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GROUND // Stade Joseph Lambert - RUW Ciney (lost ground)

The iconic stadium of RUW Ciney is ready to be demolished. Recently the team took a drastic decision and this one had big consequences for the Stade Joseph Lambert. As of next season every fan can enjoy a brand new stadium a couple of kilometers away from their current ground.

Look. We understand football teams are taking these decisions more and more lately. They have to grow with current days and their stadiums have to be up to speed as well. Especially when that team has a certain ambition. But our nostalgic hearts get very sad every time news like this is being released. In a few weeks time it will be as if the Stade Joseph Lambert never existed. As if there was no tradition. As if history will be deleted.

Founded in 1924 as Football Club Union Wallonne Ciney, they joined the Belgian FA in 1925. Again a year later they received the nice matricule number 460. The start of many peaks, but also many lows. In the beginning FCUWC remained active in the regional leagues, but in full war time the team from Namur promoted to the national leagues for the very first time. This was in 1942. Up until 1948 they got a taste of what they wanted for the rest of their existence. But that year the team relegated back to the regional leagues.

After a name change in 1951 (Royale Union Wallonne Ciney) they still had to wait until 1965 to go back to the national leagues. Fourth division by then. After one year they relegated again, but in the year of live RUW Ciney returned stronger than ever. They stayed for a longer time and with an occasional good result as well. These wonderful times also brought the construction of the Stade Joseph Lambert. Started building in 1970, the stadium was finally taken in use in 1975. Unfortunately that same year they relegated back to the regional leagues.

Until the new millennium RUW Ciney went up and down between fourth national division and the top regional league. But then the real glory times started. The last 20 years have proven to be very successful for the team and it all started with a promotion to fourth division in 2005. Every year they grew stronger and their efforts paid off in 2012 when they won the league and promoted back to third division. Even then and there the results remained top notch.

But in 2019 dark clouds appeared over Ciney. The team ended last in second amateur (after the re-organization of the competition) and again a year later they relegated to the regional leagues. This downward trend is being climaxed by the demolition of the wonderful Stade J. Lambert and it beautiful terracing, authentic kantines and absolutely magnificent Elascon grandstand. In a way all of this can be seen as a fresh start. A small regroup in the regional leagues in a brand new stadium to go back where they belong. But people like us are hit in their football soul. Goodbye Stade Joseph Lambert. You have served us well!


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