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GROUND // Thontlaan - FC Denderleeuw (lost ground)

Last week we posted a shoot about the current stadium of FCV Dender EH. That team actually consists of three older teams which all played in other stadiums in the past. All of these are still standing and we decided to pass by all of them. Some of them are pure beauties! First up: the old stadium of the core of FCV Dender EH.

FC Denderleeuw used to play their games in the stadium at the Thontlaan. We were a bit surprised this is still standing and we are certain not a lot of groundhoppers have seen this one, although it's very close by the Van Roy stadium.

The history of FC Denderleeuw started in 1952 when the team was founded with the same name. In 21 years time they managed to go to the national divisions for the first time, but FC Denderleeuw would go up and down a lot throughout the years. In the 80s for instance the team would gradually relegate back to the regional leagues. The 90s however would be a very promising decade for the team. In 1992 they reached fourth division and in 1996 they even managed to reach second division for the very first time. They stayed there up until the merger with FC Eendracht Hekelgem in 2001. That team was also playing in second division in that same year. The new team would use the matricule number of FC Denderleeuw and the new team name became FC Denderleeuw EH (EH referring to Eendracht Hekelgem).

In 2004 the new team relegated to third division and that same year conversations were started to go into a merger with Verbroedering Denderhoutem. In 2005 this finally happened and FC Verbroedering Dender EH was born. The rest is history.

FC Denderleeuw played in this stadium at the Thontlaan up until 1997 (if we are not mistaking) before they moved to the former Florent Beeckman stadium. These grounds were still used for the youth teams though, but by the time the second merger was finalized the ground at the Thontlaan was abandoned. For years it stood there without any care at all. Until not so long ago the Chiro of Denderleeuw (youth movement/kind of like the scouts) had to leave their old premises and had to look for a new place to go. Together with the village of Denderleeuw it was decided they would take ownership of this stadium. Sadly enough the terracing and a part of the stands are torn down, but there is still a lot of beauty to see at this location. Our compliments to the Chiro for the way they maintain the pitch. It's better than some of the first division teams in Belgium!


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