GROUND // Stade du Fiestaux - RC Charleroi-Couillet-Fleurus

Charleroi is one of those few cities that have a lot of football teams with great results on fairly high levels. Currently there are three teams out of Charleroi in the national divisions. Royal Sporting du Pays de Charleroi plays in first division (often playing for European football - we visited the stadium last season) and Royal Olympic Club de Charleroi-Marchienne just won the championship in fourth division (we still have to visit their Stade de la Neuville). In the same division as ROC de Charleroi-Marchienne there is also RC Charleroi-Couillet-Fleurus, still playing for promotion.

RC Charleroi-Couillet-Fleurus is definitely the team in Charleroi with the most confusing history, especially the past 5-10 years. It all started in 1919 when the team was created named Cercle Sportif Couillet. Couillet is a smaller village that forms a part of the greater Charleroi. CS Couillet joined the Belgian FA in 1920 (receiving matricule number 94) and in 1934 they already managed to reached the national leagues. After only three years they relegated back to the regional leagues though. In 1945 a first official name change happened when the company team Amicale Sportive de Couillet ceased to exist. CS Couillet took over their activities and officiale became Amicale Cercle Sportif Couillet.



Shortly after the demission of Amicale Sportive de Couillet another team was founded names Union Sportive Couillet d'Amérique. They never had any big results and in 1977 the two teams in Couillet decided to join forces and they merged to become Royale Association Cercle Sportif Couillet. Between the 1940s and 2000 the team always played in the regional leagues, but in 2000 they finally managed to return to the national leagues. In 2004 they even promoted to third division. This lasted until 2008 when the team relegated back to fourth division.



Then the year 2009 started and the real confusing years started for RACS Couillet. That year RAA Louviéroise suffered financial problems and had to cease all activities. The team disappeared from first division. RACS Couillet decided to co-operate with the remaining board members of RAA Louviéroise. The teams didn't merge, but RACS Couillet changed their name into Foutball Couillet-La Louvière, moved to Stade Du Tivoli in La Louvière, but kept playing in fourth division with matricule number 94. This was the first time RACS Couillet left their Stade du Fiestaux. Only two years later everything in that region changed again. URS du Centre (Centre is near La Louvière changed their name into UR La Louvière Centre and moved to Stade Du Tivoli and the recently moved Foutball Couillet-La Louvière changed their name into FC Charleroi and moved back to Stade du Fiestaux. At the same time FC Charleroi started working together with RFCS Marcinelle although they didn't officially merge. During the next season the team colours and logo changed.



But this still wasn't the end. Again two years later everything changed again for FC Charleroi. In 2013 the team merged with RJS Heppignies-Lambusart-Fleurus (this team was already a merged team. Royale Etoile Sportive Fleurusienne merged with Royal Fleurus Sports (initially founded as Union Fleurus) and became Royale Union Sportive Fleurus. Later on they merged with SC Lambusart to become Sporting Club Lambusart-Fleurus. Again a few years later they merged with Jeunesse Sportive Heppignies and became Royal Jeunesse Sporting Club Heppignies-Lambusart-Fleurus). The name was changed into Charleroi Fleurs (probably because it was too difficult to incorporate Couillet, Charleroi, Heppignies, Lambusart and Fleurus in one name). For the very first time though the new team didn't use matricule number 94, but rather played under the matricule number of the old RJS Heppignies-Lambusart-Fleurus. Matricule number 94 was put out for sale. Because the president didn't find a buyer he nominated a youth team to play under matricule number 94 and was beaten heavily throughout the season with losses against Sint-Eloois-Winkel-Sport and OMS Ingelmunster (12-0 and 16-0). The official FC Charleroi relegated to the regional leagues after that season.


But after that season again there were big changes. Get ready for a complicated story. Keep in mind there was a team called Charleroi Fleurus (5192) and a team called FC Charleroi (94).



RFC Sérésien was bought by FC Metz and they wanted to great old Sérésien to go back to the higher leagues as soon as possible. They decided to buy a matricule number from a team in second division which they found in Boussu Dour Borinage. Matricule number 23 of RFC Sérésien officially merged with number 94 and disappeared. RFC Sérésien took over matricule number 167 of Boussu Dour Borinage and became Seraing United. Boussu Dour Borinage from their part bought matricule number 5192 from Charleroi Fleurus and became Francs Borains. FC Charleroi remained, merged with matricule number 23 but kept playing under matricule number 94 (the original one from CS Couillet in 1919) and changed their name (again) into RC Charleroi-Couillet-Fleurus.

Y'all still with us?


The new team started playing in the highest regional league after the disastrous season the youth team of FC Charleroi had to experience and manged to go back to the national leagues after only one year.



Interesting to know: Silvio Proto played with RACS Couillet in the youth teams and afterwards with Football Couillet-La Louvière before transferring to RSC Anderlecht. Tibor Balog (once renomated player at Sporting Charleroi) ended his football career at RACS Couillet and started his training career at the same team. Afterwards he also was a trainer at Sporting Charleroi and Olympique Charleroi, covering the three big Charleroi teams.


Now for the stadium. Stade du Fiestaux is a wonderful and neat little ground in the picturesque Couillet. A big difference with the center of Charleroi and the industrial area of Marchienne. It actually resides in the backyard of something that looks like a school or a youth area and has some remarkable youngsters playgrounds within the stadium. The grandstand is magnicifent and contains the right amount of wood. Just the way we like it!




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