SBV Vitesse

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Vitesse logo
Full nameStichting Betaald Voetbal Vitesse
FC Hollywood at the Rhine
Airborne Football Club
Founded14 May 1892; 129 years ago (1892-05-14)
OwnerValeriy Oyf
ChairmanYevgeny Merkel
Head coachThomas Letsch
2020–21Eredivisie, 4th
WebsiteClub website
Current season
GelreDome Stadium

SBV Vitesse (Stichting Betaald Voetbal Vitesse), widely known as Vitesse Arnhem, or simply as Vitesse (Dutch pronunciation: [viˈtɛsə]), is a Dutch professional football club located in the municipality of Arnhem, in the province of Gelderland. Established on 14 May 1892, Vitesse is one of the oldest professional football clubs in the Eredivisie. Since 1998, the club has played its home games at the GelreDome.

Vitesse had its most successful period in the 1990s. Their best result in the Eredivisie was third place in 1997–98. They won the KNVB Cup in 2017 and also reached the final in 1912, 1927, 1990 and 2021. Throughout the years, Vitesse established itself as a stepping stone for future world class players like Raimond van der Gouw, Philip Cocu, Roy Makaay, Pierre van Hooijdonk, Sander Westerveld, Nikos Machlas, Mahamadou Diarra, Nemanja Matić, Wilfried Bony, Bertrand Traoré, Mason Mount and Martin Ødegaard.


Vitesse's first squad in 1896.
Vitesse's first squad in 1913.
Against AFC Ajax in the 1970 Dutch Cup match.
Nicky Hofs played for Vitesse 194 matches. He was the cousin of Bennie Hofs and Henk Hofs.
Wilfried Bony was awarded the Golden Shoe for the best player in the Netherlands.

Vitesse, founded in 1892, are the 2nd oldest professional football club still in existence in the Netherlands, after Sparta Rotterdam who were formed in 1888. The roots of Vitesse actually pre-dated Sparta by a year as in 1887, a club with the name "Arnhemsche cricket- en voetbalvereeniging Vitesse" was formed by a group of high school students who played their sport on the Rijnkade, overlooking the River Rhine in the city centre. Reluctant to choose a Latin or English name for the club as they felt those languages were too elitist, they picked the French word Vitesse, meaning "speed".

In 1891 the club disbanded as they were no longer able to find anywhere suitable to play cricket after a Velodrome was built on their usual playing field in the Klarenbeek Park. The following year a group of wealthy students resurrected the sports club, this time with the name AVC (Arnhemse Voetbal en Cricketclub) Vitesse. In the summer they played cricket and in the winter football. In the end of 1892, Vitesse played its first real football match, and in 1894 Vitesse disbanded the cricket branch. In 1895 and 1896 Vitesse became champions of the Gelderland competition. From the foundation of the Dutch national football championship in 1898 until 1954, the title was decided through play-offs by a handful of clubs who had previously won their regional league. Vitesse lost the final of the national championship six times (1898, 1899, 1903, 1913, 1914 and 1915).

In 1912, Vitesse reached the final of the Dutch Cup Tournament for the first time. Vitesse lost the final with 0–2 from HFC Haarlem. In this period Vitesse had top players, likes Willem Hesselink and Just Göbel. This players were also active in the Dutch national team. In 1914 John William Sutcliffe became the first foreign trainer.

During World War II, Vitesse didn't play-official matches because playing football in the open air was forbidden. During the Battle of Arnhem, the residents of the city were forcibly evicted from their homes, allowing the Germans to turn the north bank of the Rhine into a heavily defended line. Residents were not allowed to return home without a permit and most did not return until after the war. The football field and clubhouse was completely destroyed. The damage was repaired in the years after the liberation.

In 1984 it was decided to divide the professional and amateur sections of the club. The professional section was renamed SBV (Stichting Betaald Voetbal – "Professional Football Foundation") Vitesse whilst the amateur section became "Vitesse 1892", which lasted until they disbanded in 2009.

From 1984, Karel Aalbers was the president of SBV Vitesse. Aalbers' goal was to bring Vitesse from the bottom of the Second League (Eerste divisie, now Jupiler League), the league in which the club originated, to the top 40 soccer clubs of Europe. He developed the basic idea for the 'Gelredome', a stadium with a sliding pitch that can be moved out of the building. Later, the same system was applied in Gelsenkirchen (Schalke 04) and in Japan. Events such as pop concerts can be held without damaging the grass. Gelredome opened in 1998. It has a roof that can be opened and closed. It is fully climate controlled as well. In the first season after the opening, Gelredome's attendance rose to 20,000, (from less than 8,000 in the old stadium).

