Near the end of the 50’s, a small group of friends gathered nearly every day to play football in the old ‘Coal-Scuttle’ neighborhood. They would gather at the ‘Akbarstreet’ to challenge other streets for a match.
As the group began to grow, they started playing on a field close to the Bos en Lommerweg which was mostly grasslands at the time. During that time a few of the men had the idea of starting their own football club.
They turned that idea into reality on Friday the 26th of September, when 7 of them founded their very own club. The name they chose was spot on: “Door Enige Vrienden Opgericht 1958”, which translates into “Founded by a Few Friends”. In short: DEVO’58
DEVO’58 started out subletting a pitch near the current A10 freeway at Sloterdijk Station, which was not existing at the time. Subletting meant they rented a pitch from another club, even though you could hardly call it a real football field at the time. Cows grazed the pitch on weekdays, meaning some of the players had ‘manure duty’ before matches were played.
After some time the club moved to the complex at the Velserweg, subletting from DWS this time. Another move took place several years later, when DEVO’58 left the Velserweg.
The Sloten Sportspark became the new home for the club, subletting yet again. At the time, DEVO’58 didn’t have its own pitch or canteen. The locker room served as a canteen. Biscuits, candy and soda was sold out of one of the windows. Seemingly amateuristic, yet the DEVO’58 players took this in stride and the conditions actually resulted in a close-knit football club.
DEVO’58 didn’t stay very long at Sportpark Sloten either. Again we moved and this time to Sport Park Ookmeer in Osdorp. The first years as a subtenant of our big brother D.C.G. They allowed us to build our very own wooden canteen. It proved to be a huge task to transform a small shack into a canteen. Many volunteers have put in a lot of their own free time to get the job done. Three of the men who helped during that period (Johan Prasing, Rene Ligthart and Ad Schmitz) were even honored with an honorary membership. They are the only honorary members of DEVO’58, but they really deserve their title for all they have done for our great club.
After a great deal of wandering, the final breakthrough arrived in 1985: DEVO’58 was finally able to rent a pitch of their own. Their new football field was also located at sports park Ookmeer, pitch number 18. Facing the Ookmeer Mill, the pitch had a lot of history. Pitch 18 had been the National Football Association’s pitch for the Amsterdam region for many years. As such, it had seen many important, decisive matches, as well as its share of high school finals. Players, both big and small, have marveled the crowds at pitch 18.
The step kick started DEVO’58 as a real football club, as having your own pitch meant you had to improve upon it as well. They needed to build a brickwork canteen and locker rooms. It was once again the drive and dedication of the board which saw the work done. There’s no question they did a great job, the same facilities are still being used today. Somewhat on the small side, the canteen has the feel of a real football club. Something modern facilities often seem to lack.
Today, in the second decade of the 21st century, DEVO’58 still plays its matched on the pitch opposite to the mill. The club has seen many changes over the years, and know both highs and lows.
In 2008 DEVO’58 only had 2 teams left, Saturday’s 2nd and 3rd team. There was a significant amount of pressure from the city council and the Football Association to shut the club down. Despite having only 2 original Amsterdam citizens as members, it was still a closely-knit bunch. Together they set out to keep DEVO’58 a part of the Amsterdam football scene.
The first step was the formation for the 1st women’s team. It consisted of the female supporters of the 2nd and 3rd male team, who decided to support their men on the pitch now as well as off the pitch. By doing so, they instantly raised the number of member by a third. These three teams, who still play at DEVO’58 now, as well as a large number of volunteers helped DEVO’58 rise again. Today, some 7 years later, DEVO’58 has grown to support 2 female teams, 4 Saturday teams and 2 Sunday teams. Since the season of 2010/11 DEVO’58 even has a standard eleven, something the club hasn’t had in years.
Thanks to the enormous effort made by its many members, volunteers and supporters, DEVO’58 is one of the few clubs in Amsterdam that still retains its founding year in its name. We contribute this solely to the fact that everyone connected to the club is able to share that “DEVO-feeling”.
DEVO’58 is looking ahead now, developing the club even further. The Millers Cup is being hosted since 2009. The Cup, featuring both male and female teams, has grown to be a household name in just a few years.
Plans to enlarge and upgrade the locker rooms to a modern standard have been approved by the city council. There is room for new teams, be it men, or women, expats, ex-students or seniors. Of course, we will make sure that whoever joins, fits the DEVO’58 culture of sportsmanship, friendship and fun, taking action and being there for your club.
The club which holds sportsmanship, fun and diversity in high standards.