Pro sports in Toulouse !!

I grew up playing baseball/volleyball, then quickly moved on to football/soccer, and lately while in France have taken a lot of liking to Rugby as spectator. Having family from the Toulouse area you need to be into Rugby and especially the Stade Toulousain! However, never leave my football and the Toulouse FC! 1-2 punch in the pink city of Toulouse. Let me update this older post and tell you about some of my other hobbies lol ! Hope you enjoy it as I.

The Toulouse Football Club, abbreviated as Toulouse FC, is founded in 1970. The current Toulouse FC having in addition been founded in 1970 under the name of Union Sportive de Toulouse. The latter receives at its creation the support of the city/town hall, which offers it to play at the Municipal Stadium, and the French Football Federation, which integrates it among the clubs chosen to directly access the new Division 2 open to amateur clubs for the 1970-1971 season during the 1970 championship reform. In 1979, US Toulouse took the name of Toulouse FC and adopted professional status. It joined Division 1 in 1982 and finished three times in the first five places in the championship.


Its history in French League 2 Championship Champion: 1982 and 2003, and Vice-champion: 1981 and 1997. In French League 1 Championship Third: 1987 and 2007.  Some of its famous coaches was the legendary Just Fontaine, also, Alain Giresse, and Antoine Kombouaré. Main players were Moussa Sissoko, Étienne Capoue, Franck Tabanou or Wissam Ben Yedder. It is also a springboard to the very highest level for other players like Jérémy Mathieu sold to FC Valence, Aymen Abdennour sold to AS Monaco or Serge Aurier sold to PSG.


The Toulouse Stadium, previously called the Municipal Stadium, is the largest sports arena in Toulouse. Its has 33,150 seats, and it is located on the Ramier Island, very close to the center of Toulouse. Its construction began in 1937 , and was finally completed in 1949, work having been interrupted by WWII. It welcomes the professional team of the Toulouse Football Club (TFC), as well as the big rugby matches of the Stade Toulousain in the European Cup or in the Top 14. It has hosted football world cup matches, the European championship football, and friendly matches of the French football team. It has also hosted rugby world cup matches, friendly matches of the French rugby union team, and major international matches and many finals of the French rugby league championship.


The official Toulouse FC football/soccer team

The city of Toulouse on the stadium

The Toulouse tourist office on the stadium

Of course, the most fans and following here is the sport king in the region, rugby. Also, followed by the father’s side of the family. The mighty Stade Toulousain rugby, which we follow as our team in France, and had visited of course.

The Stade Toulousain is rugby union club founded in 1907 and based in Toulouse. It has its home stadium as the Stade Ernest-Wallon. The club has won the French rugby union championship 21 times, it is also five times European champion, which makes it the most successful French and European club. Its philosophy of play “hand game, Toulousain game” is recognized by the world of rugby as close to total rugby practiced in particular by the All Blacks (New Zealand).


Rugby Union made its appearance in Toulouse at the end of the 19C and the first clubs were formed in the 1890s. It was notably the students who practiced this sport, the existence of which in France was very recent c.1872. The Toulouse Student Stadium (SOET), created in 1897, and bringing together students from all disciplines, was soon split up with the Sports Union of the Veterinary School (USEV) created in 1899. These two clubs added the Toulousain Athletic Sport (SAT). In 1905, the USEV (gray color) and the SAT (yellow and black colors) merged to be called Toulouse Véto-Sport (gray jersey, black pants). In 1907, the merger of two Toulouse clubs (SOET and Véto-sport) gave birth to the Stade Olympien and Véto-sport Toulousain which for the sake of an essential shortcut will be called the Stade Toulousain.


The Stade Toulousain traditionally play in red and black, the colors of SOET. These were the colors of the Capitouls, the former municipal councilors. The white jersey appeared later in the 1920s as an away jersey. Over the years, the gray jersey also appeared, certainly a tribute to Véto-sport. The only novelty to these colors is the pale pink jersey used throughout 2007, which to celebrate the club’s centenary, pays tribute to the pink city which is its cradle -Toulouse.

During WWI, many players from the Stade Toulousain served in the French army. About eighty died in the trenches during the battles of Verdun, Somme, etc. Many players were then champions of France in 1912, and were part of the team nicknamed “the Red Virgin”. Stade Toulousain manager, Lucien Cézéra, had the idea in the 1950s of creating a logo for the club. He found his inspiration in the Saint-Sernin Basilica of Toulouse (see post)  where, in a chapel dedicated to Saint Thomas Aquinas which was created when his relics were provisionally deposited there, is a mosaic of an astonishing resemblance to the logo of the club Red and black. The club logo, worn on the jersey, consists of the letters “S” and “T” intertwined. It is the faithful copy of the acronym of Saint Thomas in the Saint-Sernin Basilica.

Indeed, since 1985, the Stade Toulousain has been one of the very best clubs in Europe. It has raised the Brennus Shield eleven times, including four consecutive from 1994 to 1997. It is also the first club to win the European Cup in 1996. With four continental titles, Stade Toulousain is the most successful club in the European Cup.  112 years after its creation, the Stade Toulousain has won 21 French champion titles, five European Cups, has a 19,500-seat stadium , about 250 partner companies, and 117 international players over its history. Important players for me are Thierry Dusautoir, Jean-Baptiste Elissalde, Yannick Jauzon, Frédéric Michalak, Emile Ntamack, Clément Poitranaud, and Maxime Médard. As coach none other than Guy Novés.

The Stade Toulousain evolved during its creation in the Parc des Prairie des Filters. This place notably hosted the meetings of the Stade Olympien of Toulouse students. In 1907, Ernest Wallon, president of the club, decided to provide the club with a sports arena. Located in the heart of the Ponts-Jumeaux district, not far from the site of the old stadium of the Prairie des Filters , the club moves to the Ponts Jumeaux stadium. It was inaugurated on November 24, 1907. The Stade Toulousain is one of the rare French clubs, all sports combined, to have its own sports facilities. It therefore owns the stadium, Stade Ernest-Wallon, commonly known as the Sept Deniers stadium, near Blagnac. It is named after Ernest Wallon, president of the Stade Olympien des étudiants de Toulouse or Toulouse Olympic Stadium for Students (SOET) and law professor at the Faculty of Toulouse, at the beginning of the 20C, who participated in the creation of the Ponts Jumeaux stadium in Toulouse. The latter, opened in 1982, has been recently renovated and has a capacity of 19,500 seats. In 2019, the stadium lawn was completely changed to adopt a hybrid lawn. A new dining hall is built between the store and the entrance to the training center. The current main entrance to the changing rooms under the grandstand, the visitors changing rooms and the old canteen were then completely refurbished.


The official Stade Toulousain rugby

The official Stade Toulousain on the Ernest Wallon stadium

The Toulouse tourist office on rugby in town

There you go folks, a lethal combination if in town, the pink city is Toulouse and football/rugby is it. Again, hope you enjoy the pro sports of Toulouse ! as I.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: