From the very start of our journey RWDM and the Edmond Machtens stadium was on our “to do-list”. Although they aren't a 100% “Traditionsvereine” according to the technical definition (no less than 25 different teams are/were connected to the history of RWDM), the club really feels that way. The latest success was the winning of the championship in 2017, the start of a new chapter in their already massive history? Only future will tell. But the past already tells so much. Get ready for the biggest piece we have ever written...
Let’s start with the R in ‘RWDM’. In 1891 it started with the athletics team Racing Club in Brussels. Three years later a football team was added, called Racing Foot-Ball Club (playing in black and white). Again a year later they joined the Belgian FA and changed their name into the famous Racing Club de Bruxelles. The team first played on a field where currently the Basilica of the Sacred Heart is built, but they quickly moved to a pitch near the cycling field in Uccle. In 1902 RCB moved to the Stade du Vivier d’Oie. RCB was one of the first big teams in Belgium, becoming champion 6 times and winning the cup once, all before WWI. In 1921 they became a royal team (RRCB) but afterwards it kind of went downwards with the team. Throughout the 20s and 30s they would go up and down between first and second division, with even a quick stop in third division for one year. After WWII they came back stronger and in 1948 RRCB moved to the Stade des Trois Tilleuls. When the results went down again, the team couldn’t afford this massive stadium anymore and in 1954 they had to move to Stade Heysel (we still have to do this one), at that time smaller than Stade des Trois Tilleuls.
In 1963 the end was coming for RRCB. In order to survive they had to merge and they eventually merged with White Star AC. But before closing the deal, they wanted to keep their magical matricule number 6 alive. FC La Rhodienne (founded in 1927) was involved in the deal. Here’s how it went. RRCB changed their name into Royal FC La Rhodienne and FC La Rhodienne changed their name into Royal Racing Club de Bruxelles. The following day the new RFC La Rhodienne (the old RRCB) changed their name into K Sport Sint-Genesius- Rode. The board members of both teams switched and the teams had officially switched everything. One month later RRCB (with matricule number 1274 now) merged with R White Star AC, became Royal Racing White and continued playing with matricule number 47. K Sport Sint-Genesius-Rode unfortunately continued the negative spiral the old RRCB had started. In 1996 they decided to merge with KVC Verrewinkel (founded in 1928) to become KFC Rhodienne-Verrewinkel, only to merge again in 2010 with KVC Hoger-Op De Hoek. The new team name became KFC Rhodienne-De Hoek and they currently still play in a wonderful stadium, which is also still on our list.
The name of Racing Club de Bruxelles also still exists. In 1985 Racing Club de Bruxelles was founded, but it didn’t go all too well. In 1989 already they merged with SK Watermaal (founded in 1970). Again two years later a new merger for the team, this time with KRC Bosvoorde (already a merger dating from 1926 between Union Sportive Boitsfortoise (founded in 1920) and Carloo Football Club Uccle). The new Racing Club de Bruxelles changed their name in 2003 into Royal Racing Club de Boitsfort, playing their home games in the majestic Stade des Trois Tilleuls (so in fact RCB is playing in this stadium after all). For a very short period there was also a team named RRC de Bruxelles 1891, founded in 2005) but it ceased all activities again in 2015.
Going on to the W in ‘RWDM’. Matricule number 47 first saw the daylights in 1909 when students created White Star Club de Bruxelles, playing in red and white, added by a white star on their shirts and in their logo. They joined the Belgian FA as White Star Athletic Club and in 1922 the name was changed into White Star Woluwe AC (becoming a royal team in 1935). They played on several locations before staying in the Kellestraat for over 40 years (on our to do-list). In 1924 they got a first taste of first division, but it wasn’t until 1934 they would come back and stay for a while. After the great matricule number change of RRCB, they merged to become Royal Racing White. In the next decade they would lose a cup final in 1969 and reach European football in 1973. But fans stayed out and the board started looking for another solutions. That was found in a merger with Daring Club de Bruxelles in 1973.
But in the meantime another team tried to take over the name ‘White Star’. A local football team took on the name White Star Woluwe FC in 1963 after being founded in 1948 as Kapelleveld FC and changing their name into Woluwe FC in 1950. In 1974 that team merged with Sporting Malou (founded in 1973 as Union Sportive Malou) and changed their name into White Star Malou Woluwe. In 1991 they changed their name back into White Star Woluwe FC, becoming royal in 2004. They took part in national football since 2003, but in 2013 they experienced financial problems. They found a financial solution but attracting an investor that initially planned to spend money in FC Brussels (more on this later). The same year they changed their name into Royal White Star Brussels. Up until then both White Star teams played in the Stade Fallon but after the disappearance of FC Brussels RWS Brussels moved to Stade Edmond Machtens. That RWSB team controlled the media last year by winning second division, but after not getting the needed license they had to relegate to the first amateur division.
