Hajduk board president Marin Brbić said that the Hajduk mulberry would be planted outside of Split as a symbol of the club and that some saplings would be sent to Hajduk fans in Australia.

A promotional event was staged on the 10th of January at the University of Split on the occasion of the 105th anniversary of the founding of the HNK Hajduk football (soccer) club featuring Hajduk mulberry trees, cloned saplings of the mulberry tree that still stands at the former Hajduk stadium at Stari Plac (the Old Square) where Split students founded the club in 1911.
105 Hajduk mulberry trees were presented at the event, one for each year the club has existed. Hajduk board president Marin Brbić and University of Split rector Šimun Anđelinović joined forces to plant saplings at the university campus in front of three of the faculty buildings with an inscribed memorial stone designating the first of the Hajduk mulberries to be planted.
In his address rector Anđelinović noted that the planting of the Hajduk mulberry at the university campus would symbolically reinstate the club to the students that founded it 105 years ago.
Slobodna Dalmacija newspaper journalist Damir Šarac initiated the effort that saw Split-based biotechnology sciences specialist Olivera Crmarić DSc and Nenad Malenica DSc of the Department of Molecular Biology at the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Science clone the old mulberry tree, using several twigs as the basis for multiplying and root development from which they developed saplings that are genetically identical to the old mulberry tree.
At the ceremony Šarac noted that he had first considered the idea of revitalising the old “sacred tree” but that, following discussions with specialists, they opted for the idea of cloning as a way to eternalise it through the new trees that will grow from the clones saplings.
“Hajduk will be the first club to have its own tree, a living monument to Hajduk,” Šarac said, adding that the old tree at Stari Plac was the oldest “player” on the roster.
Olivera Crmarić noted that production of the Hajduk mulberry saplings would continue, grown to a height of about twenty centimetres and ready for transport.
Hajduk board president Marin Brbić said that the Hajduk mulberry would be planted outside of Split as a symbol of the club and that some saplings would be sent to Hajduk fans in Australia.
“The Hajduk mulberry is a living monument to Hajduk and one of our greatest trophies. It’s time will never pass, it lives forever – just like Hajduk,” Brbić said.
Addressing the gathered Split-Dalmatia County Prefect Zlatko Ževrnja and Split Mayor Ivo Baldasar said that the old mulberry tree was important to the history of both the club and the city, noting that the cloned saplings were a meeting of sports and science.
(HINA)