I’ve decided to blog random bits of history, whether it be about the Belgian Pro League, the second tier, European competition or The Belgian Cup (Beker van Belgie). The reason I’ve thought up this segment is not only to educate myself about the past, but to anyone who reads this, if anyone actually does, and to see that Belgian football isn’t about 1 or 2 teams, or the odd great player produced quite regularly actually, and that teams in the past competed and that the impossible is sometimes possible.
This post is possibly the trickiest and pretty brief when it comes to my blogs. I’ve spent a fair bit of time looking up players, scorelines and any more information and it is near impossible. I’m either typing in the wrong questions for research or I’m being an idiot. However, the reason I’m doing a bit of an odd Back in Time is because it’s easy to give preference to the top league clubs, and obviously at one point, K. Beerschot V.A.C were as this is about their top flight success, but the club no longer exists, like most in Belgium.
So…From what I’ve found, the club were managed by former Austrian footballer Ferdinand Wesely, who oversaw the last ever title win the year the second world war began. The team were all Belgian by the looks of it, and I say all Belgian because they may have represented the Belgium National team, but not all were born there. For example, 2 of the title winners in Stanley van den Eynde and Charles Vanden Wouwer weren‘t actually from Belgium, as hard as they tried with their names, but were Dutch and English respectively. All the team played for Belgium, well, the players that I found did, which showed how strong they actually were.
The league at the time did consist of some big names like Mechelen, Anderlecht, Standard Liege and Club Brugge. I’ve typed them in that order as that’s how they finished above each other, leaving Brugge last as that’s where they finished, bottom of the pile in 14th! Beerschot finished top after 26 games with 41 points. Seven clear of second placed Lierse. And with 19 wins out of 26 with just 4 defeats, that not too bad.
Some of the players amongst the squad were Frans Gommers, Corneel Seys, Pierre Meuldermans, John van Alphen and Arthur Ceuleers and obviously including the 2 players previously mentioned. The reason I’ve named certain names is because the whole squad is difficult to find in terms of research, but what brought these players together was the fact the only ever won 2 league titles, both back to back with Beerschot. They would’ve been considered a close group now, retaining their title, bit then players played for the love of football and maybe the second world war stopped Beerschot from progressing even further? We’ll never know…
Of course now, K. Beerschot V.A.C no longer exist. The club from Antwerp merged with Germinal Ekeren to make up Germinal Beerschot who challenged in the top flight early in this millennium, until unfortunately dissolving altogether in 2013 as Beerschot A.C.
Trying to rebuild, they are beginning again from the Provincial Leagues merging again, negotiating their way back into football. To have such history lost in the way clubs can in Belgium is upsetting, and with a lot of damage which may be beyond repair, hopefully we may see this team rise from the ashes like a phoenix and be top of the pile once again like the heroes of 1938/39.
Gone… But not forgotten