Vitesse made their debut in European competition in 1990. The club won their first match in the first round 1–0 over Derry City.

The club remained financially sound through making notable profits on the transfer market. Players such as Roy Makaay, Sander Westerveld, Nikos Machlas, Glenn Helder and Philip Cocu were sold for large sums of money. Others came to occupy empty player positions, such as Mahamadou Diarra and Pierre van Hooijdonk. Vitesse finished in top 4 positions, made profits and showed a solid balance sheet in the final years of Aalbers' presidency. Also, the club became regular competitors in the UEFA Cup and in 1997–1998 finished third in the Eredivise, its record highest finish to date.

Herbert Neumann was Vitesse's manager over most of these years (1992–95 and 1998–99), while star players included: Nikos Machlas, the first ever Vitesse player to win the European Golden Boot in 1998 when he scored 34 goals in a season; John van den Brom, who played 378 matches for Vitesse during this period scoring 110 goals from midfield; and Edward Sturing, who played 383 matches in defence for Vitesse from 1987 to 1998, as well as receiving 3 caps for the Netherlands national team. Additional stars included Dejan Čurović, who spent six years at Vitesse playing 109 matches as a striker, scoring 41 goals including the first goal in GelreDome. Meanwhile, Dutch forward Roy Makaay spent four years at Vitesse, scoring 42 goals in 109 matches between 1993 and 1997.

Aalbers resigned on 15 February 2000,[1] after the main sponsor, Nuon, threatened to pull the plug if he did not. Nuon, as a public utility company owned by local authorities, had trouble explaining why it invested heavily in Aalbers' ambitious plans. His successor was Jan Koning (former chief of Sara Lee/DE who resigned after four months). In a short period of time, Vitesse began to show negative financial results due to poor deals on the transfer market. The club survived numerous financial crises, such as the last one in 2008, when debts were bought off, under the threat of bankruptcy.

The club was in serious financial trouble, and in August 2010 its majority shareholder agreed to sell the club to the Georgian businessman Merab Jordania. There was rumors that this purchase was engineered by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich. The club underwent a successful transformation into a modern, commercial sports organization and established itself as one of the dominant teams of the Eredivisie.

On 1 July 2012, Fred Rutten signed a contract as the new manager of Vitesse, for the season 2012-13. Rutten left Vitesse after the season, finishing in 4th place. Wilfried Bony ended the season as the Eredivisie's top scorer with 31 goals in 30 matches and was awarded the Golden Shoe for the best player in the Netherlands.

For the 2013–14 season, Vitesse appointed Peter Bosz as its new manager. In November 2013, Vitesse was top of the league in the Eredivisie for the first time since 2006. It was the first time since 2000 they'd been top of the league later than the first week. Halfway through the season, after 17 matches, Vitesse was the leader in the competition. Key players in the squad from this period included Davy Pröpper, Christian Atsu and Bertrand Traoré.

Vitesse announced on 13 June 2016 that Henk Fraser would replace Bosz at the start of the 2016–17 season. In his first full season, won the club first major trophy in its 125-year existence. Fraser defeating AZ by a score of 2−0 in the final of the KNVB Cup, with two goals from Ricky van Wolfswinkel.[2] On 5 August 2017 Vitesse were beaten 1–1 (4–2 pen.) at De Kuip, Rotterdam in the Johan Cruyff Shield final by Feyenoord. In the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League group stage, Vitesse's opponents were Lazio Roma, OGC Nice and Zulte Waregem. Vitesse ultimately finished the group stage in fourth place. In October 2017, Guram Kashia wore a rainbow-striped captain's armband for Vitesse against Heracles Almelo in support of LGBT rights, leading to a backlash in his own country. In August 2018, he became the inaugural recipient of UEFA's #EqualGame award for his act.[3]

In 2021, after beating VVV-Venlo in the semi-final, Vitesse reached the KNVB Cup Final for the fifth time in their history. Vitesse lost the final with 2–1 from AFC Ajax. Vitesse finished the 2020–21 Eredivise season in 4th place and qualified for the UEFA Europa Conference League.

