From Uvil Zajmi
Memorie.al / Always at the head of the team, from the dressing room, towards the midfield, the meeting with the referees of the opponent, then the draw…! It is about the team among the biggest and most famous of Albanian football, “17 Nëntorin” of Tirana. A modest lineup at that start, but one that would ignite a completely different rivalry in the national championships. In particular, the derby challenges, exceptional, are breaking the perennial myth “Partizani” – “Dinamo”. Associated with the fans, spectacular, very democratic, with a new game, philosophy and mentality, which broadcasted in the 1960s – ’70s. The unknown story of Nuri Bylyk, the blue-and-white legend, who was sent to his last home today…!
Even Bylyku discovered Demner
This is usually what happened to many sportsmen, when a coincidence or someone becomes the reason to start a career without knowing and thinking about the continuation of its end. In 1954, when he was 17 years old, he became active with the football team of the Mechanical Enterprise where he works, which plays in the Second Category. The well-known Xhavit Demneri, stands out, takes it with the young people and immediately becomes a champion and Bylyku is a scorer. Trainers Bik Jakova and Enver Rada want him at “Puna” of Tirana, but the master of talent discovery takes him to “Spartaku” that represents the Craft Enterprise, which he directs himself. In those beginnings, Bylyku played in the attack, but the midfield was frequented where he shone. Precise in his movements, he was well positioned on the field and fanatical in implementing the tasks given by the coach. These are the years when footballers such as S. Vathi, F. Radheshi, T. Toto, F. Vishka, I. Llanga, R. Kraja, I. Borova, S. Ohri, K. Buza, N. Bylyku, V File, S. Guze, N. Brahja, P. File, Vishka, M. Kosturi, T. Tafmizi, Sh. Beja, Mr. Shehu, P. Dede, E. Demneri, A. Ruco, R. Jashari, F. Vorpsi, H. Duçollari. And “Spartacus”, the champion, moves to the First Category of the 1957-1958 seasons.
Lukshinov also likes the first game
In 1956, Nuri Byku was mobilized to perform compulsory military service at the Navy School in Durrës. These are the years when strong matches were held between the sailors of the School and foreign sailors, who landed on transport ships in Durrës. These are the matches that are played on the field of Currilove and that are followed by many spectators. After a match that ended 7-0, with goals scored by Bylyku, Adem Karapici, at that time coach of “Puna” of Durrës, wants to take him to his team. But, someone notified the Chief of Staff at the Ministry of Defense, Lieutenant General Petrit Dumen, (who even though he had not seen the match), is interested, ordering the transfer of sailor Bylyku to “Partizani”. The first with the red jersey, a friendly against “Besa”, of Kavaja in “Qemal Stafa”, after replacing Simon Deda, sick with flu. He sees Petrit Dume, likes him, goes down to the field and tells him: “You will become a good player; you will stay with “Partizani”. And immediately in the first matches in the championship: On March 10 and 13, 1957, he debuted in “Partizan” – “Spartak” of Moscow, which ended with the result 0-0. “In this season, “Partizani” was declared champion and I was the first reserve for the attack as I played with both feet. The team was led by Xhep Spahiu and consisted of caliber players, from Sul Maliqati, Shefqet Topi, Fatbardh Deliallisi, Besim Fagu, Miço Papadhopulli, Tafil Baçi, Gani Merja, Kolec Kraja, Miço Ndini, Roza Haxhiu Refik Resmja, Simon Deda, Lin Shllaku , Çaushi, Karanxha, Vogli, Robert Jashari”, Bylyku recalled.
It is the time when Soviet coach Leonid Lukshinov is in Albania, helping the national team and “Partizan” for the Leipzig Spartakiad. He had played with Zenit Leningrad, followed the matches, and liked Bylyk. “At an international meeting “Partizani” – “Admiral Tejec”, in “Qemal Stafa”, he was the one who encouraged Xhep Spahiu, telling him “mallodoi chellovek”, “mollodoj chellovek” (enter the youth), that I became active in the second half instead of Kraja”, Nuriu recalled.
Partizani is looking for him, the absent firm that “punished” him!
