SV Zulte Waregem is definitely the number one team in Waregem, but it's not the only football club. Racing Waregem has been playing its entire existence in the shadow of the bigger neighbour. And still there is an unexpected link between the two. Racing even managed to get second division football in their Mirakelstadion.
SV Zulte Waregem and Racing Waregem are the only two teams in the city of Waregem. While Essevee is creating a future in first division, Rassing (as they call themselves) managed to get far as well. Right now they are in the top regional league, but the derby feeling is still very much alive. No matter how intense the derby feelings can be, the two of them are closer to each other than you'd expect. Let's rewind to the start of the current SV Zulte Waregem. In 1925 Waereghem Sportif was created. Not the oldest, but the oldest with an actual matricule number.
From 1905 to 1908 there was Union de la Lys Vive Saint-Eloi Waereghem and in 1912 you had Waereghem Football Club for a couple of months. Between 1912 and 1913 Voetbal Vereeniging Waereghem was active for a while and Sporting Club de Waereghem had a brief spell from 1921 to 1923. The first constant team only started in 1925 with the creation of Sportif. Later on they changed their name into FC Waereghem Sportief. They didn't have a lot of competition in the city as many teams created afterwards quickly ceased activities again. Two exceptions though. Red Star Waereghem (founded in 1928) and the current Racing Waregem.
While Sportief and Red Star gave up their matricule numbers in 1946 by merging to become Sportvereeniging Waregem (the new merger had to become a new member resulting in a new matricule number as well), the story of Rassing began in 1941 as Racing Kleithoek Waereghem. It's rumoured the first players were men hiding from the Germans. It is a fact however the name of the team referred to Kleithoek, a neighbourhood in Waregem, and Racing Club de Bruxelles, one of the top teams in Belgium. Rassing would spend its' first couple of years as a satellite team of Sportief, but as of 1944 they became completely independent and two years later the name was officially changed into Racing Waregem.
For years and years the team went up and down in the regional leagues and they had to move to new locations quite frequently. It would take until 1978 when they found their final home in the Mirakelstadion (Miracle stadium). And miracles would happen. In 1997 the team managed to reach fourth division and the national leagues for the very first time and after a relegation a year later they were determined to go for more. In 2001 the team was back in fourth division and in 2004 third division followed. Their absolute peak happened in 2006 when they promoted to second division.
After that one year in second division they went down almost as fast as they went up. By 2015 Rassing was back in the regional leagues where they are still playing right now. Now it's no longer the smaller team in Waregem, but a team with pride and certain achievements. And possibilities to go back to the national leagues in the future!
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