Stadium and training facilities[edit]

GelreDome with closed roof and pitch outside.
GelreDome Stadium
Training accommodation at Papendal

The club plays its home games at the GelreDome stadium, with a capacity of 21,000 seats. The GelreDome was built to serve as a multifunctional stadium suited for sports, concerts and other events. It was the first football stadium in the world to have a retractable pitch, and, after the Amsterdam ArenA, the second stadium in Europe to have a sliding roof. The pitch is surrounded on each side by four covered all-seater stands, officially known as the Edward Sturing Stand (North), Charly Bosveld Stand (East), Theo Bos Stand (South) and Just Göbel Stand (West).

The idea of building a multifunctional stadium, which had more than double the capacity of Vitesse's old Nieuw Monnikenhuize stadium, came from former Vitesse chairman Karel Aalbers. The ambitious chairman had been playing with the idea from as early as the late 1980s, but it took until 1996 and the prospect of the upcoming Euro 2000 championships for construction to finally begin. The GelreDome opened two years later, on 25 March 1998, with a league match between Vitesse and NAC Breda (4-1). Three international matches of the Dutch national football team were played in the stadium, the first one being on May 27, 1998: a friendly against Cameroon (0–1). The last one, played on April 26, 2000, was also a friendly: a 0–0 against Scotland. In 2019, the Netherlands women's national team, also played their an international (friendly) match at the stadium. Furthermore, the GelreDome was the location for three UEFA Euro 2000 group stage matches, as well as the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Championship tournament.

Vitesse's training facilities are conducted at National Sports Centre Papendal, located in the outskirts of Arnhem in woodland surroundings. The training ground consists of several pitches, a number of which have an artificial turf pitch, and extensive training facilities, including a fitness centre. Papendal, a mere twelve kilometers north of the GelreDome, is not only the training facility for Vitesse's first team; the youth teams play their home matches here as well. Its main field has seating capacity for 500 people. The complex is situated in large wooded area, where the players can prepare in a peaceful and private environment, whilst not being too far from the hustle and bustle of Arnhem's city centre. Papendal is also the base for administration staff, scouting department and all club coaches.

Stadium history[edit]

Name Years
Rijnkade / Klarenbeek Park 1887–1891
Molenbeekstraat 1892
IJsclub Boulevard Heuvelink 1892–1894
Bronbeek Royal Palace 1893
Paasweide 1894–1896
Klarenbeek Stadium 1896–1915
Monnikenhuize 1915–1950
Nieuw Monnikenhuize 1950–1997
GelreDome 1998–present


Vitesse's crest is composed of an eagle.
Mister Vitesse Theo Bos


Vitesse are well known for the American bald Eagle 'Hertog', which is released before the match and flies over the crowds.


Vitesse fans are known to be creative and have various songs and chants during matches. Among the most important Vitesse songs are "Geel en Zwart zijn onze kleuren" by Emile Hartkamp, "Ernems Trots" by Joey Hartkamp, and "Bouw mee aan een steengoed Vites!" by Henk Bleker & Enka Harmonie. Vitesse opens its home matches with "Whatever You Want" by Status Quo, and after every home goal "Bro Hymn" by Pennywise is played.

Mr Vitesse[edit]

Theo Bos was raised in Arnhem and started playing football from an early age. He began his career at amateur club Sv Sempre Avanti and played from 1979 to 1983 in the academy of Vitesse. Manager Leen Looijen gave him his professional debut on 13 August 1983 against FC Wageningen; the match ended in a 3–0 victory for Vitesse. Bos spent his entire playing career for Vitesse, making a total 369 appearances in 14 seasons with his club. After his playing career, Bos worked at Vitesse as youth coach, assistant coach and manager. He is therefore considered to be Mister Vitesse. In 2012, the south stand of the GelreDome stadium was named the Theo Bos Stand. Bos died on 28 February 2013 of pancreatic cancer, aged forty-seven. Following his death, a special remembrance to honour Theo Bos took place at Gelredome with around 7,000 Vitesse supporters. As of the 2012–13 season, no player could wear the number 4 shirt at Vitesse after the club decided to retire the shirt out of respect for Theo Bos, "the legendary number four". Dutch defender Jan-Arie van der Heijden was the last player to wear the number. In November 2013, his biography Het is zoals het is ('It is what it is') was published, written by journalist Marcel van Roosmalen. In 2015, a statue of Bos was erected outside of the training complex at Papendal.