“But finding it difficult to be active with the first team of Partizan, I asked the coach to transfer me to the “reserves” or “Shpresat” of “Partziani”, also due to the fact that the victory is rewarded with 300 lek. I was newly engaged and that amount was a big help, a salary. Bert Jashar was with the first team, I was with the reserves, their captain, with Nimet Cani and Sokol Morin, we were declared champions”, Nuriu recalled. Partizan wants to keep him, but: “I can’t stay, I’m not a football player for “Partizan”, I’m a worker” – Bylyku responds to the offer of the generals of the Ministry of Defense.
“Slave LLambi, who coached the group, a simple man, a friend of my brother, three days before the team left for Leipzig, he called me and Bert Jashari to the Officers’ House, and in a letter in his hand, he tells me; please sign this that, upon returning from Leipzig, we will go to Bulgaria for a match”. I take it, but when I see it I read: “I agree to be a captain with “Partizan”. He probably didn’t know, but I told him: “Slav, this document is the federation; you made a mistake, while Berti signed it without seeing it. No, I’m not a captain, I’ll go back to the factory, and I didn’t sign it. They all went to Leipzig, I didn’t, since I didn’t sign with Partizan”, Bylyku remembered the machinations that the soldiers who managed Sport-Klub “Partizani” tried to do, who wanted him in the red team.
Towards Leipzig, they take him off the plane
It is located on the runway of the aviation field in Laprakë, together with everyone; it is preparing to go up the stairs of the plane after Ismet Bellova and Njazi Lleshi, when a military motorcycle with the head of the club stopped in front of them. “Where are you going, you”, he told me? ‘Where everyone is going’, I replied. “No, no, – he returned to me, not you”. “I’m playing with Tirana, you’ll put out your eyes”, he returned all his anger. Meanwhile, Gani Merja got off the plane and Slavja intervened: “What are you doing with this?!” “The general ordered and another sportsman who achieved good results in shooting will go in his place”, said the soldier.
I went down the stairs, tears came from my eyes and with the bag on my arm, riding a motorcycle, they sent me to the Officers’ House, where Tefik Hamzaraj was waiting for me, who dressed me in new soldier clothes and sent me to the ward, near the “Minister Hotel”, where we were gathered during training for Leipzig, to perform another year of military service. The Chief of Staff of the Department, Met Aga, tells me that; you have ten days leave, in the meantime tell Tasi (my brother worked in the Ministry of Defense) to explain your problem to Beqir Balluku. That’s how it was done, I demobilized and went to Tirana, my former dream”, Nuriu remembered that moment, as a sign of revenge, the officials of the Ministry of People’s Defense took him off the plane, not allowing him to go with the team to tour of Leipzig in East Germany.
In Tirana with Alla, to score out of anger and “Norçebylyk-gol”!
End of October 1958, Tirana has just returned from a tour in the Soviet Union. “With my brother, we went and waited and met Lym Alla. I was a supporter of Tirana, but my idol was Cuf Pelingu, the captain of the team in 1954, very patriotic in the game, like him I wanted to be, a “bozhik” as the Tirana fans called him. “Come to training,” Lymi told me. The coaches followed the various championships; they received information about me, Bik Jakova, who had seen me, had told him that; this one can become a football player. I went to training at the Xhafaj field, or “Puna”, where “New Albania” was. Although the conditions were not good, it was important for that time”, recalled Bylyku. Meanwhile, the meeting comes that records a special detail, for which Nuriu remembered: “Young and hot-tempered, I had just been released from military service, in the first match, in a friendly at “Qemal Stafa”, where we ended 2-2 with I scored a goal against “Partizani”, I considered it a ‘goal of anger'”. But, towards his permanent rivals, he keeps another memory, a moment that he himself remembered with nostalgia: “It was a match played at the “Dinamo” Stadium, between “Partizan” and “17 November”.”Partizani” had just played with the Norwegians of “Norçeping” in the Champions Cup. I scored a goal from the gate towards the hills of the city, which even today I say is rare, not of my nature, so much so that even Zihni Gjinali congratulated me. The match ended 1-0 for us and the “17 November” fans who shouted “Norçebylyk, Norçebylyk-goal”, Nuriu remembered.
Captain in five editions and the separation from the title denied!
