By Interview by Frédéric Larsimont and Xavier Thirion
Dn his modest but pretty house on rue des Forges, in Tubize, Michel Lomme (67) is having a happy time. Very young retiree, the former Anderlechtois is not the type to live in the past, just as glorious as it was. Memories nonetheless readily come to the surface when he is encouraged to pedal back to the mid-seventies. On May 5, 1976, in a Heysel filled with 51,000 spectators all won over to the purple cause, one of the most underrated right backs in the history of Belgian football won the Cup Winners’ Cup against West-Ham. .
A great first for the RSCA, which led three months later to another feat, in the Supercup, against Bayern Munich (4-1), but also for Belgium. Forty-six years later, Lomme and some of his former teammates from the time will be honored this Thursday at Astrid Park, just before the start of the reunion between Anderlecht and the Hammers in the Conference League. Another time, another level and other mores but the absolute necessity not to forget. And to savor this glorious past after which the RSCA has been running desperately for many years.
Michel Lomme, a few hours before the reunion between Anderlecht and West-Ham, we can’t help but dive back into this final of May 5, 1976 at Heysel, of which you were the surprise guest. How did you end up there, starting at a historic moment for the RSCA and all of Belgian football?
I was Hans Croon’s little protege. This Dutch coach who arrived from Lierse and who will only stay at Sporting for one season, liked me. He was a somewhat special, mystical and philosophical coach who ended up in a sect before committing suicide. He knew his job well but he was superstitious, a bit like Domenech. He always said I was his rabbit’s foot.
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