In the meantime, back in 1973, Royal Racing White and Daring Club merged to become the birth of the famous RWDM (Racing White Daring Molenbeek). The team moved to Stade Edmond Machtens and immediately played top football in first division, winning it in 1975. But as the decades went by, it all went downhill. Throughout the 90s RWDM had to play in second division several times by the time the millennium changed RWDM had so much financial problems they had to close the books. In 2002 RWDM was no more…
On to the D in ‘RWDM’. It started in 1895 as Daring Football Club. As if it was meant to be, their first pitch was also on the place where now the Basilica is built. Two years later they joined the Belgian FA as Daring Club de Bruxelles and the initial team colours became blue and white, changing them into red and black in 1899. In 1900 they already underwent a merger with Brussels Football Club (founded in 1891), to become Daring Bruxelles Football Club. Two years later, another merger. This time with Sporting Molenbeek and Skill FC de Bruxelles (founded 1896). The team name became Daring Club de Bruxelles again and in 1903 they also absorbed US Bruxelles. In 1903 they first reached first division and the team built a strong fan base and a rivalry culture with Union St-Gilloise. They won the Belgian championship 5 times and the cup once. Up until 1920 they played in Jette, only to move to their new stadium Stade Charles Malis. The name changed in 1939 into Stade Oscar Bossaert and when they merged with RRW in 1973 the name changed again into Stade Edmond Machtens. In 1935 they were the ones to end the historical series of 60 unbeaten games of rivals Union. After becoming a royal team in 1950, they changed their name in 1970 into R Daring Club Molenbeek.
But what happened after 2002? The M represents the period between 2002 and 2015. After the disappearance of RWDM Johan Vermeersch tried to keep RWDM alive. He took over KFC Strombeek (founded in 1932 as Strombeek FC, changing their name into FC Strombeek in 1934). Vermeersch moved the team to Stade Edmond Machtens and changed the name into FC Molenbeek Brussels Strombeek. To fill in the gap that was left in Strombeek, KFC Borght (founded in 1948) moved to Strombeek and became KFC Eendracht Borgt-Strombeek, changing their name into KFC Strombeek in 2007. Currently they are playing in the top regional league.
In the meantime in 2006 a new team FC Borght was founded to fill in the gap that KFC Borght left by moving to Strombeek. By the time Vermeersch took over the old KFC Strombeek they had climbed their way up to third division, so the new “RWDM” could continue that way up. They managed to reach first division and they changed their name in 2013 into RWDM Brussels FC. Unfortunately in 2014 they had to cease all activities due to financial problems. They had found an investor, but he put his money into RWS Brussels instead. The matricule number continued existing for a couple of months under the name of Ecole de Formation des Jeunes Molenbeek, but was scrapped the same year still after all.
In the same period fans of the old RWDM founded Racing Whitestar Daring Molenbeek in 2003, starting in the lowest regional leagues. In 2006 they won that league, but they decided to merge with Zwarte Duivels Hulsbeek-Geetbets (founded in 1957) earning them promotion to the top regional league. This didn’t last long though. In 2010 the name was changed into Racing White Daring Molenbeek 2003 but in 2013 they had to cease all activities.
The Future In 2014, after both RWDM Brussels FC and RWDM 2003 disappeared, a project RWDM 47 was started. After several talks, they found a matricule number in 2015 to buy. K Standaard Wetteren and RRC Wetteren-Kwatrecht went into a merger and the project the open matricule number. RRC Wetteren-Kwatrecht was founded in 1920 as RC Wetteren and merged with SK Kwatrecht (founded in 1974) in 2002. After the merger with Standaard Wetteren the new team name became RFC Wetteren. Standaard Wetteren was founded in 1948 as Standaard Molenhoek and when they joined the Belgian FA in 1951 the name became FC Standaard Wetteren (Standaard Wetteren since 1957). Since 2015 that matricule number moved to Molenbeek, becoming the new Racing White Daring Molenbeek. They started in fourth national division (in the beginning in the stadium of FC Asse-Zellik and after a successful first year they just won their league (fifth division after the implementation of the new Belgian football structure) just last weekend. RWDM is back. And as they say – a legend never dies. Welcome back!