Mario Bronckaerts is the president of La Famille des Rouches, the overarching supporters organisation at Standard, which regroups all official fanclubs in Belgium. He is also president of the fanbase in Tienen and is professionally active in the military.
5 minutes with...
What’s your first memory of Standard Mario?
The first memories I have of Standard date back to the years of Eric Gerets, Guy Vandersmissen, Michel Preud’homme and Asgeir Sigurvinsson. I was about 6 years old and was fascinated by the Maes Pils shirts and the stadium. But in a first phase, due to my age, I watched it exclusively on television.
Why do you think Standard is such a unique club in Belgium?
Its history, the personality, the mix of French- and Dutch speaking fans, the linkage with the former steelindustry, etc.. they all make this club so special. And then we have the fans, so loyal to their team, so passionate about their club. You can really compare it with some of the top teams in southern Europe where football is really experienced in a different fashion. In Belgium there are few clubs with such a big following across the country. You can see that amongst all the season ticket holders, but also with fans who are only able to join us irregularly. The Hell of Sclessin… a very appropriate name for a stadium that’s always on fire, regardless of results. A stadium against the backdrop of the old industry, the river Meuse, a unique stadium in a unique setting with a unique history.
When did you finally attend your first game?
I believe I was about 14 when I had my first visit to Sclessin. At that time I joined the local fanclub in Tienen, and so many years later I am fortunate enough to be their president. The game I attended that day was against Club Bruges.
Any favorite players?
Guy Vandersmissen and Gilbert Bodart
In all these years you’ve seen some quality players. What does your golden eleven look like?
That’s a difficult question indeed as we’ve had so many players who could feature in this team. I would chose most players from the 80ies or 90ies. So that would be Gerets, Vandersmissen, Wilmots, Goossens, Van Moer, Piot… But let me pick a team which really was a class apart and had no competition in Belgium: the 2007-2008 team, but then with Preud’homme, Bodart or Runje in goal.