Allewijstraat, Vlijtingen

posted in: Limburg, Stadiums | 0

For over 50 years the pitch on the Allewijstraat has been used for competitive football and between 1975 and 1980 the team of Vlijtingen Vlug en Vrij (Vlijtingen Quick and Free) welcomed teams like Westerlo, Seraing and Lommelse SK in their small stadium. Since those days they even added floodlights and remodeled the dressing rooms but the team itself never managed to reach the same heights as during those years.

Vlijtingen Vlug en Vrij was founded in 1954 and first played in the small borough of Ellicht. When VVV, in 1964, gained promotion to the First Provincial Division however they had to abandon the old and small pitch and moved to the current infrastructures on the Allewijstraat. This happened with the usual combination of local politics and over the top ideas. The new stadium was opened by a ball dropped from a plane flying over.

In those days Vlijtingen was moving between the Provincial Divisions with relegations and promotions following in rapid succession. in 1969 they moved to the First Provincial Division as Patria and Cercle Tongeren merged but a year later they dropped again to the Second Provincial Division from which they promoted again in 1973.

Their big moment happened in 1975. A test match was needed to decided who would make it to the National Divisions. It would turn out to be a memorable affair. Their opponent, Eendracht Gerhees, had beaten Vlijtingen twice during the normal season and after a board member of Vlijtingen was contacted with a bribe to lose the game emotions started running high. 3200 people witnessed the game at the neutral grounds of Diepenbeek VV and saw Bertho Nassen score the winning goal in minute 110 of the extra time. Vlug en Vrij finally made it to the National Divisions.

The club managed to keep their national status until 1980 when a season full of injuries and the outgoing transfers of some important players in the end spelled relegation. As with so many clubs that dropped back to the Provincial Divisions the next few decades were tough for Vlijtingen, they were unable to gain promotion again and the black and whites relegated to the Second Provincial Division in 1989 and even the Third Division in 1992. It would take them years to find their footing again but these days the small club from a municipality of Riemst is back in the First Provincial Division, dreaming of recapturing the glory of those five glorious seasons.