From Enver Shehu, Tafil Baçi, Fatmir Frashëri, these were the ribbon-bearers in the team before him. In 1962, Tafil Baçi, already at the end of his career, passes the baton to Fatmir Frashër, but in a short time he leaves “Partizani” to perform military service. “At that time, Lym Alla decided that I would wear the captain’s armband, this was also due to the desire of many football players and sports fans that followed us in training. And what about Frashër, I handed him over when he returned and I left him” – Bylyku recalled.
From the day Tirana took him, until the championship of 1966-’67, where he played the first phase, while in the second, he was on the bench, five editions were held. He is 30 years old, the time has come and he thought he should part with football, choosing to end the season with another title won. In his place, Osman Mema plays, younger and very energetic. It is the season related to the exclusion of “November 17”, from the championship three weeks before the end, denying him the title of champion when he was commanding with a difference of points. Everything after the meeting “November 17” – “Partizani” 2-1, known for the incident in the corridors of “Qemal Stafa”, and the absurd decision of the AFL for the exclusion of both teams, and the title was taken by “Dinamo”!
He didn’t play, as he stayed on the bench, but he watched and tells that story well. “On November 17, they sentenced him without any motive. There was a fight in the corridor between Osman Mema and Agim Dizdar, who once slept together at the “Partizan” club. I was behind and I saw what happened. In my life, for the first time I saw police in the corridor, although we had a sign: ‘Be careful, because they want a reason to expel you’. From playing football, I broke away, but they didn’t let me leave, they put me in the group of coaches”, Bylyku recalled.
At “November 17”, the creation of the epochal team
“Puna”, “Tirana”, and “November 17”, the name it finally got in the late 50s, includes footballers such as: Enver Shehu, Enver Rada, Dik Struga, Osman Reçi, Met Metani, Naim Balla, Gani Çaushi, Tafil Baçi, Bedri Stermasi, Rrel Verria, Tomorr Gjoka, G. Saraçi, Vaso Konomi, and even Panajot Pano, were products of this club. With the return, after having completed their military service from the “Partizani” and “Dinamo” clubs, of some quality footballers with great potential, such as: Fatmir Frashëri, Ben Bukoviku, Osman Mema, Luigj Bytyçi, Skënder Halili, Josif Kazanxhi, starters as well with the national team, this team will change its physiognomy, creating a modern style of play. The year 1959 is connected with the departure of Pano to “Partizani” and: “Think what “November 17″ would have been with Pano in those years”, – said Bylyku. Meanwhile, the coach Myslym Alla has approached talented players, such as: Çlirim Hysi, Skënder Hyka, Bahri Ishka, Ali Mema, Perikli Dhales, Niko Xhaçka, Gëzim Kasmi, Rexhep Bathorja, Ilir Elini, Bujar Tafaj, Arben Çela, Durim Habibi, Petrit Nurishmi, etc., who give new energy, momentum, enthusiasm, hope and desire to win, to the formation, to the capital’s fans. This is how the great epochal cycle of “17 November” of the 1960s-’70s, which no one had thought of, begins without noise, a team with a different philosophy and psychology, explosive in the game, ambitious, entertaining, dominating the match , wherever he played, it is a decade with unforgettable challenges and with the absolute protagonist, “November 17”. A ten-year period in which the team would win four championship titles and one unfairly denied that of 1967.
In Kavaja, the first historic trophy comes
After eliminating “Vllaznina” and in the semifinals “Partizani” with the two unforgettable meetings held in March 1963 1-0/1-0, in the final, “17 November” will play against the triumphant “Besa” , to “Apollonia” of Fier and “Skenderbeu” of Korça. 2-3, the first challenge for the Cavaliers, which is played in the field of the City of Students (scorer, Dhimitër Dimroçi ‘6, Vaso Ikonomi 35′; Ali Mema 55′ penalty, Tomorr Gjoka 61′; S. Lilamani ’78), in which “November 17” activates: Il Metani (Beliu), Saraçi, Ikonomi, Gëzim Kasmi (Baboçi), Aali Mema, Nuri Bylyku, Aurel Vëria, Pavllo Bukoviku, Çlirim Hysi, Bahri Ishka, Tomorr Gjoka and coach Myslym Alla. After a week, 0-1 in Kavaja (Bahri Ishka scorer, 12’) for Tirana. Then the famous penalties received by Ali Mema and Bukovik, who does not make mistakes from the white disc: with the numbers 5-3, “November 17” of that day with Metani (Beliu), N. Bylyk, P. Bukovik, Ç. Hysin, V. Ikonomi, G. Saraçin, B. Ishkën, A. Vërrian T. Gjokën, A. Memën, G. Kasmin with coach M. Allën, wins the first cup of the Republic (after liberation), which was to be taken by team captain, Nuri Bylyku. It was April 7, 1963, this is the first trophy, to come a season later, 1964-’65, which gave 17 “November”, the historic title, that of the champion, won in the last match at the “Dinamo” Stadium ” against “Flamurtari” from Vlora, with a goal scored with a header by Ali Mema.
