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Zareh Couyoumdjian

Full name: Zareh Kircor Couyoumdjian
Other name(s): Zareck Couyoumdzian
Gender: Male
Born: 1883 in Manchester, Greater Manchester, Great Britain
Died: October 12, 1946 in Westchester, New York, United States
Affiliations: Smyrna Football Club, Ä°zmir (TUR)
Country: GBR Great Britain
Sport: Football

Medals: 1 Silver (1 Total)


Born in Manchester, Zareh Couyoumdjian was the son of Armenian Kircor Couyoumdjian and they lived amongst an Armenia community in Chorlton-on-Medlock in the heart of the Lancashiure city. Kircor was born in Smryna in the Ottoman Empire and after settling in England he obtained British citizenship on 9 January 1878. Kircor was a shipping agent and towards the end of the 19th century he returned to Smyrna with his new family. Sadly he died in 1909.

Little is known of Zareh’s sporting background in the Levant but he was a member of the Smyrna football team at the 1906 Athens Olympics. However, away from the sporting fields he gained a reputation as a professional gambler and in 1919 he was part of what became known as the ‘Greek Syndicate’. The syndicate grew from three to five members and they traveled around Europe taking money off many top casinos and that is probably why Couyoumdjian and his wife Catherine ended up living in Monte Carlo where, in 1933 he placed an order for the building of a new 201-ton yacht. It was called ‘Gulzar’ after his mother, and in 1938 it was chartered by the Duke of Windsor for a Mediterranean holiday. Two years later it was seconded by the Admiralty as an auxiliary patrol yacht and sunk as a result of an enemy air raid on Dover Harbour. Fortunately there was no loss of life.

Whilst Zareh Couyoumdjian was a British subject by birth, he and his wife later became naturalized US citizens and he died in New York in 1946. In his English will he left over £2 million in present-day terms to his wife Catherine so it looks like gambling did pay in this case.


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1906 Summer Athina Football Men's Football Smyrna GBR 2 Silver

Men's Football

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank Date Result G
1906 Summer Athina Football Smyrna GBR Final Standings 2 1906-04-23 0
1906 Summer Athina Football Smyrna GBR Final Round Match 2/3 1 1906-04-25 Smyrna 3, Thessaloníki-1 0
1906 Summer Athina Football Smyrna GBR Semi-Finals Match #2 2 1906-04-23 DEN 5, Smyrna 1
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