First supporters club (2): Friends of Union Saint-Gilloise in 1911

Union Saint-Gilloise has published the book “Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, 125 years, the official book” to celebrate its 125th anniversary. In this series, we go through some extracts from the book. Our second excerpt is about the creation of our first supporters’ club.

As Supporters’ clubs began to form, the first Unionist club was created “Les Amis de l’Union Saint-Gilloise” in 1911. Followed by “Unionistes Saint-Gillois” in 1912. From 1922, there were about fifteen supporters’ clubs. The statutes of these clubs tell us about the behavior of the public at the time: accompanying Union team members wherever they went, respecting the decisions of the referee, and encouraging loyally without insulting players and opposing supporters…

With good intentions, each club (or almost) has its “local” in a brasserie or a café. Each club has its “pennant” flag. The inauguration of this “pennant” is a moment of celebration. “Music in the air as the Saint-Gilles unionists descended from the heights and walked the streets of the capital until very late in the evening. The supporters of the time did not yet have scarves, but they already sported badges, ties, and cockades, in the colors yellow and blue. During certain trips, the club recommended that supporters do not display the colors of Union.

“In Brugge, we were received by a silent crowd. There was anger in the eyes that were staring at us… In the public, the fever grew and animated conversations arose and risked degenerating into fistfights… Our colors still shone on our chests, that is what the Brugge supporters could not admit. They will, however, have to get used to it, because, unless we ever think of removing them… It’s over Hurrah! We win!… The populace is stormy, fists are outstretched, it felt like a riot night… In groups flanked on each side by imposing gendarmes, we head towards the station followed by a hostile and threatening crowd… the Unionists stayed here had a good idea to bring together some musicians… And then all behind the rickety flag of USG, we left for the city singing and dancing…”

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Extract from the book ‘Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, 125 years, the official book’. Available from October 25 at the Club House and on the online fanshop.