1936 - 1945
The first USSR league allowed 27 teams to participate in four groups: А, B, C, D.
The USSR Sports Committee let a miners' team from Donbass appeare in Group C. The team was proudly called Stakhanovets after the famous innovator of miners' movement Alexey Stakhanov.
The core players of the team came from Dynamo Gorlovka and Stalino. Stakhanovets played their first match for Ukrainian Premiership on May 12, 1936 in Gorlovka at Balitsky stadium. FC Dinamo Odessa turned to be their rivals. 15 000 fans attended the event. Donetk's squad included: goalkeeper - Sergey Razdorozhniuk, defenders - Mikhail Boychenko, Georgiy Konstantinovsky, midfielders - Pavel Yevtekhov, Konstantin Pashenko, Bespalov, forwards - Adam Korotynsky, Mykhailo Pashenko, Nikolay Naumov, Fedor Manov, Boris Terentyev. Konstantyn Pashenko headed to breake the deadlock on the 10th min after a pass by Boris Terentyev. But Peter Kalshnykov, a foward from Odessa, leveled the score in 5 min. and pushed forward then. The final score was - 2:3. Stakhanovets played their first official match against another Dinamo in Kazan having lost 1:4 (Fedor Manov was the only scorer of Donetsk that time).
Having signed the best players of Donbass, Stakhanovets got the right to be among the top-clubs in 1938. Press and football specialists ranked high Donbass players, though they occupied 11-12 position in the league standings. 1940 results allowed Nikolay Kuznetsov, Nikolay Kononenko, Georgiy Mazanov, Georgiy Bikezin, Grigoriy Balaba to be nominated "Master of Sports".
Stakhanovets was fifth in the USSR League, when World War II broke out. June 1941 is a special period in club's history. Stakhanovets beat the champion club FC Dinamo Moskva, Minsk and the second club from Moscow. and on June 24, two days after the war started, they lost home to Traktor.
Many players joined the army, some worked in the military plants. Ivan Ustinov, Ivan Putyatov, Vladimir Shkurov Ivan Gorobets and Mykhailo Vasin fell in battle.
On September 8, 1943, Donetsk was released from the German occupation and two months later Georgiy Bikezin organized the first after-war match.
In 1945 only three players from the pre-war squad survived - Bikezin, Kuznetsov and Yurchenko. The team had to be re-organized from nothing. That's why Stakhanovets, despite having success in 1945, was included into the second group. New players - Zhukov, Shpinev, Bryushyn, Andrenko and Livetntsev.
Nikolay Naumov - organizer, first coach and captain of the team
In 1946 as well as 1947 the team played in the second group. The war consequences influenced not only the team itself, but the training process. E.g., Stakhanovets had to contract out for training matches at camp a young keeper of local FC Dinamo Tbilisi Vladimir Margania because Donetsk own goalies were injured.
In July, 1946, the society "Stakhanovets" was re-organized under the name "Shakhtar". The strongest club of Donbass was called now FC Shakhtar Stalino.
In 1947 an experienced coach from Moscow Aleksey Kostylev was appointed the manger of the team. That season the club was second of 13 in the Ukrainian zone. The next year proved higher ambitions of Shakhtar, which outran the rest of the second division clubs. In 1949 FC Shakhtar was promoted to the first division.
The first season turned to be unlucky. FC Shakhtar lost in 24 matches of 34, in 8 matches - sufficiently. There were different reasons. 40-year old Georgiy Bikezin finished his career. The senior coach Georgiy Mazanov failed to establsi a good team.
Bad results caused a coach's resignation. Viktor Novikov ran the club. The core players were Alexander Alapatov, Dmitriy Ivanov, Yuriy Petrov, Viktor Fomin, Nikolay Samarin and other. The team's performance got much better - 11 position and 33 points.
The season results were a good footing for the next bronze season 1951. It was the first time for Shakhtar to be among the honourable three.
Alexander Ponomarev, a famous Soviet forward, provided that year success. The players, who recorded 50% of the matches and more, received bronze jettons, third-place diplomas and titles "Master of sports".