Other club legends[edit]

Below is a list with members who have established themselves as club legends:


The 'Airborne memorial' football match

Around September there is an annual 'Airborne memorial' football match. During this annual Airborne-match the veterans of World War II will be honored. The Gelredome is decorated with Airborne flags, both outside and inside the stadium, and at halftime, 120 members of the Royal British Legion played the bagpipes with some other musical guests. Clubsymbol Hertog fly with the typical Airborne colours. The match is traditionally visited by veterans who were fighting in this battle, while a special shirt is worn by Vitesse. The club drop their normal striped black and yellow kit for this special match. Instead they wear claret and blue outfits, the same colours of the 1st Airborne Division, with a 1st Airborne 'winged horse' emblem also etched on the kit. Pictured on the collar sticker is the John Frost Bridge. These shirts are after the match auctioned for charity. In addition, Vitesse wearing a special captain's armband as a sign of recognition and respect for those who have fought for our freedom. In the 2014–15 and 2019–20 seasons, Vitesse played their away games in the same colours of the 1st Airborne Division.

Colours and badge[edit]

Originally, Vitesse played in white shirts with a blue sash from inception until 1900, paying hommage to the city's colours. At the turn of the century, player Reinhard Jan Christiaan baron van Pallandt offered to sponsor the club's shirts in exchange for Vitesse switching to his family colours of black and yellow. The board were quick to accept, noting that Vitesse, being one of the strongest team in the province of Gelderland, would be vindicated in playing in what could also be considered the province's colours (the flag of Gelderland is a tricolour in blue, yellow, and black).

The first logo of Vitesse was a shield-shaped crest. In the middle there was a diagonal dividing line between the left yellow face and the right black box. In the left box, "AVC Vitesse" was diagonally written and in the right-hand side, "1892 ", the club's founding year. The old logo was replaced in 1984, the year in which the roads of the BVO branch and the amateur branch separated. The amateur branch retained the logo with limited modification, SBV Vitesse got a new logo.

The new logo of the BVO from 1984 is once again a shield-shaped figure, but it has straight lines at both the top and sides of the logo. At the top is with thick white uppercase Vitesse. Under the name is a double-headed eagle, with left and right half mirrored. Also the colors are mirrored, which is left yellow is black right and vice versa. This double-headed eagle can also be found in the coat of arms of Arnhem. In the middle of the logo is a football positioned.

In the autumn of 2011, a new version of the logo was put into use; A total of 13 changes have been made. For example, the symmetry of the eagle was improved, the black outer edge replaced by a white and in the writing has been made thinner. The football has been altered in terms of appearance as a shadow effect is added and (if the context allows it) the year of creation as text EST. 1892 under the logo can be found.

Kit manufacturers and sponsors[edit]

Since 2019, Vitesse's kit has been manufactured by Nike. Previous manufacturers include Adidas (1982–89), Hummel (1989–90), Bukta (1990–91), Diadora (1991–93), Umbro (1993–97), Lotto Sport Italia (1997–99), Uhlsport (1999–05), Quick (2005–06), Legea (2006–09), Klupp (2009–12), Nike (2012–14), and Macron (2014-19).

The club's shirts are currently sponsored by Previous commercial sponsors have been Akai (1982–83), Oad Reizen (1983–85), Spitman (1985–86), Schoenenreus (1987–89), RTL 4 (1990–1991), PTT Telecom (1991–92), BFI (1991–92), Spaarenergie (1992–93), Nuon Energy (1993–01), ATAG Benelux (2000–01), SITA (2002–03), Hubo (2002–03), Bavaria (2002–03), SBS 6 (2002–03), Sunweb Group (2003–04), AFAB (2004–2010), (2010–2011), Simpel (2011–12), Youfone (2013–14), Truphone (2014–17), SWOOP (2017–18), Droomparken (2018–19), Royal Burgers' Zoo (2019–20) and The Netherlands Open Air Museum (2019–20).


Vitesse fans at the 2017 Dutch Cup Final in Rotterdam.

The supporters of the club are known as Vitessenaren. Vitesse has two independent fan bodies. The Supportersvereniging Vitesse was founded in 1992 and currently consists of 3,000 members. They own a fan base within the GelreDome. The second one, Arnhem Ultras, serve a more specific purpose: to improve the atmosphere in the stadium. Besides the fan unions, there are several sets of fans who work together on tifo choreography, likes VIVO (Vitesse Is van Ons), De Aftrap, VAK 113, VAK 212, RFFC, Crew 81 and BGN among others. Nowadays, Vitesse is supported by one fanatic side: The Theo Bos – South Stand. This stand is responsible for a big part of the atmosphere in the stadium.

