We believe it's every groundhoppers dream to have a lost ground right in their backyard. Well, for years we believed we had to drive at least half an hour to get to the nearest beautiful lost ground while in reality there is one just around the corner. Abandoned since 2016, but also well hidden. Let's dive into the great and unknown history of the Sylvesterstadion in Mechelen.
To begin the history of this stadium we actually have to go back about two decades before this even existed. During the 50s there was a local amateur team, FC De Voorzorg, that played its home games on a field near the canal Leuvensevaart in the Elf-Novemberstraat. FC De Voorzorg was a non-league team playing in the KBLVB leagues (you can't get any more lower league than this in Belgium), after having played in the league for socialist sports teams and it was founded by people who were member of or working for the socialist social security union.
In the early 70s FC De Voorzorg were forced to move away from their home ground since it was being used to build a city swimming complex (it's still there by the way - and the surroundings still remember to the former football field - a true groundhopper will recognize it). They decided to move to the Stuivenbergbaan (near the Hotelweg, right next to the highway). It's unknown what the results of the team ever were. We contacted a few former players, but we haven't received any feedback yet. It seems FC De Voorzorg ceased all activities somewhere between 2000 and 2010 though.
After FC De Voorzorg ceased all activities the ground was being taken over by a number of other non-league teams. To name a few: VK Jamaswapi (football team of a local boy scout group), Manhattan United (started playing football in 2010), The Sylvesters and a couple of others. When you visit the abandoned ground there are only two teams that kind of give some history to the stadium; The Sylvesters and FC De Voorzorg. We're not sure what has happened with all of the teams that used to play here. We can only tell you that between 2010 and 2016 quite a lot of teams played their home games here of which The Sylvesters can be considered the true home team here.
We had this on our radar for a while now, but we never even considered this was a lost ground. We can only imagine the lower league atmosphere that used to be here and although we don't see this being demolished anytime soon, there will never be the atmosphere again there used to be. Thanks to one of our followers to pinpoint this as a lost ground!