Get ready for yet another wonderful piece of football history in Belgium. We have to go back to Liège for this story. After having visited FC Seraing and RFC de Liège we were trying to visit FC Tilleur on several occasions. Only recently we were able to get inside the stadium. Lucky for us there were people there and they were kind enough to let us go through the complete stadium.
Stade de Buraufosse is one of those precious few stadiums that has literally everything. It has passion, soul, wonderful stands, magnificent terracing, history, friendly people and much much more. The stadium wasn't always the home stadium of FC Tilleur. It was only built in 1958-59 after FC Tilleurs original stadium, Stade du Pont d'Ougrée, was bought by the airfreight division of Cockerill to extend their facilities. Ever since the stadium has seen almost every league in Belgian football. It saw the biggest successes, but also the darkest parts of FC Tilleurs history. And you can almost feel it with every step you take throughout the Stade de Buraufosse.
FC Tilleur started off in 1899 as Tilleur FC. But it would take until 1909 before the team took of in the national divisions, second division at that time. In 1920 they would win second division, but none of the second division teams promoted to first division. In 1926 the team name changed into Royal Tilleur FC and that same year they won second division again, finally giving them a chance to show their abilities in first division. After one year they relegated back, but in 1929 they returned. Unfortunately a new relegation followed after only one season. The same happened in 1933.
In 1939 they finally returned to first division and for the first time they stayed there for a number of years, despite WWII going on. In 1943 they ended last in the league but due to the war they were picked up to play first division again the following year. In 1946 they did relegate again though. Two years later they went back to first division and now a full decade of first division football followed. Between 1959 and 1964 again second division (in the meantime, since 1960, they moved to Stade de Buraufosse) and in 1965 they ended on a fourth place. 1967 would be their last season in first division. In 1973 they relegated to third division for the first time and in 1982 they hit fourth division.
After going up and down between third and fourth division R Tilleur FC merged with R Saint-Nicolas FC de Liège in 1989 to become R FC Tilleur-Saint-Nicolas. In 1990 the team went back to third division to stay there until 1995. That was the year they unofficially merged with the big and great RFC de Liège (after they had to move out of the even greater Stade de Rocourt). This merger wasn't recognized by the Belgian FA and RFC Tilleur-Saint-Nicolas completely went up in RFC de Liège to become R Tilleur FC de Liège. The new team, a continuation of RFC de Liège moved to Stade de Buraufosse, but moved to Stade de Pairay in 2000.
Between 1995 and 2002 the Tilleur fans were teamless, but in 2002 FC Tilleur-Saint-Nicolas was created to follow in the footsteps of the old R Tilleur FC. One year later they merged already with Royal Cercle Sportif Saint-Gilles to become RFC Tilleur-Saint-Gilles. The new matricule number disappeared immediately. The new team started playing in Stade de Buraufosse in 2002 and stayed there after the merge.
A last merger happened in 2014 when RFC Tilleur-Saint-Gilles went up in Cité Sport Grâce-Hollogne. The latter team was founded in the early 40s and always played in the regional leagues until 2012. That year they managed to reach fourth division and that's where they stayed until the merger. The new team name became FC Tilleur and after one year in the top regional league they are working on their way back up.
We definitely advise everyone to visit this stadium and FC Tilleur more than once. Enjoy the stadium, enjoy the atmosphere and definitely enjoy the wonderful view when you are standing on top of the terracing!