Didier Ernst played no less than 367 games for Les Rouches, scoring 10 goals. The defensive midfielder signed for Standard when he was 12 years old. He would go on to play 12 seasons for the first team, ending his reign as a captain. De hard working holding midfielder would later play for teams such as La Louvière and FC Molenbeek Brussels Strombeek. We met up with Didier and talked ‘Hall of Fame’.
5 minutes with...
What is your best memory as a Standard player?
My best memory is without any doubt my first game at Sclessin as a player. When i was a kid supporting the team, I dreamt of playing for les Rouches. When it actually happens (On February 25th 1994 as a substitute against Charleroi with Bodart, Genaux, Redic, Cruz, Léonard, Smeets, Rytchkov, Asselman, Schepens, Goossens and Wilmots) and your family and friends are there with you, it becomes a moment I’ll never forget.
Who was your best team mate whilst playing for Standard?
Marc Wilmots! Marc led by example and gave his everything for the team. The way he guided us young players so that we would be at ease during games or tense moments was absolutely remarkable.
What was your best game as a Rouche?
Probably against Royal Antwerp FC in 1994. It was the first game at Sclessin with our new coach Robert Waseige and we opened with a 3:1 win thanks to a hattrick of new boy Aurelio Vidmar. I had a really good game and started the movement for Aurelio’s two last goals. We played with captain Gilbert Bodart, Genaux, Rednic, Kimoni, Léonard, Schepens, Bettagno, Goossens, Wilmots and Vidmar.
Who impressed you most in the opposition?
Pär Zetterberg was a very strong opponent and a quality player.
We talk very often about the magic of Sclessin, but what makes playing for Standard so special?
So many aspects make Sclessin unique. You just have to attend a game in the stand to realise the exceptional atmosphere at home games. You won’t find that anywhere else in Belgium. It is equally a very warm club. I won’t do justice to all of them, but people like Christian Piot, Jean Nicolay, Helmut Graf, Robert Waseige, the entire medical staff with Bourguignon, Germay, Potelle, etc, I will never forget. And obviously the thousands and thousands of fans who find their way to the stadium every single week, even if sometimes money is tight. Nothing but respect to all of them.
What would be your favorite line-up of team mates you played with at Standard?
Ah, that’s a difficult question. It might not be the list of biggest players in history, but it was a team that gave everything, ever single week. We all had our qualities and limitations, but it was a strong group of players: Gilbert Bodart – Régis Genaux, Daniel Kimoni, Mircea Rednic, Philippe Léonard – Alain Bettagno, Guy Hellers, Roberto Bisconti, Ronald Foguenne – Michael Goossens, Marc Wilmots. And I am happy to put myself on the bench.