Welcome to this all too common tale of how modern football is taking over the world. The wonderful story about the once so charming local football and how the world evolved. About the disappearance of village derbies.
Once upon a time there was this village called Saint-Hubert. This small town had about six football clubs at one point, with RFC Saint-Hubert being the longest-lasting, created just before WWII. Olympic and Racing Saint-Hubert were born earlier, but went bust before 1926. Afterwards RJS Poix, Standard Club Arville, US Awenne, JSC Vesquevilloise and FC Saint-Hubert Ramillies joined the party.
We will concentrate our story on RJS Poix, as an example on how modern days have taken over the oldschool football in the small village life. JS Poix was founded in 1948, and was the second oldest club in the wider region of Saint-Hubert. Just like all of the other teams it mostly fought their battles in the regional leagues, and the intra village derbies weren't an exception at all. Most atmospheric were these games, as they should be.
But as football became more and more professionalised, money gained importance and television started conquering people's homes. The outdoor activities fell more and more in a dark and forgotten corner. Less fans showed up to support their locals, youngsters with talent moved to bigger clubs in the neighbourhood and volunteers became very scarce. The six Saint-Hubert based clubs started to struggle and the Keep Your Head Up philosophy was hard to maintain.
RJS Poix had to cease all activities in 2005. The first in a series of unfortunate events. By 2010 SC Arville had to make the same decision and somewhere along the way FC Saint-Hubert Ramillies disappeared as well. By 2017 things even took a turn for the worse. US Awenne and JSC Vesquevilloise didn't have any senior nor youth teams anymore. Both of them only had one reserve line-up. In the meantime (2019) JSC Vesquevilloise disappeared also.
No more derbies in Saint-Hubert as RFC Saint-Hubert, the oldest of them all, is the only remaining club with a first team. US Awenne is still there, but for how much longer? Luckily oldschool football lovers and groundhoppers can still visit the remainings of the Rue de l'Usine (RJS Poix): a beautiful ground with wonderful surroundings. No more football will be seen here. Horses have taken over the pitch.
And as nature find its way again on the ground, we can see small trees are growing all over the place. With this we would like to conclude our story. As for us, we have come full circle: as football began with trees on pitches (let's not forget the beech, standing tall on Royale Union Limbourg FC's old ground), they are now growing back.