Vitesse have attracted around 18,000 people to Eredivisie matches on average in the last years. The record attendance stands at 26,600, achieved in a match against NAC Breda at 25 March 1998. Research showed that about 10,000 season ticket holders from Gelderland, with other significant groups coming from Utrecht, South Holland and North Rhine-Westphalia.

The Vitesse Kids Club was founded by Vitesse in 1998 for children up to 16 years. Every year, the Vitesse Kids Club Day is organized, offering activities for members who are joined by the first team squad. During pre-season, Vitesse also holds an Open Day for people of all ages; the event gives the opportunity for sponsors and new player signings to be presented.

Vitesse fans have established a close friendship with the supporters of FC Petrolul Ploiești and RFC de Liège. Back in the days they had a friendship with Lierse SK till there was a big riot between them at a friendly match in 2011.


Rivalry with N.E.C.[edit]

NEC from Nijmegen are Vitesse's archrivals. The two clubs share a long history together and matches between the two clubs are called the Gelderse Derby (Derby of Gelderland). The rivalry between these two clubs goes beyond the football rivalry, it transcends into the city rivalry between the two largest cities of Gelderland: Nijmegen and Arnhem. This city rivalry began when these two cities first received their city rights. The two cities are just 20 kilometres apart, leading to an intense feeling of a cross-town rivalry, heightened by a feeling that local pride is at stake. The meeting between the two teams is still considered to be one of the biggest matches of the season.

The inhabitants of these cities differ extremely in both attitudes and cultures which is clearly reflected on to the football pitch. Vitesse's style of play has long been a source of pride for the supporters, and one of irritation for the NEC fans.

Since 1813, Arnhem has been the capital of Gelderland, historically based on finance and trade. Arnhem is perceived as an office city with modern buildings. Nijmegen, on the other hand, is predominantly a workers' city, with middle and high-income groups in the minority. People from Nijmegen see Arnhem as arrogant and lazy.

Played Vitesse wins Draws N.E.C. wins Vitesse goals N.E.C. goals
Eredivisie 56 21 16 19 68 61
Eerste divisie 14 2 6 6 18 27
Tweede divisie 4 0 1 3 3 9
Eerste klasse 8 1 1 6 9 23
Tweede klasse 4 2 1 1 7 5
KNVB Cup 5 0 2 3 3 9
Play-offs 6 4 1 1 9 4
Total 97 30 28 39 117 138
Last two results
Venue Date Competition Vitesse N.E.C.
GelreDome 2 April 2017 Eredivisie 2 1
De Goffert 23 October 2016 Eredivisie 1 1

Rivalries with other clubs[edit]

De Graafschap are also a rival of Vitesse, but in terms of tension and rivalry, these matches are not as loaded as the duels with N.E.C. Nijmegen. The rivalry has existed for some time with De Graafschap and stems from various causes, such as the opposition between the large city (Arnhem) and the countryside (Doetinchem).

Further teams who share a rivalry with Vitesse include FC Twente and AFC Ajax. Past rivalries include local derbies between Vitesse and clubs such as FC Wageningen, Go Ahead Eagles, Quick 1888, Arnhemse Boys and VV Rheden. However, the tension between the local sides lessened as the division of the clubs through playing in different leagues over time became greater. Years of not competing in the same league resulted in less frequent match-ups, until tensions finally settled between the local clubs.


Current squad[edit]

As of 3 june 2021[4]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
2 DF Israel ISR Eli Dasa
3 DF Netherlands NED Danilho Doekhi
6 DF Denmark DEN Jacob Rasmussen (on loan from Fiorentina)
7 FW Belgium BEL Loïs Openda (on loan from Club Brugge)
8 MF Norway NOR Sondre Tronstad
9 FW Algeria ALG Oussama Darfalou
10 MF Netherlands NED Riechedly Bazoer
11 FW Albania ALB Armando Broja (on loan from Chelsea)
14 MF Morocco MAR Oussama Tannane
16 DF Croatia CRO Alois Oroz
17 FW Nigeria NGA Hilary Gong
18 DF Czech Republic CZE Tomáš Hájek
19 FW England ENG Noah Ohio (on loan from RB Leipzig)
No. Pos. Nation Player
20 MF Netherlands NED Thomas Bruns
21 MF Slovakia SVK Matúš Bero
22 GK Netherlands NED Remko Pasveer (captain)
23 GK Netherlands NED Bilal Bayazit
24 GK Netherlands NED Jeroen Houwen
27 MF Germany GER Idrissa Touré (on loan from Juventus)
32 DF Germany GER Maximilian Wittek
36 MF Netherlands NED Patrick Vroegh
39 DF Netherlands NED Enzo Cornelisse
40 MF Netherlands NED Daan Huisman
41 DF Netherlands NED Brend Leeflang
42 DF Netherlands NED Million Manhoef
44 FW El Salvador SLV Enrico Hernández
FW Switzerland  SUI Julian Von Moos (on loan from FC Basel)

