With the first leg of our Europa Conference League First Round Qualifying tie getting ever closer, we thought that this would be a good opportunity to take a look at our opponents – Havnar Bóltfelag.
Havnar Bóltfelag or HB for short, (‘Harbour Football Club’) is a Faroese football club based in Tórshavn, the capital city of the Faroe Islands. The club was founded on 4th October 1904, making it the third oldest of all the clubs in the Faroe Islands behind Klaksvíkar Ítróttarfelag – KÍ (24th August 1904) and Tvøroyrar Bóltfelag – TB (13th May 1892)
A group of circa 30 men were the driving force behind the creation of the club with the initial board members consisting of Mads Andrias Winther, Joan Pauli Joensen and Jakup Mouritsen – Winther was to be become the club’s first chairman and a future mayor of Tórshavn from 1909 to 1912.
Today, HB play their home games at Tórsvøllur, the national stadium of the Faroe Islands based on a sports site in Gundadalur, an area within Tórshavn. However, back in their formative years, HB found it difficult to acquire land in Tórshavn to be used as a football pitch. The main reason for this was that nobody was willing to sell off important and limited agricultural land. To get around this problem, HB through the kindness of a local farmer, played on a field that they turned into a pitch to play football on. In 1910 and under the guidance and influence of Mads Andrias Winther as mayor, the municipality allocated a vast part of the Gundadalur area to be used for sporting activities, thus enabling HB to use a pitch of their own.
Although not the oldest of the Faroese clubs, HB were the first club from the Faroe Islands to play abroad, and in 1910 they travelled to Norway to participate in some games. Later, other similar trips were to follow to the likes of Iceland and the Shetland Islands.
Official football championships were not held in the Faroe Islands until 1942 when the first official competition was organised by the Faroe Islands Sports Association. This inaugural national championship was held as a knockout style competition rather than in a league format. HB made it to the final of the Eastern qualifying round only to be beaten by the eventual and first official champions of the Faroe Islands – KÍ.
HB were to be crowned champions for the first time in their history in 1955 when they won what was now a league style format between themselves, TB, KÍ and B36 Tórshavn. To date, HB have won 24 Faroese national championships, now known as the Faroe Islands Premier League, making them the most successful club in the history of Faroese football. The club’s most recent league triumph coming in 2020 when they finished six points clear of their nearest challengers, NSÍ Runavík.
1955 was also the year that HB won the first ever Faroe Islands Cup, beating KÍ by 3 goals to 1 in the final. Just like their record for league title wins, the club also hold the record for most cup wins, 28 in total with their most recent win coming in 2020, a 2-0 win over Vikingur.
The 2022 Faroe Islands Premier League is currently in full flow, and at the time of writing (27th June) HB are sitting in third position in the ten-club league table, which would be enough to ensure qualification for next season Europa Conference League qualifying rounds.
Compiled by Gareth Thomas