GROUND // Arena Gaston Roelants - Daring Club Leuven

Last week we shared the stadium of OHL, a team which is a fusion of three older teams. We already gave a small history on Zwarte Duivels Oud-Heverlee and Stade Leuven. But we also promised a little surprise for this week. Well... here you can find the old stadium of Daring Club Leuven, the third team that forms a part of the now existing OHL.

The Gaston Roelants AtletiekArena is now being used by the athletics team of Daring Club Leuven, but until 2002 the football team was resided there as well. Daring Club Leuven was originally founded in 1922 as Sporting Club Louvain. It was back then the third team in Leuven, next to Stade Louvaniste (Stade Leuven) and Victoria FC Louvain. It didn't take long before Sporting Club reached the national divisions. In 1928 they promoted to third division. They had to play against Stade and Victoria, but they turned out to be less successful. After only one season they relegated back to the regional leagues.



In 1934 they returned and this time they had more success. Up until WWII they stayed in third division, sometimes ending up in very nice spots. After WWII Sporting Club decided to cease football activities and merge with Victoria to become Daring Club Leuven. One year later, in 1946, they relegated to the regional leagues for one season, but quickly returned. In 1947 Hooger Op FC Leuven decided to merge with Daring Club Leuven as well. Hooger Op included their athletics team into the merge (a team that was founded in 1942 as Athletiek Park Leopold, changed into Olympic Leuven Athletiek in 1943 and merged with Hooger Op FC Leuven in 1945).



This merge proved to be a success. In 1951 they promoted to second division for the first time, following Stade Leuven. This was only a one time hit, as they relegated to third division after only one year. During the 50s they would remain in third division, seeing Stade Leuven going from second division to fourth division and therefore becoming the best team in Leuven. The 60s were not so good however. In 1964 they relegated to fourth division as well and 1967 even to the regional leagues, making Stade the best team in Leuven again. Daring Club would have one successful decade again. During the 70s they returned to fourth division, but in 1979 they went back to the regional leagues, this time forever.




In 2002 the decision was made to merge with Stade Leuven and Zwarte Duivels Oud-Heverlee. Zwarte Duivels Oud-Heverlee are being remembered by the OH in the name OHL, Stade Leuven is being remembered due to their stadium, but unfortunately there is nothing left of Daring Club Leuven. They left their stadium and the football team was completely dissolved. Some old members founded a futsal team, Daring Leuven. The athletics team stayed independent however and remained in the old stadium in Kessel-Lo. The stadium was renamed to one of the golden boys of the athletics team and is called AtletiekArena Gaston Roelants now.


We hope this was a very nice surprise as it's a stadium that's often forgotten by many, but when you look at the concrete grandstand and its special architectural forms this is a pure beauty not to be missed!



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