For recent transfers, see 2020–21 SBV Vitesse season.

Players out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
FW Netherlands NED Thomas Buitink (on loan to PEC Zwolle until 30 June 2021)
No. Pos. Nation Player
FW Netherlands NED Roy Kuijpers (on loan to Den Bosch until 30 June 2021)

Retired numbers[edit]

4 Netherlands Theo Bos, defender (1983–98), posthumous honour
12 Club Supporters (the 12th Man)
13 Vito, the official team mascot

Reserve team (Under-21)[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK Netherlands NED Job Froeling
DF Netherlands NED Eelco Mostert
DF Netherlands NED Jomairo Kogeldans
DF Netherlands NED Kelvin Bui
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF Netherlands NED Aness Serghini
MF Netherlands NED Jayden Houtriet
MF Netherlands NED Nouri Cheung
FW Netherlands NED Jurmain Blanchard

Youth teams[edit]

The club is famous, however, for its Youth Academy, which is rated with the maximum of 4 Stars by the KNVB. Many players in professional football in Europe have played at Vitesse in the past including Roy Makaay, Peter Bosz, Marco van Ginkel, Alexander Büttner, Theo Janssen, Erwin Mulder, Eloy Room, Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Davy Pröpper, Piet Velthuizen, Martin Laamers, Nicky Hofs, Mitchell van Bergen and Stijn Schaars. All youth teams will train and play their matches at Papendal.

The Vitesse Academy comprises age-group teams ranging from U8's up to the flagship U19's. The youngest players are scouted at amateur clubs in the direct surroundings of Arnhem. For the age of twelve and older the academy extends its scouting area, mainly to the remaining part of the Netherlands and Germany. In Vitesse's youth efficient and qualified training is done by full-time coaches and organized by further employees looking after the administration. Goal of the sporting education is to train the youths from basic to development to performance levels, for them to fulfil the sportive and non sportive demands of professional football.

List of Vitesse coaches[edit]

Board and staff[edit]

Corporate hierarchy[edit]

Position Name
Owner Russia Valeriy Oyf
Supervisory Board Germany Yevgeny Merkel (Chairman)
Russia Valeriy Oyf
Netherlands Henk Parren
Board of the Vitesse-Arnhem Foundation Netherlands Henk Parren (Chairman)
Netherlands Peter van Bussel
Netherlands Gerrit Jan Steenbergen
Advisory Council Netherlands Cor Guijt
Netherlands Bert Roetert
Netherlands Jan Snellenburg
Directors Netherlands Pascal van Wijk (General director)
Germany Johannes Spors (Technical director)
Netherlands Peter Rovers (Marketing director)
Ambassadors Netherlands Edward Sturing
Netherlands Theo Janssen
Netherlands Nicky Hofs

Management hierarchy[edit]

Position Staff
Sports director Germany Johannes Spors
Assistant sports director Germany Marcel Klos
Chief scout Germany Daniel Ebbert
Head coach Germany Thomas Letsch
Assistant coach Germany Jan Fiesser
Netherlands Joseph Oosting
Goalkeepers coach Netherlands Rein Baart
Fitness coach / Recovery trainer Netherlands Jan van Norel
Video analyst Netherlands Dennis van der Meulen
Head of academy Netherlands Edward Sturing
Under-21 coach Netherlands Nicky Hofs
Under-19 coach Netherlands Theo Janssen


After Karel Aalbers left, the financial situation for the club became dire. This downfall almost led Vitesse into bankruptcy in 2008, as they were not able to pay back loans given by their sponsor AFAB Geldservice B.V.. Eventually the club arranged a deal that saw AFAB's owner, Maasbert Schouten, gain 100% of Vitesse's shares. Schouten immediately expressed his intent to sell the club, which opened the window for Merab Jordania to buy Vitesse. When Jordania, a former Dinamo Tbilisi player and owner, bought the team in 2010, Vitesse became the first Dutch club in history with a foreign owner. In 2013, Russian businessman Alexander Tsjigirinski bought the club from Jordania. In May 2018 a new acquisition took place at Vitesse. Valeriy Oyf became the new majority shareholder of Vitesse. The Russian oligarch, who was part of the Board of Directors of Vitesse from 2016, took over the shares of Tsjigirinski.


