Posted in Back in Time

Back in Time: Union Saint Gilloise 1934/35

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.

After their fantastic result at the weekend, I felt that I had to write about this great team that won their last top flight league title, allllll the way back in the 1930s! Doing my research, I thought I should educate myself and maybe others on this legendary team that could still be referred to as one of the greatest.

That season they won the league by 5 points in a 14 team league. The one blotch on their records are the 2 defeats that season, and the significance of those defeats is that it halted their incredible unbeaten run. Sixty…Yes 60 matches without tasting defeat. An astonishing record that is still held to this day. The defeat that ended the run  came against Daring Club De Bruxelles which would’ve been a Brussels derby. 

They lost another game that season too against Royal Beerschot, but back to the Brussels teams, there were 3 that contested in the top flight that season, but none of them being Anderlecht! The other was Royal White Star.

Winning this title was Unions last ever top flight title. Their 11th in total in which they won in a 31 year bracket and it cemented their place as the most successful Belgian club, until World War 2 broke out. Holding the matricule number of 10, this old club has maintained their name, titles, history which is a credit to them in Belgium.

During this historic spell, they had a few Belgian internationals who went to World Cups too. You have goalkeeper Andre Vandeweyer who later went on to manage Union Saint Gilloise as well as the Belgian national team. Great defenders such as Philly Smellinckx who spent the entirety of his career at the club and Felix Welkenhuysen who did the same. Free kick specialist in midfield Jean Claessens and striker Jacques van Caelenberghe, who was as loyal to the club as Smellinckx and Welkenhuysen which is a credit to them, and showed how quality they were to win so much with the club. Lastly is Jules Pappaert who was captain of this great side. Known as PETATJE, he along with the rest was a Belgian international, but in his case, his career wasn’t ended too short, as he was 40, but was in devastating fashion as he died in the mid 1940s at that age.

There’s a long way for the current crop to ever replicate what this great side achieved, but until then, this team will live on as legends!

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I am a father, a future husband and a lover of football. Which order I do love all 3 is up to you to decide

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