday morning at the age of 77, a month after falling into a coma.

A skilful, elegant forward, 'Chico' scored 19 goals in 59 Bulgaria appearances from 1962 to 1977, playing at the 1962, 1966 and 1970 FIFA World Cups, alongside national favourites like Georgi Asparuhov, Dimitar Yakimov, Petar Zhekov, Nikola Kotkov and Dimitar Penev. At club level, he spent his entire career with Botev Plovdiv, winning a national cup in 1962 and the 1967 league title.

Dermendzhiev's Botev were title winners in 1967
Dermendzhiev's Botev were title winners in 1967©Meridian Match

Dermendzhiev scored twice in eight UEFA club competition games for Botev, and between 1959 and 1978 played 447 league games and scored 194 league goals for the club, both records which still stand. As a coach he led Botev to another Bulgarian Cup success in 1981, and returned for several more spells in charge, as well as coaching their local rivals Lokomotiv Plovdiv.