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GROUND // Stade Gaston Reiff - RCS Brainois

Not to be mistaken with Stade Brainois in Braine-le-Comte, there is also RCS Brainois in Braine-l'Alleud. RCS Brainois is in fact one of the oldest teams in the country still active. With matricule number 75 they are the proud owner of a low number, a rich history and a beautiful view on the famous statue in Waterloo.

In 1913 CS Brainois first started playing football, but they only joined the Belgian FA a little while later. Those first decades the team mainly played the regional leagues, until in 1946 they managed to reach the national divisions for the very first time. Back then it was still third division. For a number of years they were a steady team until they were forced to relegate to fourth division in 1952 when the football structure in Belgium completely changed and fourth division was created. After four years ending on the second spot they finally became champion in 1957 and returned to third division.

In 1963, after years of ending in the bottom, CS Brainois returned to fourth division and even there the results took a turn for the worse. In 1969 they had to go back to the regional leagues after 23 consecutive years in the national leagues. Shortly after their current stadium was opened (in 1973), but that didn't bring the hoped successes. Au contraire - they even sank away in the regional leagues. It would take them until 1988 to finally have a taste of national football again.

The 90s became a decade with mostly national football (until 1995 and then again in 1997-1998), but afterwards RCS Brainois mainly fought to come back. In 2018 it finally happened. RCS Brainois is playing national football again, but since the restructure of Belgian football this is now fifth division (third amateur division). And they have the company of the 'neighbouring' Stade Brainois. Their first year seems to be an immediate success as they are playing for the title as we speak and a possible promotion to fourth division (second amateur division).

One of the best known former players of the team is definitely Philippe Saint-Jean. He never left the team as a player. As a coach he was active there as well, but he's more known for coaching teams like the Red Devils U21, AFC Tubize, Excelsior Mouscron and RAEC Mons.

On to the Stade Gaston Reiff. It's located beautifully with a view on the statue in Waterloo when you drive on the parking lot, a social club next to the parking and the stadium in a pit down below. The stadium contains beautiful terracing and hosts both football and athletics. Gaston Reiff in fact was a national athlete in the long distance run and participated the Olympics a couple of times. He was born and raised in Braine-l'Alleud and also took his last breath there. Something to be proud of.


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