Donetsk semi-final appearance was quite successful. FC Shakhtar made their first trip abroad to Bulgaria and Romania after having signed some good players from other teams.
All matches in 1952 took place in Moscow. It was a collapse year. That's why the next season 1953 the team joined the second Group B ran by a new coach Alexander Ponomarev.
It took them two years to return. In the meanwhile the players gained necessary experience to be among the best.
FC Shakhtar changed six coaches in the late 50-s. This long-lasting mishmash of the coaches made a mess with the squad formation. New coaches brought new players, who often were about to finish their career. The final result was on top, but Ponomarev, Yermilov, Dangulov, Novikov or Shegodsky were not able to provide it momentarily.
It was a common thing for Shakhtar to be in the low ten and in 1959 only league reorganization saved them from the relegation.
FC Shakhtar performance was directly dependant on their key-players - Ivan Boboshko, Alexander Alpatov, Ivan edosov, Valetin Sapronov, Vyacheslav Alabyev and Peter Ponomarenko.
In 1960 FC Shakhtar occupied the 8th position of 11. And a new coach Oleg Oshenkov joined the club.
The famous manager relied on local players and professionals. In 1960 such players as Gennadiy Snegirev, Nikolay Golovko, Vladimir Salkov and Oleg Kolosov and in 1961 - Anatoliy Rodin and Dmitriy Mizerniy opted for Shakhtar.
FC Shakhtar won their first USSR Cup in the first year under Oshenkov. Donetsk proved their worth agin in 1962 and 1963.
FC Spartak Moskva didn't let to take the trophy to the province Donbass for the third time. Donetsk lakced some goodluck and good referees. Being in favour Shakhtar lost - 1:2.
"Three years of Oleg Oshenkov were not in vain. Donetsk players are now at the same level with leaders", - said daily "Sovetsky sport" about Shakhtar in 1962.
A "Cup team" as they called Shakhtar turned to be strong in the league as well. 1961-63 even-level performance promoted Shakhtar to the 5th position in 1964."
Yuriy Korotkikh, Alexey Drozdenko, Vitaliy Khmelnitsky, Stanislav Yevseyenko and other players made their debut and then joined the main squad in Shakhtar.
1962. Donetsk wins second successive Domestic Cup.
FC Shakhtar came trough many tests in a decade. A serene end of 60-s brought Oshenkov's resignation. In 1971 the leading club of Donbass was relegated to the second division. Oleg Bazilevich, FC Shakhtar ex-player, coped with this cahllenge and the club returned to the elite.
Season 1966 was divided into two parts. Donestk finished the first half among outsiders. But the second one passed like one go. FC Shakhtar played ten consecutive matches with any defeat. Moreover their keeper Yuriy Korotkikh kept his goals unlocked for 913 minutes (!). Korotkikh's record is among three the best in the history of the domestic football.
Donetsk showcased the same brilliant performance next season. Two strong players with leader charisma Valeriy Lobanovsky and Oleg Bazilevich fostered this properity. They enhanced the team's performance in two years. Besides Lobanovsky was twice nominated the forward of the year.
Lobanovsky-Oshenkov's confrontation was vital for the team. In the middle of the season 1968 Loanovsky and Oshenkov gave up Shakhtar and football in general. In October 1969 Yuriy Voynov suprseded Oshenkov.
"Little gold" won by Shakhtar reserves in 1967 and 1969 (1968 - silverware) was a little relief for Donetsk fans. Yuriy Zakharov coached the second squad of Shakhtar. His boys were a good substitute for the main squad players - Vladimir Pyanykh, Yuriy Dudinskiy, Viktor Zvyagintsev, Vyacheslav Chanov and Anatoliy Konkov.
In 1971 FC Shakhtar dropped down to the second division. Coaches alternation went hand-in-hand with stagnation of perfomance. Voynov, Falyan, Morozov and at last Bazilevich. 34-year old specialist had to establish a team with a squad of players signed by the prvious coaches quite promptly. It was already the second half of the season, when Bazilevich opted for the optinmal squad for the elite first division. Season 1973 was glorious for Shakhtar with the second position in the second division which enabled them to progress for the first. The core players were Yuriy Degterev, Alexander Vasin, Viktor Zvyagintsev, Anatoliy Konkov, Vladymyr Safonov and newcomers aleriy Gorbunov and Vitaliy Starukhin.
Yuriy Zakharov, ex-coach of reserves, brought Shakhtar to the silverware 1975. He didn't occupy the position of the head coach long being substitued by Vladimir Salkov.
The newcomers Viktor Kondratov, Vladimir Rogovsky and Yuriy Reznik confidently joined the main squad. FC Shakhtar looked mobile and willful in their pathway to the league silver.
A thumping win over Ararat - 3:0 let Donetsk be second in the USSR that year league.
FC Shakhtar - second-placed in USSR League 1975
FC Shakhtar was three times below top-10 (1982, 1984 and 1985). But those seasons are not typical for Shakhtar in the best decade for the club. With three time league trophies, two circles of honour around Luzhniki with USSR Cup, successful start in the European tournaments with beaten German, Hungarian, Italian and Swiss clubs.
In 1976 they had two leagues - in sring and autumn. Only one loss was sufficient - Viktor Zvyagintsev switched to FC Dynamo Kyiv. But his team-partners Mikhail Sokolovsky, Nikolay Fedorenko, Vladimir Rogovsky and Viktor Kondratov took the leading positions in the team.
FC Shakhtar's debut in Europe was recognized successful. Donetsk won over Dinamo Berlin with aggregate 4:1 in Round of 16, then hungarian Honved - 6:2 in Round of 8 and lost only to Juve - 1:3 in Quarterfinals.
In season 1977 FC Shakhtar was fifth in the league. They still won some trophies. Yuriy Degterev was awarded the best keeper's title by Ogonek magazine. "Cup of progress" (for the most rapid progress in the league) came to Donetsk for the second time (first was in 1975).
The successive two season were the apogee of glory for Shakhtar.
In 1978 Donetsk except for the league third place played in the Cup final tie and lost to Fc Dynamo Kyiv - 1:2.
1979 was the most successful season for the club and their fans. FC Shakhtar was an inch away from the chanmpions title. Viktor Nosov's team (one of the most titled coach in the history of Shakhtar) was league leader, but finished second. Besides a central forward Vitaliy Starukhin won the award of the daily "Trud" as the player of the year. He was also nominated the top-scorer of USSR League wth 26 goal record.
1980 and 1983 brough League Cups to Shakhtar. Donetsk beat in finals FC Dinamo Tbilisi - 2:1 and FC Metalist Kharkiv - 1:0.
It was quite understandable that Donetsk lost their position in the league as they signed young players. In 1980 Shakhtar finished sixth, 1981 - one line lower.
The Cup team focused on the cup ties. It was a good console for the fans that FC Shakhtar was nominated the best club of the USSR 1984. Besides Donetsk showcased brilliant performance in the Cup Winners' Cup season 1983-84 (they managed to repeat this record only in 21 years).
The decade started with a new coach. Oleg Bazilevich was appointed the head coach after team's unsatisfactory results in the previous season (12 position in the league). He managed the team for one year. His successor for the next two years was Anatoliy Konkov and in July 1989 Valeriy Yaremchenko took charge of the club.
FC Shakhtar performed abruptly, which caused coache's resignation as all those coaches failed to establish a team with likeminded people.
In 1986 Shakhtar managed to repeat previous year success and played in the final tie of the USSR Cup, but afterwards Donetsk didn't attain any results of the kind till the last USSR league. Cup ties went hard as well. It's quite clear that European arena was closed for Shakhtar.
Early 1989 was significant for Shakhtar. On January 2 Donetsk authorities signed up the Resolution 1 about creating a football club Shakhtar on self-supporting basis. In four days a constitutive conference sanctioned the statute and the Supervsory board of the club.
The core players were - Yevgeniy Dragunov, Alexander Sopko, Valeriy Goshkoderya, Igor Petrov and Viktor Grachev. Young talents - Igor Leonov, Sergey Sherbakov, Sergey Atekin, Andrey Kanchelskis, Sergey Rebrov and Dmytro Shutkov.
The political changes in the country, desire of the Soviet Republics to separate didn't pass over football. FC Shakhtar didn't lose in a ny match of the last Soviet league and only once they were beaten by Dnipro, which provided 12 standing of 16.
First three leagues in independent Ukraine Shakhtar's coach was Valeriy Yaremchenko. The squad changed dramatically. Best players left the club.
FC Shakhtar could rival for the League gold in the first Ukrainian League. But a nettlesome home draw against FC Tavriya Simferopol secured only 3 standing, but Shakhtar lost to FC Dynamo - 2:3 in the third place match.
FC Shakhtar won their first League silverware in Season 1994-95.
Ukrainian League 1994-95 brought to Shakhtar the fourth position and the next season 1995-96 was the most disappointing one - 10th position in the league. Though Donetsk won Ukrainian Cup 1995.
The symbols of 90-s in Shakhtar - Shutkov, Yashenko, Petrov, Sergey Onopko, Smigunov, young players - Zubov, Kriventsov, Orbu, Matvyeyev, Voskoboynik, Kovalev, Popov.
October 11, 1996, Rinat Akhmetov was appointed the President of FC Shakhtar Donetsk, who secured the further prosperity and development of the club. The club has been keeping the leading position in Ukarine since then keeping first or second standing (second position in the league is considered as a mishap). FC Shakhtar have twice won Ukrainian Champions titles, Domestic Cup 1997, 2001, 2002, 2004 and Super-Cup 2005. The President has been doing whatever possible to promote the club to the European level.
European Cups have long been the Achilles' heel of Shakhtar. After a success in 1997 against Vicenze Italy in the Round of 16 of CWC FC Shakhtar found challenging to confront quite regular clubs like Zurich, Roda; in 2001, 2002, 2003 - CSKA Sofia, Austria and Dinamo Bucuresti.
Though FC Shakhtar under Viktor Prokopenko tried the taste of the Champions League in 2000 after a victory over Slavia Praha. FC Shakhtar met Europe and Europe met Shakhtar.
The club has been developing their infrastructure in the meanwhile. In 1999 FC Shakhtar opened their Football Academy for youth. In the same year they finished reconstruction of the training facilities Kirsha. CS Shakhtar was modernized according to the UEFA requirements.
In 2000 FC Shakhtar signed the first foreign player from - a Romanian Marian Aliuta. Each year they contracted international players from Nigeria, Croatia, Romania, Czech Republic, Poland, Serbia and Montenegro and Macedonia.
A foreign coach, an Italian Nevio Scala, secured first Ukrainian gold for Shakhtar. After that a German Bernd Shuster coached Donetsk and now - a Romanian Mircea Lucescu.
Today's Shakhtar do not conceal their ambitions. Their president Rinat Akhmetov has been aiming to win a European Cup. It's been the third year, when Donetsk appear in the fianls of the UEFA Cup. FC Shakhtar still wait for the Champions League in the up-coming season.
The club intends to construct a five-star stadium with a budget of 250 mln. USD till 2008.
Besides they want to have a Football Academy with players trained for the main squad and a modern Rehabilitation Center for players.
2005. "Golden success" of FC Shakhtar - Champions titles of the domestic league
Ukrainian Championship: 4
2002, 2005, 2006, 2008
Ukrainian Cup: 6
1995, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2008
Ukrainian Super Cup: 1
Ukrainian Championship Silver Medalist: 9
1994, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007
Ukrainian Cup Finalist: 2
Ukrainian Super Cup Finalist: 3
2004, 2006, 2007
USSR Cup: 4
1961, 1962, 1980, 1983
USSR Super Cup: 1
USSR Championship Silver Medalist: 2
USSR Cup Silver Medalist: 4
1963, 1978, 1985, 1986
USSR Super Cup Finalist: 2