Belgium is packed with beautiful lost grounds across the complete country. But every once in a while we come across hidden treasures or lesser known abandoned football pitches. The Robert Proot Stadion at the coast line has already been visited by some groundhoppers, but still there is not a lot information available on this ground.
Not that far away from De Panne, near the coast line at Middelkerke the Robert Proot Stadion has been abandoned since 2013. There have been many plans afterwards from the city council, but up until now nothing has been done with the stadium or the area. It was originally played in by Gold Star Middelkerke, but they left after one of their mergers.
It all started in 1923. Gold Star Middelkerke first saw the football daylights, but it isn't immediately clear if they underwent any name changes across the decades or what their results were in the regional leagues in West Flanders. The team never reached the national divisions. 80 years after they first started playing football, the team decided to merge with VV Leffinge to K Gold Star Middelkerke-Leffinge. It's not immediately clear if they had to merge due to financial problems or not. It was already known the city council of Middelkerke wanted and still wants to go to one big team in their area. It's possible this merger was already a first step into that direction. Next to KGS Middelkerke-Leffinge there also were Davo Westende, Davo Leffinge, SK Spermalie and SC Lombardsijde.
The new team continued with the matricule number of KGS Middelkerke and continued using the Robert Proot Stadion. This stadium was actually only built in 1988, so all in all this was still a fairly recent stadium. But the history ended ten years after the first merger; in 2013. Not sure about the exact reason again (it could also be due to the picture the city council had in mind of one big team), but in 2013 KGS Middelkerke-Leffinge and SK Spermalie underwent a merger. SK Spermalie was a way younger team but also never reached the national divisions. The new team name became SK Spermalie-Middelkerke and the full identity and facilities of Spermalie were kept.
Until it becomes clear what the future is for this ground, we can still enjoy it to the fullest. Only a couple of 100 meters away from the beach, next to a beautiful walking path... definitely an absolute gem.