Heusden seems to be quite a popular name for a village. There's one in The Netherlands, but Belgium even has two. The Heusden in Limburg however is much better known than the Heusden in East Flanders when you're into football.
In the meantime Heusden (in Limburg) did become Heusden-Zolder officially. Although both village centers, Heusden and Zolder, still are active separately. As a neighbour of Beringen and the entrance gate to Hasselt and Genk, Heusden-Zolder had to look up to quite some bigger teams closeby. But at one point they were at the same level.
Let's go back to the very beginning. Heusden only got its own team in 1936. That year Sportkring Heusden was founded. Almost immediately they started playing in De Noordberm, right in the center of the village. A local tradition started and would continue for decades. That tradition got some local derby fever as of 1956, when Hal Sport Heusden was created. The local rivalry took off.
But things would get really interesting once the 90s approached. SK Heusden would become KSK Heusden in 1986 and the neighbours would change their name from Hal Sport into Berkenbos Voetbalvereniging Heusden. The latter underwent a merger in 1993. Football Club Palermo Lady's Heusden, created in 1977, was completely absorbed and the name would remain the same. You can read more about this team here.
KSK Heusden would experience a merger as well before the start of the new millennium. In 1999 they absorbed Koninklijke Helzold Football Club Zolder, yet another team with a very nice history and a magnificent stadium. More on that team here. Koninklijke Heusden-Zolder was born. In the meantime the club had some magical years and they had gone from the second regional league to the third national division.
In the first year after the merger Koninklijke Heusden-Zolder managed to promote to the second division immediately. And even there the train would continue to go on. Quickly they were in the running for a spot with the elite. The Belgian FA did worry about their stadium at De Noordberm though. In Koninklijke Heusden-Zolder's last year in second division, they had to start looking for other solutions. When Heusden-Zolder promoted to the first division, they were obliged to move out. Their neighbours from Genk offered a solution.
After only a year though Heusden-Zolder already relegated back to the second division. The name was changed into Koninklijke Beringen-Heusden-Zolder and the team moved to the legendary Mijnstadion in Beringen. But the quick peak in the national division took a heavy financial toll. KBHZ couldn't manage any longer and had to file for bankruptcy in 2006. Some of the former board members stepped into the Berkenbos VV Heusden project. That team changed their name into KVV Heusden-Zolder in 2006, but there was never an official merger.
The board of the fanclub didn't agree with that move though. They eventually decided to form their own team as a successor and SK Heusden 06 was born in 2006. They wanted to build a new and financially stable team. In the meantime we're almost 13 years further down the road and they seem to succeed. Despite the fact SK Heusden 06 is still playing the lowest regional league in Limburg and has a high focus on their youth teams, they did manage to keep playing in De Noordberm. A legendary stadium which - apart from the disappearance of the floodlights and the removed VIP stand - didn't change one bit from back when they had their success in the second division.
There's one sassy little detail to mention though. The old matricule number of K Beringen-Heusden-Zolder - the original SK Heusden - never got deleted officially. It's still an active number within the Belgian FA, but without any active team linked to it. Would SK Heusden 06 ever consider taking back its old matricule number? Only time will tell. It is very remarkable the matricule number never really disappeared. Whatever may be, the football joy seems to have returned in Heusden. And who knows, maybe national football will return there one day...
If you want to enjoy our articles in Dutch, you can read them here.