The champion team is: Bylyku, Elini, Bytyçi, Halili, Kasmi, Frashëri, Bukoviku, A. Mema, S. Hyka, Ishka and Xhaçka with Coach Lym Alla. The success will be repeated after one year, 1965-’66, but the cup will be awarded after a completely different epilogue, after a spectacular match. Since “Partizani” and “17 November” end the championship with equal points, according to the regulation, they will play the final match: In a full stadium in “Qemal Stafa”, the Tirana formation triumphed 2-1, where they scored Kazanxhi, Ishka and Jashari. And for captain Bylyk, this is the third trophy in a row, which is raised by his hands.
In the Balkan Cup, other “battles”!
Since the participation in international meetings with clubs are few for the time, in the 1964 season, “November 17” was assigned to play in the Balkan Cup, very popular at that time for football players. “They were heroic matches” – recalled Nuriu, continuing: “In Varna, against “Černo Mores”, Skënder Halil was injured in the head. Even Todi Janku’s medical help, taken as a masseur, could not stop the bleeding and from the fourth minute, he played with a cracked head. He fainted at halftime and found out about the 1-0 score for them when we left for Turkey. As if his injury wasn’t enough, when the referee took off Osman Mema, who replaced him at the beginning of the second half. Then in Istanbul, 1-0 for “November 17” with a great goal from Bukovic in the first half, and in the end a 1-1 draw, after a mistake by our portrait, a battle match, when the local fans, irritated, broke the windows of the bus after the meeting. Then: “Rapid” of Vienna – “November 17” 3-1, Bukovik’s goal, “November 17” – “Beshiktash” 2-0 (Frashëri, Xhaçka) and “November 17” – “Rapid” 1-2, Ishka goal. “17 November” ranks in third place, with 4 points, after “Rapid” with 10, “Černo Mores” with 8, and the last “Beshiktash” which closes with 2 points.
On the way back, we stopped in Sofia, because Lym Alla wanted to see the “Levski” – “CSKA” match, as she had studied there. They brought us to the stadium where we watched the match. I remember the bus driver, it was Skënder Ndroqi, head of the Club, Bujar Hoxha and Lame Konomin”, Bylyku recalled. While in Romania, although they lost, Gëzim Saraçi and Bahri Ishka, they played extraordinary matches – said Nuriu. “The fans accompanied us to the hotel.” We saw the real “Plaskaçin” here today – they told us about Skënder Halili, comparing the Albanian defender with the Czech one, from the 1954 World Cup”, said Bylyku.
A photo that canceled the match!
“There was a match “November 17” – “Labinoti”, at the end of the 1959 season, which was refereed by Sami Kotherja, which ended without any claims from both sides, but one of the photographs published by Enver Shabani, in the newspaper ” Popular Sport” of Tuesday, with a view of this match, in one of them, goalkeeper Metani, had punched the ball in the corner, while his hat was inside the fatal line. The shadow of the hat was used by the commissioner of the field in the official report and the Presidency of the AFL, canceled the meeting, and normally won 2-1 by “November 17”, being very close to winning the championship title. But, at the end of the season, “November 17” finished in second place after Partizan, just from the meeting with “Labinot”, Bylyku recalled.
The ones you don’t forget…!
“A “Partizani” – “November 17” (1-0), in June ’67, the day when the stadium collapsed. I remember the goal scored by Qolje, which I didn’t see again, and when together with Lin Shllaku, we asked the referee to stop the game because, perhaps, there was an injury, without understanding exactly what had happened. Sunday, at the “Qemal Stafa” stadium, “November 17” – “Dinamo” 3-0. Xhačka’s three goals against Dinella, who had just arrived at “Dinamo”. A few days ago, Skënder Halili was arrested and that is the first match that Perikli Dhales played with “17 Nëntorin”, instead of him”, recalled Nuriu, who at that time was a manager in the Club and after an inventory, have called, asking them provocatively, that; Comrade Enver’s 8th Work has been lost. “An employee of the Club had taken it and was reading it,” Bylyku recalled.
