Wilfried Van Moer













Wilfried Van Moer, the Belgian giant with his 1m69.

– Pierre Bilic

I was 12 years old when I signed for SK Beveren, and I would go on to play for every youth squad. My entire family and all my friends were somehow connected to the club, and it was natural that I would sign for them. My brother already played for Beveren, and basically that’s what was supposed to happen. You went to school in Beveren, played for your local and ended up working in the neighbourhood or in the Antwerp harbor.

Whilst tiny Beveren only played in the fourth tier at that time, they did enjoy a strong reputation for their beautiful passing game. Aged 16, Wilfried made his debut for the yellow and blue, scoring twice. Gradually his name could be found in every scout’s notebook, but it would take another five years before he’d leave his club for neighbouring Royal Antwerp Football Club. A transfer which again didn’t come as a surprise as Wilfried already worked in Antwerp as an electrician. “Nevertheless it wasn’t that obvious. I was happy in Beveren, but I did share the dream of many young players to one day play at the highest level, and who knows even become a professional football player. The reactions of my family and friends scared me the most as we were all yellow and blue to the core. But eventually Beveren would make the choice for me as they signed an agreement with Antwerp.

And although it meant a jump from the third division to the first, it wouldn’t stop the evolution of the midfielder at all. On the contrary, after only one season Wilfried started his international career under the leadership of a certain Raymond Goethals. Sadly enough several important injuries would prevent him from becoming one of the all time greats at international level. He would carry on playing for a long time though and at the age of 39 he would make his return to guide the Red Devils to the final in the European Championships in Italy in 1980.

In Antwerp he also quickly became the motor behind the team. His coach, Harry Game, had converted him from an attacking winger to a central controlling midfielder. His intelligence made him quickly to the best player in Belgium, something which was quickly recognized as he won his first Golden Boot in 1966. From that moment onwards, several foreign clubs started to have a keen interest in the Antwerp midfielder. “German team 1.F.C. Cologne made me a very attractive offer, but the Antwerp manager didn’t want to even talk to them. In my second year things started to get sour a bit, and my performances started to suffer. At the end of the season I really wanted to go to another team, and had a strong preference for Club Bruges, which I felt was the right club to take me to the next level.  Luckily enough for me, they also wanted to transfer me, but I must admit that the negotiations were horrible as Eddy Wauters, CEO of Antwerp, was very demanding, again. With only one day to go suddenly Roger Petit contacted me. As he reached an agreement with Wauters almost instantly I had to give up my dream to go to Bruges, and decided to sign for Standard.” It would be the most expensive transfer at that time (150.000 euro).

Whilst he was apprehensive in the beginning, Wilfried would realise his dream and see his career take off. Under the stewardship of René Hauss, the team would win three titles in a row.  The team, consisting of nothing but class players was probably Standard’s best team ever: goalie Jean Nicolay, defenders Léon Jeck, Jacques Beurlet, Jean Thissen and Nicolas Dewalque, a glorious midfield with Van Moer and Louis Pilot and an attacking force with Jean-Paul Colonval, Henri Depireux, Milan Galic, Erwin Kostedde and Antal Nagy.  Also individually it put Wilfried back on the map, winning two Golden Boots in a row in 1969 and 1970.

His talent and style of play did frustrate many an opponent and it resulted in physical battles every single game. Lowlight clearly being the vicious attack by the Italian Bertini during the European Championship in 1972. It would be the start of a recovery period with many highs and even more lows. Roger Petit transferred Asgeir Sigurvinsson for the same position to compensate the long injury. Thanks to Wilfried’s guidance, Sigurvinsson would become the ideal substitute for Van Moer. A couple of years later, Wilfried decided to call it a day in 1976 and join Beringen. For the first time since his career it would mean fighting against relegation rather than European football and titles. But showing his true character the team managed to stay up the entire time. Wilfried got rewarded for his excellent football with a transfer back home, to his native Beveren.

Beveren at that time played in the first division and counted on a very talented generation with amongst others Jean-Marie Pffaf, Paul Schönberger and Erwin Albert. Two years later he rolls into management with a player/coach role at Sint-Truiden. Many years later he also has a spell as the national coach.

Up to his last day, Wilfried remained a loyal fan of his Standard Liège, and you cold find Wilfried every two weeks at Sclessin. Sadly, he passed away on the 24th of August 2021. Rest in peace Wilfried.

Date of birth: March 1, 1945, in Beveren-Waes
Deceased: August 24, 2021
Affiliated at Standard:
July 1st 1968 – June 30th 1976
Trophies with  Standard:
3x Belgian Championships (1969, 1970, 1971), 1x Belgian League Cup (1975)
International games / goals:
  57 / 9



1957 – 1961

S.K. Beveren-Waes (2300)


1961 – 1965
1965 – 1967
1967 – 1968
1968 – 1976
1976 – 1980
1980 – 1982
1982 – 1984

S.K. Beveren-Waes (2300)
R. Antwerp F.C. (1) – Loan
R. Antwerp F.C. (1)
Royal Standard Club Liégeois
K. Beringen F.C. (522)
S.K. Beveren (2300)
K. Sint-Truidense V.V. (373)


1982 – 1984
1985 – 1987
1987 – 1988
1988 – 1989
1995 – 1996

K. Sint-Truidense V.V. (373) – Player/Coach
F.C. Assent
S.K. Beveren
K.T.H. Diest
Belgique (Assistant)



Belgian Championship
Belgian F.A. Cup
Belgian League Cup
European Cups



Belgian Championship
Belgian F.A. Cup
Belgian League Cup
European Cups