Former Partizan goalkeeper Blagoje Istatov passed away today at the age of 72.
Istatov, born 5th of May 1947 in Strumica, started his goalkeeping career locally at FK Belasica youths before moving to another Macedonian outfit in 1968, Pobeda Prilep. He was by spotted by Partizan scouts and moved to Partizan in 1973 for a three-season spell.
Istatov moved abroad in 1976, to Dutch side Utrecht. Before hanging his boots, he played in several low-tier clubs. Istatov`s testimonial was a Belasica v Partizan friendly.
He made a total of 130 apps for Partizan and won a title with the club in 1976.
Istatov was frequently visiting Partizan games long after his career ended although he lived in Strumica and Dojran where he engaged in successful hotel business. Partizan youths would engage in pre-season preps at Dojran Lake often and Istatov was quite happy to see members of Partizan family as his guests.
He also worked as goalkeeper`s coach at Macedonia national team, FK Vardar and other clubs.
Blagoje, Rest in Peace.