“In Algeria, 14 days of travel for a match…”!
This is how he commented and remembered that tournament. December of 1968, “November 17” leaves for Algeria, for a friendly tour, bringing back the rematch that took place in Tirana a short time ago with Shpresa e Albania, 1-1 (goal by Mexhit Haxhi). As in Scotland, the team only took the goalkeeper Mikel Janku, as reinforcement, preferred by the footballers and fans of the Tirana Club, and Kiço Karaguni was his companion. Departure by plane Tirana-Athens-Tunis and Algiers. Then the return, Algiers-Switzerland-Berlin-Budapest-Tirana. 14 days on the roads of Europe, just for a friendly. But how did it develop? “Played in Oran, a coastal city, it was a 90-minute period with a total dominance of “November 17”, with two goals by Pavlo Bukovik and Bahri Ishka, so much so that the fans shouted in French “fois encore, fois encore” (another, and another, and another). The Albanian ambassador, Musin Kroi, came there and told us: What you did as “November 17″, in 90 minutes, I have not done as ambassador in four years here”, Bylyku recalled.
The unforgettable experience after the arrest of Halil!
He does not share that part of the story, which is related to his sports life, the event and the brutal act, when Skënder Halil was arrested. “We stayed in room no. 2 of Hotel “Durrësi”, in the center of Tirana, when the Boulevard towards the Maternity begins. We always gathered there in those years, while for food, we went to the “Parku Rinia” Restaurant, or to the club’s cafeteria, the former “Tennis-Nallban” field. Skender Halili stood dressed in a red tutu that Gani Merja, his uncle, had given him, and every morning, he went out on the balcony greeting people who passed by and went to work. That day, I was reading information that came to me from the “Fan Noli” school, where I worked. It was 6:15 in the morning, when a “GAZ” stopped in front of the hotel, Skenderin was told to get off and suddenly, they took him away. Everyone was sleeping, I confusedly informed Lym Alla, who was staying at home, not at the hotel. First, I went to Sabri Pilkati, the Vice President of the Executive Committee of the Tirana district, then with Lymi to the Federation (with the offices where Toptan’s house is today, on the promenade), where we met Ulo Hadëri, its president, Zyber Konçi and Vasil Prirti. Lymi’s face was black with despair as we were only three days away from the Champions Cup first leg.
“You will not go to Norway” – they told us – because Skënder Halili has been arrested”. “Give us another footballer”, Lymi replied. While at noon, Lame Konomi came to training and officially informed us that; it would not be played against the Norwegians of F C Valerenga” – Bylyku recalled.
It was September 1966. With “Kilmarnock”, a confrontation with Scottish football. In the first representation of “November 17” in the Champions Cup, that of the 1965-’66 edition, he met to play with a Western club, of a football tradition, like the Scottish one. The first round, “November 17” – “Kilmarnok”, and 0-0 in “Qemal Stafa”, a surprise result. Then the return match. In Tirana, the Scottish team, due to wrong information, had come with food. At the dinner held at Hotel “Kruja” (on the beach – Durrës), the President of the Club, also of Whyski, said that; he felt so satisfied in Albania, you will see him there. And the return game. At the London airport, he waited for them with a special train paid for by him, London-Glasgow, a four-hour journey, and after they arrived, they settled in the “Marine” Hotel, the best, built a year ago, with a characteristic style local, which the national teams booked a year ago. Vehicles of well-known brands paraded in front of the hotel, while a fashion show for dogs was organized there. “Kilmarnock was a town 36 km. away from Glasgow, small with 40 thousand inhabitants, with a stadium with typical British stands. The meeting took place in the evening, around 20:00.
