The Red and Black identity
GIVE YOUR ALL FOR RENNES AND BRITTANY!
Born out of the desire to unite at the start of the 20th century, prized in the 1960s, saved at the end of the 1970s, put to the test in the 1980s and 1990s and built upon in the 2000s, Stade Rennais F.C. has stood the test of time to become a stronghold in French football.
SRFC never forgets.
It remembers Duchesne, Ghis, Peter and Jamin, the students in Rennes who founded the multi-sports club Stade Rennais in 1901. It remembers Jean Prouff, who is always looking down fondly over Roazhon Park, who took the Breton crowds to Paris in 1965 and then again in 1971 to bring home the Coupe de France twice, defining the swinging sixties (and seventies) in SRFC's history. It remembers the tenacity of Alfred Houget, who stopped the Red and Black ship from capsizing in 1978. It remembers the yo-yo years of the 1980s and 1990s, which were dedicated to keeping the club amongst the elite and when, despite some fleeting moments of pleasure, the fans had to face uncertainty, wearying nostalgia and mockery from certain local rivals.
After recognition comes revolution.
Today’s Stade Rennais F.C. owes a lot to the Pinault family, raised in the 1970s near the clamour of the stadium when they lived in a house on route de Lorient. The 2000s marked a shift to the decades of hope and ambition.
For 25 years now, the management entrusted with the keys to the club have never strayed off course. To progress, the decision-makers decided to focus on youth. Wiltord, Silvestre, Réveillère, Didot, Jimmy Briand, Mbia, Danzé, Gourcuff, Brahimi, M'Vila, Doucouré, Dembélé, Camavinga are all memorable names that embody the winning gamble they took. The Red and Black academy has been considered one of the best-performing academies in France and Europe for some years now.
This rebirth involved the return to Europe and the first big thrills: Juventus, Osasuna, Red Star Belgrade, Atlético Madrid, unforgettable performances in Jablonec and against Real Betis, in the furnace of Roazhon Park against Astana, Arsenal, Lazio, Tottenham and Leicester, and away days for the team and fans to the streets of Seville, London and Glasgow. These were historic nights that helped the club to build confidence and daring. The club is no longer afraid and is now allowing itself to dream of challenging those at the top. On 27 April 2019, the club reconnected with its glorious past. At the Stade de France, the Red and Black standard was raised. By beating PSG in the final of the Coupe de France, Mexer and co wrote their names in the history books to cap off a glorious European spring.
Disrupting the hierarchy.
Now, the winds of ambition continue to blow. In Europe for the sixth consecutive year, the Red and Blacks continue to look ahead, with increasingly more challenging future goals each year. The attendance records for Roazhon Park are constantly being matched or beaten, the Rennes social media community just keeps on growing and the shirts are being worn throughout the region, both within and outside Brittany.
To my city! To my club!
SRFC does not simply draw on its past, its shareholder’s vision or the abundance of talent in its prestigious Academy. A football club is nothing without an identity, so why not explore the streets of Rennes to find the place where the half-timbered houses meet audacious architecture, the place where the Rock meets Celtic traditions, the place where street art is found everywhere alongside Odorico’s famous mosaics and the place where, in several of its small squares, parks and on the banks of the Vilaine river, people enjoy facing off against one another in the iconic Breton Palet game. Take a stroll around the Lices market, the second-biggest in France, smell the aromas coming from the stalls, the coming-together of earth and sea, discover the taste of the artichoke that Marcel Aubour enjoyed throwing behind his goal in the 1971 final at the Stade Olympique de Colombes and, of course, try the inimitable sausage galette.
Stade Rennais is the pride of its region quite simply because it draws on the wealth of its land, its history and its local inhabitants. It also humbly cultivates its ambition to become a stronghold of French football, renowned across Europe, all whilst remembering the brave spirit.
Come on, Rennes !