Hip hop trend. De Bosuil is one hundred years old today. The stars came (Cruyff, Garrincha, Di Stefano), and miracles happened. With Tribune 2 as a silent witness to a century full of history. Overview: 100 years of the Tawny Owl in a collection of photos.
Antwerp had a stadium in the early 1900s that could seat 350 spectators. Until the Red Devils won the Olympic gold medal in Antwerp in 1920. Football became very popular. So let Antwerp build a new stadium with a capacity of 38,000 fans. It is called “De Bosuil” in reference to the 17th century inn “De Boschuyl” which was located on the site.
The first match in the new stadium was played on November 1, 1923. Belgium-England. It ended 2-2. The English professionals did not lose any points on the European mainland.
1936: Expansion to 50,700 places
Antwerp won the title in 1929 and 1931. It’s time to build a bigger stadium. The new Grandstand 2 has 11,700 seats. Total capacity is about 50,000 fans. When World War II broke out, the occupiers installed anti-aircraft guns in the stadium, causing serious damage.
55 thousand Di Stefano fans
Visit of the great Real Madrid, with Alfredo Di Stéfano, in 1957. 55,000 spectators watched Real win 1-2. This is not a record for the number of spectators in the stadium: no fewer than 58,000 spectators attended the Belgium-Netherlands derby on April 24, 1960. Four years earlier, Antwerp contractor Verbeek had increased the capacity to 60,000.
There is no shortage of stars: Garrincha has also come to visit de Boswell. Johan Cruyff even received a farewell match to his rich career.
The miracle of Vitosha
In 1989, Vitosha Sofia comes to Antwerp in the UEFA Cup. In the 97th minute, the score was 1-3 for the visitors. Even Nico Claessen (2x) and Rafael Quaranta turned the score to 4-3. The Vitosha miracle was born. In 1993, Antwerp were the last Belgian team to play a European final at Wembley (losing to Parma).
Gheysens vs Mintjens
In the mid-1990s, Antwerp was in decline. In the fall of 1997, the stadium was forced to close for three months. It was only when Paul Gheysens bought the club in 2015 that Antwerp rebounded. During the 2017 promotion, a new main platform will be installed in less than three months. Grandstand 4 will also be completely renovated in 2020. Due to the now well-known conflict between the Gheysens and landowner Tania Mintjens, this will remain the case for the time being. Grandstand 2 is completely enclosed for safety reasons. De Bosuil no longer has a capacity of 60,000 spectators, just under 17,000 fans are allowed inside.
“The story of Antwerp always begins beautifully and hopeful, but as you turn the pages, the content changes…”
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