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GROUND // Adrien Bergelson - RCS La Forestoise

Brussels is holy ground for groundhoppers. There are a lot of interesting stadiums, but not all of them are very well known. In the shadows of Stade Joseph Mariën there is a natural beauty to be found as well. Stade Adrien Bertelson, the homeground of the former RCS La Forestoise.

Royal Cercle Sportif La Forestoise was founded in Forest, Brussels in 1909 and carried matricule number 51 which made it one of the oldest teams in Belgium. The Green and White played on the highest levels for quite a long time, mainly before, during and directly after WWII. Around 1950 they would relegate to third and fourth division, often flirting with the regional leagues as well.

This would remain for the next 30 to 40 years. Until 1992 when they would go back to the regional leagues forever. Forever wouldn't last long though as in 1996 the decision was made to merge with Royal Uccle Léopold FC to become Royal Léopold Uccle Forestoise (these days Royal Léopold Football Club). They always played on the grounds of Stade Adrien Bertelson. Adrien Bertelson was a politician in Forest in the 40s and 50s and he was the one responsible for building the current stadium.

In 1946 RCS La Forestoise also created an athletics team. When the football team merged, the athletics team split from the football team and continued to exist up until now. They are even still active in Stade Adrien Bertelson.

But the stadium wouldn't be left with only an athletics club. Football would still be seen in this majestic stadium. Recently Churubamba BBFL started playing there. Churubamba BBFL is one of those newly created women football teams. But years before they started playing there RAS Maccabi Brussels moved to Stade Adrien Bertelson as well.

There is not a lot of information availabe on RAS Maccabi Brussels. It's one of the few Jewish football teams in Belgium which was already founded in 1953. They never made it to the big leagues. They also have a table tennis, volleyball and basketball division. The basketball team proved to be the most successfull with two Belgian cups in the 80s. The football team always played on a regional level.

Most groundhoppers will already know that the Brussels region is doing a lot for their neighbourhoods and the sports teams. Almost all teams get funds to keep their stadiums up to date, never forgetting the historical values. The stadiums of RRC Boitsfort and Racing Club de Bruxelles are even national monuments. The stadium of Crossing Schaerbeek and Renaissance Club Schaerbeek has been fully renovated and also a lot of the other teams have a new pitch thanks to the Brussels region.

Stade Adrien Bertelson however seems to be neglected. While we visited this stadium we had to persuade the people in the club house to allow us in the stadium. They suffer a lot from vandalism and they feel fully neglected by the city of Forest and the Brussels region. Once this stadium was the pride of Belgium, now it's in a great state of decay. Pure beauty for groundhoppers, but it's very understandable this is causing a lot of frustrations for the clubs.

Nice quote we heard in the club house; in the 60s the plan was to use Stade Adrien Bertelson as the homeground for the national Red Devils. Constant Vanden Stock, being coach of the Red Devils during the complete 60s, however didn't want to go there and pushed to use the Heysel grounds instead. Stade Adrien Bertelson was used as a training ground for a while, but eventually the Red Devils left the stadium.


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