Bulgarian man changes name to Mr Manchester United after 15-year legal battle | inside World Soccer

A Manchester United fanatic in Bulgaria has won a partial victory in a 15-year legal battle to change his name in honour of his beloved club.

Hardcore Manchester United fan Marin Zdravkov poses whilst visiting Old Trafford
Hardcore Manchester United fan Marin Zdravkov poses whilst visiting Old Trafford

Photo: Manchester Evening News

Marin Zdravkov, 51, fell in love with the Red Devils after watching United's heroic victory over Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League Final on TV.

Ever since, the construction worker, who inherited his love of the Red Devils from his late father, has been intent on changing his name to Mr Manchester United.

However, his attempt was blocked by red tape in the former communist country, leading to him launching a legal challenge against the authorities.

And after a 15-year legal battle, he has finally been granted permission to adopt a combination of his own name and the club, becoming Manchester Zdravkov Levidzhov United.

He's not finished there, though, as he is carrying on the fight to remove all traces of his original name so he'll simply be known as Mr Manchester United.

Mr Zdravkov said in the Manchester Evening News: "That is ridiculous, I don't want to be just a namesake of an English city.

"Some friends are even making fun of me, by asking 'OK, now that you are already officially known as Manchester, is your surname actually City or United?'

"Furthermore, I would never misuse the name of my sacred football club for commercial purposes. I swear to God."

A former devoted Catholic, he has changed his religion to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, which said it would accept him with the name Manchester United.

He added: "Now at least the Lord knows the name I would like to die with."

United tried to put an end to the name change several years ago, suggesting it was a trademark infringement, but it's thought that the Old Trafford club have now given in.


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