Former RSC Anderlecht manager Michel Verschueren dies aged 91

Michel Verschueren, former manager of RSC Anderlecht, has died at the age of 91. It was his son Michael who confirmed the information to Belga. “My father died overnight at the Moutershof care center in Wolvertem where he was staying“, said Michael Verschueren.

Who was he ?

Michel Verschueren was born on March 17, 1931 in the town of Boortmeerbeek, in Flemish Brabant. He grew up in a wealthy family of four children. After finishing high school, he studied physical education at the Catholic University of Louvain. Before becoming a manager, Verschueren also played football, at local club Racing Boortmeerbeek. But very quickly, he quickly realized that his qualities were elsewhere.

At the age of 26, Verschueren joined the new second division team Eendracht Aalst as a physical trainer. The young Verschueren impresses with his innovative training methods and in 1960 Aalst he is promoted to the first division. There, Michel Verschueren showed for the first time that he did not let it go. During a home game against Standard in November 1961, the (Walloon) referee Arthur Blavier acted up and expelled several Alstois players from the pitch with red cards. Verschueren (and with him the entire city of Aalst) does not accept this and an uproar ensues. In the aftermath, Verschueren was banned from Belgian grounds for a year.

In the meantime, he had made a name for himself, and in 1963 Verschueren moved to Anderlecht as a physical trainer. Under the leadership of coach Pierre Sinibaldi, the purple and white had become an unstoppable machine and Verschueren is not for nothing. However, the now new coach was very ambitious and wanted to be more than just a physical trainer. In 1969, he therefore moved to Daring Brussels to become general manager. With chairman and construction giant Jean-Baptiste L’Ecluse, Verschueren had big plans, which came to fruition in the merger with Racing White to form RWDM. In their second season (1975) as RWDM they won their first national title and, with stars Johan Boskamp and Morten Olsen, Molenbeek also shone in Europe in the late 1970s. Verschueren even recovered the icon Paul Van Himst with his neighbors in Anderlecht the year of the championship.

Mr. Michel, meanwhile, had bombarded Belgium’s top manager and had returned to Astrid Park through the front door. Between 1980 and 2003, Verschueren was general manager of Anderlecht and helped the Mauve et Blanc win 11 league titles and a UEFA Cup (1983), among others. Top players like Juan Lozano, Marc Degryse, Luc Nilis and Jan Koller were guided to Anderlecht by Monsieur Michel himself.

At the age of 72, his period as general manager came to an end. Herman Van Holsbeeck became his successor. Verschueren may not have been active in football anymore, but the silver fox never lost his liveliness. Never shy about making controversial statements, he continued to express his sometimes divergent views on football (and the outside world). In 2001, he received the homophobia award after very hostile statements to LGBT. However, Verschueren stuck to his guns. He remained a member of the purple-white club’s board of directors even after his retirement and became the manager of the club’s restaurant, Le Saint-Guidon.

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