ÉRAKLIS was established in 1896 but only in 1908 officially . Before that IRAKLIS name was "Omilos Filomouson" and he was dealing with music!! Some of his members had an argue and so the club separated in two parts . The one part became an athletic club called "IRAKLIS Ottoman and Greek Gymnastic Club". IRAKLIS is the name of the Greek mythology's heroe Hercules .
The word Ottoman used as a camouflage because that period Northern Greece was under the turkish bondage. This shows how important was that new team for the Macedonian people some years before the Balkan wars against turkey and Bulgaria and the first world war. IRAKLIS was the first sports team in Thessaloniki.
After many years two other clubs were created : p.A.O.K. and aRIS. The first was established by people who came from Constantinople after the lost war against turkey in 1923 (that's why we call them turks or gypsies) and the second by some members of IRAKLIS (Jewish) who disagreed and created a club with the name of a dog!! (Aris was the name of the dog of a tavern at which they had the idea- we call his funs worms). These two clubs and their funs are still the most hateful things in the world for the great fans of IRAKLIS. (Although I used 4 lines to mention them).
In 1917 IRAKLIS used the ball for the first time. He created a soccer team with a foreign coach. At the beginning IRAKLIS soccer team participated only in the local championship of Thessaloniki. It's worthless to mention that he never took the second place. The first Greek championship took place only in 1960 so IRAKLIS lost many chances to be the first and best team in Greece for the previous years. (that's why he never become the champion until today). Soccer team became professional in 1979 as all Greek clubs. The basketball team created in 1927 and became Greek champion very early in 1928 and 1935.*
Except all these IRAKLIS best team was and still is the athletics team. For many years until 1990 was one of the two best teams in Greece.
Voula Patoulidou the golden winner of 100m hurdles in Olympic games of Barcelona 1992 was an athlete of IRAKLIS.
Tasoula Kelesidou was second in discus in World Championship of Seville 1999, second in Edmondon 2001, third in Europe Cahmpionship in Munich 2002 and silver winner in Olympic games of Sydney 2000.
Alexandros Papadimitriou was third in hammer in Europe Cahmpionship in Munich 2002.
Georgios Ivanov a swimming champion was a national hero as he died for Greece during World War II.
Georgios Katsanis lost his life in Cyprus (1974)
*For more information about soccer, basketball and volleyball teams look at the corresponding pages