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Stories about Partizan - POP 39

by Ivan Toskov on March 06, 2021

POP 39 - Departure of the "Black and White Duke"

IN MEMORIAM: Milenko Savović (1960-2021)

Milenko Savović, the former captain of Partizan, a specific and unique figure who left an indelible mark in the history of our club, has left us.

I will never forget March 23, 1989, when Milenko Savović, after the triumph over Vivo, raised high the trophy intended for the winner of the European Cup Korać in the packed Hall of Sports. With his hand wrapped in a white bandage, the elegant gentlemanly figure of Partizan's captain momentarily overshadowed the coming youth of the rest of the black and white team. The hall instantly took on a solemn, almost sublime atmosphere, and the rhythmic chanting of "Holy Sava!" it contributed to the unrepeatability of the moment.

For me, then 19 years old, the whole hall instantly turned into a spaceship from the cult movie "The Man Who Fell to Earth", in which the title role is played by the legendary musician David Bowie, who plays an alien who returns to his planet from Earth. I imagined that Sava, always a bit different, "alien", with an appearance that reminded me of Bowie's alter ego "Skinny White Duke", with the sounds of the song "Station to station", would take us to the far reaches of space...

I later met Sava and realized that my youthful fantasy was not just a mere amalgamation of personal interests at the time. Even in personal contact, he gave the impression of a slightly different, certainly non-specific athlete, someone who combines the seemingly incompatible. He was a connoisseur of music, literature, film, the link between sports and art, a man who brought many musicians and actors with whom he was friends to Partizan's matches at that time, people who best represented the inimitable spirit of the city at that time.
Milenko Savović left a beautiful basketball career crowned by two European Korać Cup trophies, three state championship titles and two SFRY Cups for generations to remember. He was the sports director of Partizan in 1992, when the black and whites became European champions. In addition, he also left a memory of a man from a different time and space, where decency, unobtrusive lordship and breadth of understanding are the true measure of value. Precisely those that were woven into Sava's character.

Travel to eternity, "Black and White Duke".


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