We are not in France very often, but maybe we should cross the southern border more often. Those few visits brought us some true treasures. The same thing happened when we hopped over the Belgian border to Tourcoing.
Tourcoing has been an industrial city since the industrial revolution, like more cities alike in the north west of France. That's an ideal environment to establish a football team. This has been proven before in England. In those ages (read 19th century) it wasn't uncommon to add a football team to an already existing multi sports team. No different in Tourcoing. In 1898 Union Sportive Tourquennoise was founded. Four years later they added a football team.
Even before WWI Union Sportive Tourquennoise managed to get some impressive results. They became champions of the north of France four times and in 1910 they even added the French title. After the war the successes continued. Three more titles in the north were added. After the last one in 1932, the official national divisions were created in France, along with the professional football status. US Tourquennoise joined the game, but never made it further than second division. In 1935 they abandoned their professional status. But then WWII happened.
After that second big war, US Tourquennoise gave up its identity. The team joined a merger with RC Roubaix, Excelsior Roubaix and US Roubaix to become Club Olympique Roubaix-Tourcoing. They did manage to reach the national first division and in 1947 they even became champions. But the fun didn't last. In 1955 Club Olympique Roubaix-Tourcoing relegated to the second division and the guys from Tourcoing had enough of it. In 1957 they left the merger to become independent again. Union Sportive de Tourcoing was born again.
The wonderful years were officially over though. Throughout the years UST seemed to be satisfied with the status of amateur team and they spent quite some years in the national fourth division. Up until 1990 it remained relatively peaceful. That year however they absorbed AS Jean-Macé Tourcoing and became Tourcoing Football Club. For a short while the team played in the third division, but slowly they fell down the leagues to the regional divisions. In 2010 they did change their name into Union Sport Tourcoing Football Club.
The last few years they managed to reach national football again, but right now Tourcoing is in the top regional league. In 2018 the team went back to the old name of Union Sportive Tourquennoise. Hopefully by doing this, the old glory years will come back as well. US Tourquennoise gave French football so much. Not only on those first few decades, but also more recently. Names like Didier Drogba and Yohan Cabaye were trained in the youth divisions of this team. Something to be proud of!
If you want to enjoy our articles in Dutch, you can read them here.