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Raymond Braine

Not to be confused with Ray Brain.
Raymond Braine
Full nameRaymond Ernest Michel Braine
Date of birth(1907-04-28)28 April 1907
Place of birthAntwerp, Belgium
Date of death24 December 1978(1978-12-24) (aged 71)
Place of deathAntwerp, Belgium
Playing positionStriker
Senior career*
1922-1930Beerschot VAC142(141)
1930-1936Sparta Prague106(120)
1936-1943Beerschot VAC113(69)
1943-1944La Forestoise21(0)
National team

Raymond "Ray" Ernest Michel Braine (28 April 1907 – 24 December 1978) was a Belgian football striker.[1] He was also the first Belgian professional player, when he obtained a transfer to Sparta Prague in 1930.

Braine played in 54 matches for the Belgium national football team and scored 26 times, making him Belgium's 5th top all-time scorer.

Career highlights

His first club was Beerschot in Antwerp. Braine made his Belgian Championship debut on 11 February 1923 against Daring Club de Bruxelles (lost 3-0). He scored 4 times in 4 appearances that season and Beerschot finished second. Raymond's brother, Pierre, was also part of the team. The next year, Braine obtained his first trophy by earning a Championship title. Three more titles followed in 1925, 1926 and 1928.

At the time, the Belgian football was not a professional club. However, certain players did receive money (unofficially) based on performance. Some other players supplemented their incomes by opening cafés. At one point the Belgian Football Association published a paper stating: "Considering it is important to stop the progression of player-café owners, the executive Committee takes the decision that at this day, except for a player whose parents ran the café for more than 5 years, the authorisation to open a café will be subordinated to the condition that the player will not be a part of the first team."

Braine, who just opened a café in December 1929, decided to go and play abroad. His first attempt was in England with London side Clapton Orient, but he could not obtain a work permit. He signed a lucrative contract in 1930 with Sparta Prague and subsequently became the first Belgian professional player. With Sparta, Braine won Czechoslovak First League titles in 1932 and 1936, as well as 1935's Mitropa Cup.[1] He finished as top scorer twice with Sparta Prague.

Before the 1934 World Cup, Braine had received an offer of 100,000 Koruna from the Czechoslovak FA to become a citizen of Czechoslovakia which he refused. Afterwards, Czechoslovakia lost the final game to Italy. He came back to Beerschot in 1937 and won the Championship twice again. This time, he played in the 1938 World Cup.

In 1943, Braine was transferred to C.S. La Forestoise as a defender for one season, a team that had just been promoted the year before to the first division, because of the War.


Club honours

Individual honours

  • Belgian League top scorer - 1928, 1929
  • Czechoslovakia championship top scorer - 1932, 1934


  1. ^ a b c d Jeřábek, Luboš (2007). Ceský a ceskoslovenský fotbal - lexikon osobností a klubu (in Czech). Prague: Grada Publishing. p. 25. ISBN 978-80-247-1656-5. 

External links