Şeref Bey (1894-1933)
Ahmet Şerafettin, more commonly known as “Şeref Bey” (born 1894 in Istanbul), played a very important role in shaping Beşiktaş JK’s history. A football-loving history teacher from the Istanbul University, he founded the football section of Beşiktaş and was its first team-captain and manager. In August 1911, Şeref Bey, the President of Valideçeşme Football Club, joined Beşiktaş JK with his players. As a result of the attempts by Şeref Bey, who was trying to bring all local football clubs under one roof, Basiret Club joined Beşiktaş JK as well. Thus, a football section had started operating officially within the club.
Serving as a player/manager, he led his team to three Istanbul Championship titles (1920, 1921, 1924), making Beşiktaş the first official Istanbul champion of the newly-established Turkish Republic. Şeref Bey also discovered a number of talents such as Hüsnü Savman, Şeref Görkey and Hakkı Yeten who later turned out to be legendary players of Turkish football. His 14-year managerial reign is still a club record.
After retiring in 1925, the French-speaking Şeref Bey got active within the Turkish Football Federation and became an international referee, officiating the 1928 match between Hungary and Austria in Budapest. His last ambition was to build a new stadium for Beşiktaş, and he spent most of his time and energy for it. Unfortunately, Şeref Bey could not see its opening because he died of cancer at the age of 39. In his honor, the club named the stadium, which was completed in 1940, after him as “Şeref Stadium”, where the Black Eagles played their home games until 1947. In 2008, Beşiktaş fans from various Turkish universities erected a statue of Şeref Bey in the Beşiktaş District of Istanbul. The club holds a memorial for him every year.