THEIR football section won the European Cup in 1991, their ice hockey, handball and basketball sections are among the top sides in their homeland, and the club was even name-checked in a Billy Bragg song.

But now Red Star Belgrade are aiming to make their mark in the world of rugby league, starting when they visit Millom in the first round of the 2019 Challenge Cup.

Red Star’s section competing in the 13-man code have only been going since 2006, but have made big strides in the Serbian domestic competition since then and club director Matthew Wright is in no doubt as to the benefits of being under such a famous banner.

“Associating ourselves with that brand and being part of the Red Star sporting society is huge for us. It’s a huge market we can tap into with the football, basketball and even the handball team,” said Wright.

“A lot of people look at us, recognise the name and then they’ll start putting two and two together, and say ‘we didn’t realise you guys played rugby out there’.”

Red Star completed an unprecedented clean sweep of all four Serbian domestic honours in 2018 and now have their sights on making a mark on these shores.

“We’ve been there, we’ve done that and now we align ourselves to our next target of not only a really good Challenge Cup run, but also engaging our UK fanbase because we’ve developed quite a cult following,” added Wright.