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GROUND // Grote Bleukens - SK Rapid Leest

You wouldn't expect it but the small village of Leest (part of Mechelen) has quite a rich football history...

In the 60s (1967 to be exact) the very first football team in Leest was founded. Back then the name was FC Telstar. They didn't join the Belgian FA immediately, but they did found their place near the river Zenne immediately. A few years later, in 1973 Vlug & Vrij Leest was founded and the two fought a lot of battles between each other. VV Leest was the first of the two to join the Belgian FA. FC Telstar didn't do that until the early 80s. By then the team name was changed into SK Leest. In 1986 VV Leest was the first team to reach the national divisions, something SK Leest is still trying to achieve up until this very day. But it didn't last long for VV and after a few years they went downwards agains.

In 1992 SK Leest joined forces with the neighbouring Rapid Mechelen. The team name was changed into SK Rapid Leest and they stayed in their current stadium. The team often played in the top regional division since the end of the 80s but always stopped there. By the end of the previous millennium VV Leest was in the lowest regional leagues again and there were more and more internal struggles. In 2004 finally a few board members had enough and created their own new team, Leest United. By 2009 VV Leest had to cease all activities and their stadium became an abandoned place (you can check that one on our website also).

SK Rapid Leest is the number one team in Leest for quite a few decades now and they have the absolute ambition to finally go to the national divisions. They have had quite a few well known players in the past as well. We see names passing by like Theo Custers and Jean-Jacques Missé Missé.

It has come to our attention by the team itself it's a possibility this stadium has to be torn down. It appears to have been built in a green zone and the city of Mechelen wants to clean up their green zones. A final decision will be made soon. But SKR Leest already has a back up plan. Since a few years they are using the abandoned stadium of the former VV Leest as a training facility and they are looking to that stadium as a possibility to move to. Of course they and we all hope they can stay where they are now. Their A pitch is nice, but their B pitch is an absolute groundhoppers dream!

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