Bulgaria Away


Active member
7 Dec 2017
I was thinking back to the Maxwell days and I'm pretty sure that we went on a pre- or post-season tour to Bulgaria one year where we ended up playing the Bulgarian national team. However, Google didn't turn up anything so I'm not sure. Does anyone else remember it? Did anyone go to the game?! I think we lost 5-0.
The only recollection I have is that we played Bulgaria in the Black Sea resort of Varna during pre-season.
We played two matches in a tournament and lost both in the summer of 1986.
The Bulgarian matches you are referring to were the Varna Summer Cup, played in July 1986.

We played Constanta on 24/07/1986 at an as yet unidentified stadium, and we played Spartak Varna on 25/07/1986 at Stadion Spartak.

I am not certain, but I believe we didn't win either game and did not reach the final of the 3 team tournament.

The Varna Cup was (and maybe still is) an annual invitation only tournament in Bulgaria.

There was no match played against the Bulgarian national side. A couple of people have mentioned this to me, but I have researched this for the MemorOx database. There are websites that list every Bulgarian national side match including friendlies, and none refer to a game against OUFC.
I could’ve sworn we played the Bulgarian national side. My memory says we lost 2-0 and I remember thinking it’s was ridiculous that we lost.

I must’ve made the whole thing up!
Guess it's one of those things that has become a local urban legend (a bit like those who claim they saw Anthrobus score) I could have sworn we played Bulgaria, but I have no recollection of any facts or stats from the game ?
Bulgaria competed in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico so we probably didn’t play the national team after all.
I personally don't recall it but we did play Bulgaria at the end of the 1984-85 season after winning the old 2nd Division and just before Jim Smith left.
It's mentioned in the book 'A Complete Record' by Andy & Roger Howland:
"After the season ended, United went to Bulgaria to play their national team at the invitation of the country's president. Bulgaria had recently beaten East Germany 1-0 and Platini's French team 2-0 in World Cup matches and United were to provide warm-up opposition before the Bulgarians' vital qualifying match against Yugoslavia. Before 30,000 fans, Oxford were beaten 5-0 by a side which went on to defeat Yugoslavia and qualify for the World Cup Finals on equal points with France."
Nice one @warksox ! Glad I'm not going mad, even got the score right. On the other hand I have no recollection whatsoever of the Varna Summer Cup.
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