If we are honest, Herk-de-Stad only rings a bell because of Rock Herk, one of Belgium's oldest alternative music festivals. Those concerts take place around Herk FC’s football ground. That turns out to be quite an interesting club, having even played national football. Time for a visit!
As the name suggests, Herk-de-Stad (Herk the city) is a small-scale city that carries a long history. In the 14th century, the Limburg town received its city rights. For football, we have to fast forward several centuries, as it was in 1929 that Sporting Club Herck-la-Ville became the first Herk club to obtain a football matricule number. With the number 1366, SC Herck-la-Ville started out in the Third Provincial league of Limburg.
Two years after joining the Belgian FA, Sporting Club Herck-la-Ville changed its name to the Flemish spelled Sporting Standaard Verbroedering Herck-de-Stad. Colloquially, this was shortened to SSV Herck-de-Stad. SSV gained promotion and made it to the Second Provincial level in 1932. The club kept playing in the Second and Third Provincial level until it ceased all activities in 1949.
After the demise of SSV Herck-de-Stad, the Limburg town fortunately did not have to continue without football. In the same year, 1949, Herk-de-Stad FC was born. The Belgian FA gave the club the matricule number 5155 and they started playing football at the current location at the Pikkeleerstraat. The red-greens started out in the Third Provincial division and stayed there for eight seasons. In 1957, Herk-de-Stad FC had its first major success. The club became league champions and moved up a tier for the first time in its existence.
For more than a decade, Herk-de-Stad FC was a stable club in the Second Provincial league. More so, the club managed to become champion and gain promotion in 1970. The very first season in the highest provincial division was thus a fact in 1970-71. Unfortunately, the stay in the First Provincial league was initially short-lived, as after that season Herk-de-Stad FC was relegated again. But the club had a taste for it and regularly climbed back up to the First Provincial league over the following decades.
All those years in the First Provincial league had increased the demand for better infrastructure. In 1989, the club built a new cafeteria, which still feels modern today. The seating stand was added to the clubhouse in 2011, because another highlight was coming around the corner: Herk-de-Stad FC’s very first season in national football!
After being crowned champions in the First Provincial league in 2010, Herk-de-Stad FC got its first taste of Fourth National Division in the 2010-11 season. The very first home game in national football was a spectacular 3-3 draw against Patro Eisden Maasmechelen. The new Fourth Division side started off like a rocket with 11 out of 15 points. Thanks in part to that good start, Herk-de-Stad FC was able to save themselves from relegation that season. Unfortunately after the 2011-2012 season, and after two seasons in national football, the club ended up in the provincial leagues again.
Two times, Herk FC was close to a promotion to national football again. In both 2018 and 2019, they were able to qualify for the final play offs, but unfortunately did not succeed. Currently Herk FC play in the First Provincial league, where they are somewhere halfway down the standings. The club does have the infrastructural capabilities to re-enter national football. We wonder if that will ever come true again...
If you want to enjoy our articles in Dutch, you can read them here.