With a heavy heart and tears in my eyes: Thank you Mr. Van Moere

With a heavy heart and tears in my eyes: Thank you Mr. Van Moere

He is a Belgian football legend who is leaving us and a standard icon who is leaving. Wilfred Van More. Three jerky words. And that inevitably awakens an unforgettable, matchless, formidable and … tireless footballer in the midfield.

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A brilliant No. 8, stripper of balls, distributor of golden passes, author of long and winning strikes. A real playwright. A real personality as well, this Antwerp resident who trained at Bevron won the first of his three Golden Shoes in Antwerp, but had his best time on the banks of the Meuse.

In order to attract her to the Standard, her piggy bank was broken by Roger Pettit, the “boss” of Schlesin at the time. 6 million Belgian francs was a lot for a Belgian player in 1969. Petit wanted to return the title to the fiery city after a long Anderlecht hegemony.

With the arrival of Depireux, Kostedde or Nagy and an inherited iron defense from Yugoslav coach Michel Pavic (Nicole, Dewalque, Beurlet, Jeck and Thissen), the group was full of talent. But he still had to elevate himself to reach the heights. Van Mor was to become a prophet. The real conductor of sclacene. The result: three titles in three years with an enthusiastic young French coach named René Haus.

Wilfred Van More, Le Coupe Gagnant de Guy Thiso

Rarely spared from serious injuries, “Kichi” as he was nicknamed, has only played with the Red Devils 57 times. But he signed on to the unusual feat of playing two World Cups 12 years apart. In Mexico in 1970 and in Spain in 1982, although at the age of 37, his playing time there was reduced.

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But, in the meantime, he signed one of the most sensational comebacks in the history of Belgian football. In 1979, the national team struggled to be stripped of its qualification for the Euro. It was then that coach Guy Theis had the good idea to recall the Antwerp midfielder to the Devils, who at the age of 34 continued his class performances at the modest Limburg club in Beringen. That’s the blow of poker.

But also a stroke of brilliance because after a stellar qualifying in Scotland, Belgium had to continue their momentum, even finishing in the chickens to Italy, Spain and England at the 1980 European Championship in Rome. Sorry a little, for getting to the finals.

Wilfred Van More, Le Supper du Standard

One regret, though: Van Mor has played very little with Paul Van Himst on the national team. These two complemented each other wonderfully. Oldest remember a memorable goal scored against Portugal at Parc Astrid in 1971: a third one-two between the two men from a goal from André Danul.

The national team, Van More was then to find it as a coach, but there, it was not a clear success and the experience ended. Wilfried van Mor, he was often seen in Schlesin’s span. Because he was blindly made up “red and white”. In heart and in soul.

In the grandstand, along with his friends Leon Semmling, Eric Gerets and Christian Piot, other emblematic figures of the number 16, he lived intensely in matches as a loyal supporter.

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A few months ago, we had the chance to share his table with Raymond Goethals (his former coach with the Devils) during the awards ceremony at the Edmund Machtens Stadium in Mollenbeek. We then addressed our former colleagues who shared this meal with him, not lacking in a friendly, accommodating and deliciously cold humour.

Small in size but huge in talent: Mr. Van More, thank you for everything. Belgian football has a big heart and tears in its eyes tonight.

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