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GROUND // De Wageningse Berg - FC Wageningen (lost ground, Netherlands)

24 years ago it was a sad year for Dutch football. FC Wageningen had to file for bankruptcy A piece of history disappeared and one of the most beautiful stadiums in the country has been standing there unused for almost 25 years now. Pretty unique, especially when you look at the shape of the stadium with two magnificent stands and some wonderful terracing. It would be a shame to see this stadium disappear.

It actually all started in 1911. WVV Wageningen was founded that year The very first year Velox was one of the football teams, but in 1912 they officially merged with WVV. WVV has a very odd history, but could always count on a very fanatic fanbase.

The football field De Wageningse Berg was first created in 1899 (after a hotel wanted to have a separate pitch) and WVV rented the field from 1911 until 1918. When the team reached second division in 1924 the were forced to use the stadium again, although it was in a very bad shape at that time. A year later the stadium got fully renovated but during WWII the Germans demolished the stadium unfortunately. In 1947 the stadium was renovated for a second time. Almost 30 years later WVV finally reached first division and one of the absolute top results the team ever achieved was a 1-6 victory over PSV Eindhoven in 1977 and a 2-4 victory over Ajax in 1980. Somewhere in that period (1978 to be exact) WVV decided to create FC Wageningen as a real professional team within their structure. Since that year FC Wageningen took over from WVV, but WVV still remained in the amateur leagues.

Unfortunately financial problems took over as well and only 14 years after FC Wageningen was founded the team had to cease all activities. In the meantime WVV already played on a different location and De Wageningse Berg was left abandoned. The next couple of years vandals and Mother Nature took control over the stadium. Until some volunteers decided it was enough. They are keeping the stadium clean since a year or two and they are trying to bring back some more sportive activities in the stadium.

Some anecdotes. The chairman of the club during the 70s and 80s created the after competition or play offs, a creation in which FC Wagening proved to be very active. The team also won the Dutch cup twice (as WVV in 1939 and 1948). Recently the stadium has been used as a training facility for Al Jazira. The assistant of coach Henk Ten Cate (Jan Versleijen) used to be coach of FC Wageningen. Another famous ex-coach of FC Wagening is Pim Verbeek. Two years ago a group around some former professional football clubs tried to start up a small competition between those clubs in their previous stadiums. FC Wageningen was on the shortlist as well, but unfortunately after only game and a lot of rioting the competition was dismissed and all the fans wanting to see games again in their stadiums got left behind with nothing but hopes and dreams.

De Wageningse Berg is pure groundhopping heaven and a lot of our fellow groundhoppers have been there already. We do want to mention that if you haven’t been there before or you want to go again, make it quick. As the stadium is going to be fully renovated again soon to create the Future Center Wageningen.


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