“It was a match where the ball came out of the field 2 or 3 times. The fans behind the goal did not stop encouraging the team. We played in a uniform with white camel jerseys, which the president of the Club bought us as a gift. The result was decided in the 76th minute, by a foul shot, about 16 meters. 1-0, the 90 minutes ended, during which Mikel Janku was exceptional, especially in the first half. I remember that match, that if they drew, the third match would take place in Madrid, even at the end of the match, Bukovik scored with a header, but the referee canceled the goal, considering his intervention as a foul, but I say it was not such, after Ben, took the ball cleanly from the goalkeeper’s hands. But also one for another fact: The trip was rare, from Tirana to Budapest, where we stayed for four days. Then in Brussels and London. Return London-Berlin, where we stopped at a campsite, with some stale food. Accompanying were Koço Lako, Loro Boriçi, as representatives of the AFL. The Scottish press echoed the match, describing it as: “The white eagles of “November 17″ of Tirana, which Kilmarnock would not defeat even for 24 hours of football”, Bylyku recalled.
The footballer and captain of two generations
Nuri Bylyku was the protagonist of two generations of the “17 November” Club, from 1959 to 1967. In the first as a football player, in the second also as a captain. It started with Enver Shehu, Enver Rada, Sadik Struga, Osman Reçi, Met Metan, Naim Ballë, Gani Çauşi, Tafail Baçi, Bedri Stermasi, Aurel Verrî, Tomorr Gjoka and Pano the elder, to end it with Fatmir Frashëri, the brothers Mema, Osman and Ali, Skënder Hykën, Bujar Tafajn, Josif Kazanxhiu, Ben Bukovik, Bixh Bytyçi, Bahri Ishkën, Niko Xhaçkën, Skënder Halilin, Gëzim Kasmin, Ilir Elinin, Rexhep Bathoren and coaches Myslym Alla and Enver Shehu.
“Tirana makes you a footballer”
“The collectivity, the spirit of understanding, the spirit of the match was some of the things that united the footballers with each other, but also with the head coach. Not forgetting the undivided fans everywhere, in the rain, winter and summer. They were irreplaceable. They were the oxygen of the team inside and outside Tirana”, said Bylyku. In derby challenges, the one against Panos is also famous. After the absolute dominance of “Partizani” – “Dinamo”, the arrival of a new formation on the stage, one of the derby challenges arises simultaneously, with an unrepeatable history, like “Partizani” – “November 17”. A confrontation of all colors, both sporting and political, on and off the field, as tense, as spectacular, as aggressive, with an extraordinary final for the title, always accompanied by a fan interest like the typical British ones in the stands A and B with the calls “Tirona, Tirona”, after every decision of the arbitrators considered unfair.
“I was lucky enough to play derby matches at their peak, being the captain of “17 November”. After the 60s, “Dinamo” lost a little ground, while it was more than “fire” with rivalry until the last day of the championship against “Partizani” with potential players, Nuriu recalled. But even that Pano-Bylyk, it was a derby within a derby. “I met Panon when I went to Tirana and Lym Alla in 1958. Then opposite, when he was at the height of his glory, but he was playing with “Partizani”. For several seasons, the duel between me and him became an important part of this match. Pano was not to be underestimated at any moment and I knew it well, I knew his potential, his psychology and his abilities. But also the atmosphere, as the spectators expected. I created difficulties for him because my characteristics were also like that, I didn’t let him play with the ball because that’s where his dangerousness started, I stayed close to him, he couldn’t stand the close one-on-one game, and he got nervous. I bullied him systematically, often unfairly. So Panos had to use all the “ways” to stop him.
Even among the fans, the opinion was created that; Pano doesn’t have it easy with Bylyk. I had to perform smart actions, be cool, and not show signs of nervousness. Myslym Alla has been very important, with the orientations, the advice he gave me before and on vacation. From the beginning, it was his idea for me to play against Panos, as he knew both of us well. However, that duel has never been angry, but honest. Pano, although the opponents interfered heavily, he never complained to the referee, a rare quality of great footballers”, Bylyku remembered about that time, when he covered the famous Pano.
When Lym Alla ignored the Party Committee!
