Officially the village is called Houthalen-Helchteren, but in reality it's a merger between Houthalen and Helchteren. The last few decades, these types of mergers happen more and more between villages, but usually there is some kind of a creative name next to it. That didn't happen here in Limburg. It did happen when it comes to football mergers in that same village.
On Helchteren soil, KFC Helson Helchteren is playing the top regional league in Limburg. But there has been a whole history preceding its current status. The neighbours from Houthalen have had their own history as well and the Helchteren one started with Football Club White Star Helchteren in 1943. Only six years later, their star wasn't so white anymore. Not long after White Star was created, Football Club Flandria Helchteren rose like a phoenix, but they turned into dust in 1945 already.
A third attempt in 1957 seemed to be a huge success. Helchteren Voetbalvereniging started that year and they went into a very long streak in the lower division in the Limburg area. They only managed to reach the top regional league in 1998. In the meantime - in 1975 - Sportklub Sonnis Helchteren had joined the ranks as well. And they too managed to reach the top regional league for the first time in 1998. A unique event in Helchteren.
During the following years, both teams forgot to build on those successes. Helchteren VV was the first to go back down, but SK Sonnis eventually followed that example. The screams for a merger became louder and in 2005 the inevitable happened. Football Club Helson Helchteren was born. In reality it's an almost exact continuation of VV, but there's a very charming reference to the old Sonnis. FC Helson didn't have the immediate successes it had hoped for though. After a relegation to the third regional leagues however, they started looking up and almost never had to look down again.
Football Club Helson Helchteren promoted to the second regional league in 2009 and in 2013 they managed to get back to the top regional league, just like the two separate teams did before. This time they could build on that success. In 2016 the team went to the national divisions for the very first time, albeit for only one year. They were back in 2018 and this time their luck lasted for two years. Right now Helson is back in the top regional league. But their ambition remains the same. It's written in the Helchteren stars to go back to the national divisions sooner or later. And it seems their modern seated stand and their oldschool standing area are more than ready for that.
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