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GROUND // Stade Communal - Crossing & Renaissance Club Schaerbeek

Schaerbeek used to have a first division team in a majestic stadium, but in the early 80s the team moved to Elewijt and fell down to the regional levels. Originally founded as Crossing FC Ganshoren, later moved and changed to Royal Crossing Club Molenbeek, Royal Crossing Club de Schaerbeek and Royal Crossing Elewijt, the biggest successes were in the 70s and 80s when the team was playing in Stade du Crossing in Schaerbeek as Royal Crossing Club de Schaerbeek. Schaerbeek was left hopeless with only regional teams and an empty majestic stadium. But the past few years this all changed.

Officially the name of the stadium now is Stade Communal de Schaerbeek (the reason as to why will become clear), but everyone still calls it Stade du Crossing. The history of the stadium already goes back a long way to RCS Schaerbeek. Royal Cercle Sportif de Schaerbeek was founded in 1912 and played in the national divisions during the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s up until 1968. Officially they never left the national divisions as in 1968 the great team of Schaerbeek merged with Royal Crossing Club Molenbeek to become Royal Crossing Club de Schaerbeek. The team would return to the highest levels and achieve quite some results until the early 80s when they fell back to the regional levels and moved to Elewijt.

Between 1983 and 2012 the stadium was left abandoned and fell into great decay. Goundhoppers might recognize Stade du Crossing as a stadium that was about to fall apart. The Brussels region made it a protected monument and decided to renovate the stadium. In 2012 the stadium was fully renovated and two teams started playing in the stadium again; Crossing Schaerbeek and Renaissance Club Schaerbeek. For obvious reasons the name of the stadium was changed into Stade Communal de Schaerbeek.

Crossing Schaerbeek was founded during WWII as Union Sportive Albert Schaerbeek. The team started playing in Stade Chazal, right next to Stade du Crossing, both of them situated in the beautiful Parc Josaphat. RUS Albert Schaerbeek never played in the national divisions, but they did reach the highest regional level in the first years of the new millennium. In 2012 the team merged with RFC Evere to become Crossing Schaerbeek Evere. The team name was chosen to revive the great history of Royal Crossing Club de Schaerbeek. In 2013 the team name was shortened into Crossing Schaerbeek. Up until now they are still in 5th division, the highest regional level in Brabant. Nice to know – Désiré Mbonabucya (former KV Mechelen, Gaziantepspor and Sint-Truidense VV) played for the old RUS Albert Schaerbeek at the end of his career, as well as Ibrahim Tankary (former Charleroi SC, Lommel SK, FC Brussels, SV Zulte Waregem, Union St-Gilloise and St Mirren).

Crossing Schaerbeek is not only sharing the stadium, but they are also playing in the same division as Renaissance Club Schaerbeek. Renaissance Club Schaerbeek is a sportive continuation of Racing Club de Schaerbeek. RC de Schaerbeek was founded in 1968 and always played in the regional levels, often against RUS Albert Schaerbeek and the younger FC Kosova Schaerbeek. But in 2007 they started to have big successes. In five years time they went from the lowest division in Brabant to the highest regional level. In 2012 they met Crossing Schaerbeek (the old RUS Albert Schaerbeek). After two years they relegated back to 6th division, but the board started a procedure in order not to relegate after all. In 2014, the year they would relegate, they bought the matricule number of SK Terjoden-Welle. SK Terjoden-Welle only had reached the national divisions in the last few years (2010-2014), but after 70 year old history the team had to file for bankruptcy. RC de Schaerbeek bought their matricule number and instead of relegating to 6th division the team actually promoted to 4th division and hence was the first team out of Schaerbeek to reach the national divisions after Royal Crossing Club de Schaerbeek. After buying the matricule number Racing Club de Schaerbeek changed its name into Renaissance Club Schaerbeek. After only one year the team already relegated back to 5th division.

The stadium definitely regained the majestic look and feel of the 70s and early 80s. We went to visit the derby between Crossing Schaerbeek and Renaissance Club Schaerbeek and we could see the enthusiasm is also already there. We sincerely hope one of the Schaerbeek teams will return to the national divisions soon.


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