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GROUND // Stade du Pairay - Seraing United

Updated: Feb 21, 2018

When we go over the Belgian football history Brussels is one of those remarkable cities, but Liège is also heaven for the football fan. Liège has a great football history with dozens of teams. But at least three teams made a great impact in the Belgian football history.

RFC Seraing was one of the oldest teams in Liège (founded in 1904) and had Stade du Pairay built for them in 1906. Along the years the stadium expanded and extra grandstands were built in different styles. It was originally named Stade de la Boverie. In 1984 the stadium was completely renovated and it got its looks it has these days. RFC Seraing was, as mentioned before, the first team to play there (most of its existence the team was known as RFC Sérésien. The name changed to RFC Seraing in 1994). After a number of years in first division and almost the same amount of years in European leagues, the team struggled with financial problems and merged with the bigger Standard de Liège in 1996.

1996 was also the year the real crazy shit started to happen in Liège. After the merge of RFC Seraing a neighbouring team, Royale Union Liégeoise (founded in 1901 as RFC Bressoux and merged in 1992 with RFC Jupille to become RUL), changed its name into Seraing RUL and started playing in Stade du Pairay. In 2006 they changed their name into RFC Sérésien (not related to the first RFC Sérésien). In 2013 the team was bought by FC Metz and the new director wanted to relive the glory days of the old RFC Sérésien. Therefore they started talks with other teams to buy their matricule number an start off again in the higher leages. They found a partner in Boussu Dour Borinage (founded in 1922). RFC Sérésien bought their matricule number and started playing in second divison as Seraing United and stayed in Stade du Pairay. The old Boussu Dour Borinage went looking for another matricule number to be able to stay in the hiogher divisions and found a partner in Charleroi Fleurus. The latter one recently underwent a merge between FC Charleroi and Charleroi Feurus. They sold the matricule number of Charleroi Fleurus to Boussu Dour Borinage (who started playing as Francs Borains, a name they used in the 1980s as well) and kept the matricule number of FC Charleroi to start playing as RC Charleroi-Couillet-Fleurus. This all happened in 2014.

But there is a second big team playing in Stade du Pairay (at time of writing: 2016). RFC de Liège is definitely the oldest team in Liège and one of the oldest teams in Belgium. Moreover, ever since there is a football competition in Belgium the team won the leagues 5 times, three of them were won in the four first competitions ever. After having to move around in the city for a number of years they found their homeground in the majestic Stade Vélodrome de Rocourt in 1922. Unfortunately the stadium was demolished in 1994. They started to wander again, until 2000, when they started playing at Stade du Pairay. They had an agreement to play there until 2004, but in 2009 they returned. Up until now they still play there (they recently won the championship in fourth division - pictures are from this team), but as of next season they can return to Rocourt where finally their new stadium will be built.

We witnessed a game of RFC de Liège in Stade du Pairay (the match was against FC Tilleur - yet another team in Liège and even more remarkable as RFC de Liège merged with RFC Tilleur in the 1990s. This FC Tilleur is a start through of the old RFC Tilleur), but since this is actually the homeground of Seraing United we will definitely return here soon.


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