François Van der Elst bigraphy, stories - footballer

François Van der Elst : biography

1 December 1954 -

François J. C. Van Der Elst (born 1 December 1954 in Opwijk) is a former Belgian footballer, who played as a striker.

Nicknamed Swat, his younger brother, Leo, was also a professional footballer. Both were Belgian internationals.

Football career

From 1969–80, Van Der Elst played for R.S.C. Anderlecht, with which he would go on to total 82 Belgian First Division goals, surpassing 100 overall; in 1976, he was part of the 1975–76 European Cup Winners' Cup-winning squad, netting twice in the final against West Ham United (4–2) and, in the following season's league, was crowned the competition's topscorer at 21 goals, as the Brussels outfit finished in second position.

In January 1982, after a brief USA spell with the New York Cosmos, Van Der Elst signed with West Ham for £400,000, proceeding to score 17 goals overall in his one 1/2 season stint; he finished his career back home, with three seasons with K.S.C. Lokeren Oost-Vlaanderen.

With Belgium, Van Der Elst counted 44 caps and 14 goals, helping the nation to second place in the UEFA Euro 1980.


R.S.C. Anderlecht 
  • Belgian First Division: 1971–72, 1973–74
  • Belgian Cup: 1971–72, 1972–73, 1974–75, 1975–76
  • UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: 1976, 1978
  • UEFA Super Cup: 1976, 1978
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