GROUND // Sportpark Spoordijk - FC Tilburg (The Netherlands)

Updated: Apr 24

When we say Tilburg, you say Willem II. But there is more. We would also say FC Tilburg. A club existing since 2017, but with a history of three different teams before. Way before. NOAD, RKTVV and TSV LONGA decided to join forces and Fusie Club Tilburg was the end result.



Football already started in 1896 in Tilburg with the creation of Willem II (first known as Tilburgia). But soon after, more teams would join. NOAD was created in 1910 and there is a bit of doubt on what the name stands for exactly. Most commonly used is the phrase Niet Ophouden Altijd Doorspelen (Don't Stop Always Keep On Playing). But some sources say it could be Nooit Ophouden Altijd Doorgaan (Never Stop Continue Forever).



It wouldn't take long before the team actually achieved some results. In 1918 they promoted to the first division and apart from one year they would stay there until 1961. They were also part of the creation of professional football in 1954 in The Netherlands, but it wouldn't be for long. The first two years they ended mid table, but as the years progressed it became more and more difficult to stay in the top league. In 1959 they relegated a first time, only to come back a year later. 1961 would be their last year in the professional first division.



Only two years later the team already found themselves in third division and in 1971 their professional days were over. There were plans to merge with Willem II and continue as a professional team, but Willem II backed out. NOAD converted into an amateur team and would play most of the coming years in the second and third amateur divisions. Occasionally a first division came along, but so did the fourth division. In 2017 the NOAD story ended. And so did their sports park. Ever since that has been abandoned (pictured here as well, but from a distance). Sadly enough it's rather difficult to visit their lost ground.



A second team that got involved in the merger is RKTVV. They were founded in 1917 and the story behind the creation is rather peculiar. That year a mailman had to deliver mail to a football team which unfortunately had ceased to exist. The mailman knew the local bakery had sons playing football, so he delivered the mail there instead. This mail turned out to be an invitation to play games against ODO. The eldest son of the baker asked some friends to form a team and later on RKTVV was founded by those boys.



At first the team played in a Catholic FA, but later on they joined the Dutch FA. Unlike NOAD they never made it to the professional leagues. They did play first division before the professional leagues were created and after 1954 the team continued in the amateur leagues. First and second amateur divisions would be where they spent most of their days. But just like NOAD, an occasional third and fourth division came along as well. Exactly 100 years after their creation, they went up in the mentioned merger. Their stadium is now used as a training ground for Willem II.



Now on to the third team; TSV LONGA. Although it's officially the youngest team of the three with a creation in 1920, they actually already started in 1916. The Tilburgsche Sportvereeniging Lichaams Ontwikkeling Na Gedane Arbeid (Physical Development After Done Labour) started off with athletics and gymnastics. Later on football was added. Football became bigger and bigger and in 1920 they officially went their own way. With one small change in their name. TSV Lichaams Ontwikkeling Na Geestes Arbeid (Physical Development After Mind Labour).




And they too managed to get some nice results. In 1927 they promoted to first division and they would stay there until the creation of professional football leagues in 1954. After two years the club relegated to second division and in 1965 TSV LONGA returned to the amateur leagues. In those amateur leagues they proved to be the most successful of the three. A lot of years in the first and second amateur division, but also quite some years in the Hoofdklasse. Their stadium was chosen as the new home ground of Fusie Club Tilburg (Merger Club Tilburg). Shame to see the terracing got demolished though. The new team started in the first amateur division, but relegated to the second division after two years.



If you want to enjoy our articles in Dutch, you can read them here.