“Absolute credit for the creation, construction and success of “November 17″ is his alone, certainly with the ability to approach, create that group of players, with a spectacular, entertaining and triumphant philosophy and way of playing. He has been a psychologist, on the field, training and outside it. We knew who Lym Alla was and put him in the formation with merit and not with the Party Committee, which he ignored,” Bylyku recalled. “And for this he was determined, no one, the head of the Club, the Committee, the Federation, or the Party, dared to suggest which player to activate. Very professional, with a Western mentality, and modern for the time, he knew the importance of the meeting, the values of the opponent, the main footballer and how to cover him physically and technically. He put the team well on the field, and he had confidence. Before the match, he spoke a little, and he had his own psychology, which communicated with the players with deep looks, often in order not to dramatize and tense the situation. He never gave responsibility to the footballers and like a real professional on the bench, he had the game tactically in his head, and he knew for days that he would play. During the break of the game, Alla found details to change the atmosphere, when we were in difficulty” – said Bylyku about the famous coach, Lym Alla.
Then he added: “Very imposing, towards the players, the referees and also the opponents, and he showed this as soon as they came down to the stadium, during the match and at the end of it. He didn’t compromise on anything, he had his principles, and he had absolute faith in me, as he knew that I broadcast it to everyone as soon as the game started. He used to call me before the game and from the windows of the dressing room, he would say: Bylyk, do you see that public? He will insult, shout, as he will win. If you have courage, go to the field, if not stay here. I don’t want to play with ten footballers”.
Coach with hopes, Spartakiad and “dismissal”…!
In 1967, Bylyku broke away from football, as an active player, but Lym Alla and Ver Shehu appointed him to train and lead the Tirana Club Hope team, when good players, in order not to lose their sports form, played with this team. Then, as a leader in the Sports Club, he prepared the documentation with the characteristics that were needed for every footballer of “17 November”, who would leave for Belgium, in the match against “Standart Liège”. He leaves the Club to continue many years later, as a lecturer at the “Fan Noli” and Technological school, where as students he would have well-known names, such as: Agim e Arben Fagun, Leonard Tasen, Dash Shehin, Mir Petrelën, Tomorr Shehun , Makbule Çeçon, S. Mara, up to Ilir Meta, the former President of the Republic. In the Club of Tirana, he will return in 1982, instead of Muharrem Sinoymer. “You will be in charge of the Club” they tell me. I got involved and we won the 6th Spartakiad in Hand Games. I left the Club in October 1988, bored, tired of behind-the-scenes actions, selfishness, but also of chronic heart disease” – concluded his confession, Nyri Bylyku.
Surprise jersey from Scotland!
This is a detail, very important, and that gives a great message of gratitude. On the occasion of the anniversary of the meeting “Kilmarnok” – “November 17”, held 50 years ago, by the Scottish club, a shirt has arrived for Nuri Bylyk. “It was a surprise, when they brought it to me; it was even ‘confidential’, because that’s how it was written. To remember that confrontation, they had organized a symbolic ceremony in Scotland that unfortunately their invitation did not know how and where it ended up here. However, referring to that match as the first for that club in the Champions Cup, as well as for “November 17″, a celebration was held, where leaders, footballers of that time took part. There was no one from us. In the meantime, they had prepared a symbolic jersey with my name as captain and sent it to me. We played there with white jerseys, which they gave us, their president, but carefully, they brought the traditional one. A very emotional action and memory” – said Nuriu.
Inheritance in the three “generations” of the Bylyku family
Two championship titles and a Republic Cup, won with a legendary “November 17”, with surprising results and games, being his captain. “I played 14 years in a row, from the age of 17 to 30”, said Nuriu. A sports family, from Shqyriu, the elder brother, a prominent footballer of the 50s, known as Tasi. “He has been an instigator to continue the family’s sporting legacy connection with the Tirana club. He has been a parent, a spiritual guardian for my sports career as well”, said Nuriu.
Then his son, Artan Bylyku, who inherited the passion, wearing the blue and white shirt of a three-generation dynasty. Nuri Bylykun, when we met him a while ago, would surprise you with everything. Very well maintained and the years did not show its age. Active, energetic, he remembered every detail, and had a brilliant memory to envy even the youngest. And this is a small part of his sports history, but not only.
When he confessed, because of the passion he had for sports, he did not know how to stop, since such were the events that had accompanied him in his career, from which we cut a little bit, choosing the most important ones, of course the most exciting ones, for made public today, when he was escorted to his last residence, after all the honors and tributes were paid to him, there in the lobby of the “Dinamo” Stadium, which has been his second home for decades. Memorie.al