The first chairman was Frans Dezentjé. Willem Hesselink was chairman of the club from 1917 to 1922 and was appointed honorary chairman in 1962. Although Vitesse's coaches have come from all over Europe, the club's chairmen have been mostly Dutch, with Merab Jordania and Yevgeny Merkel as the only exceptions. The name of Karel Aalbers is inseparably linked to Vitesse. Although a club's success is never the work of a single man, nonetheless, the former chairman's part in the sportive and professional growth of Vitesse may be labelled as truly exceptional. Karel Aalbers handled the chairman's gavel from 1984 to 2000.



Runners-up: 1897–98, 1902–03, 1912–13, 1913–14, 1914–15
Third place: 1997–98
European competition: 2011–12, 2014–15, 2017–18
Winners: 1976–77, 1988–89
Runners-up: 1959–60, 1973–74
Promoted: 1970–71
Winners: 1965–66
Winners: 2016–17
Runners-up: 1911–12, 1926–27, 1989–90, 2020–21
Runners-up: 2017


  • Eerste klasse Oost
Winners: 1896–97, 1897–98, 1902–03, 1912–13, 1913–14, 1914–15, 1952–53
Promoted: 1954–55
  • Tweede klasse Oost
Winners: 1922–23, 1940–41, 1943–44, 1945–46, 1949–50
  • Gelderland Competition
Winners: 1894–95, 1895–96


1/8 final: 1990–91, 1992–93
Group stage: 2017–18
Group stage: 1978–79

Club Awards[edit]

Winners: 1989–90
  • Gelderland Sportsteam of the year
Winners: 2017–18

Personnel honours[edit]

European Golden Boot[edit]

The following players have won the European Golden Boot whilst playing for Vitesse:

Dutch Footballer of the Year (Golden Boots)[edit]

The following players have won the Dutch Footballer of the Year whilst playing for Vitesse:

Johan Cruyff Trophy[edit]

The following players have won the Johan Cruyff Trophy whilst playing for Vitesse:

Eredivisie Top Scorer[edit]

Eerste Divisie Top Scorer[edit]

Rinus Michels Award (Manager of the year)[edit]

UEFA's #EqualGame Award[edit]

Vitesse in Europe[edit]

Vitesse in the Europa League.
Theo Bos – South Stand.
  • Group = group game
  • Q = qualifying round
  • 1R = first round
  • 2R = second round
  • 3R = third round
  • 1/8 = 1/8 final
Season Competition Round Country Club Score Goalscorers Vitesse
1978–79 Intertoto Cup Group Italy Hellas Verona 2–1, 0–2 Bursac, Hofs / (-)
Group Belgium RWDM 0–5, 0–2 (-) / (-)
Group France Troyes 5–3, 2–1 Bleijenberg (2), Heezen, Mulderij, Bosveld / Bleijenberg, Beukhof
1990–91 UEFA Cup 1R Republic of Ireland Derry City 1–0, 0–0 Loeffen / (-)
2R Scotland Dundee United 1–0, 4–0 Eijer / Latuheru (2), Van den Brom, Eijer
1/16 Portugal Sporting CP 0–2, 1–2 (-) / Van Arum
1992–93 UEFA Cup 1R Republic of Ireland Derry City 3–0, 2–1 Van den Brom (2), Van Arum / Straal, Laamers
2R Belgium KV Mechelen 1–0, 1–0 Van den Brom / Cocu
1/16 Spain Real Madrid 0–1, 0–1 (-) / (-)
1993–94 UEFA Cup 1R England Norwich City 0–3, 0–0 (-) / (-)
1994–95 UEFA Cup 1R Italy Parma 1–0, 0–2 Gillhaus / (-)
1997–98 UEFA Cup 1R Portugal Braga 2–1, 0–2 Čurović, Trustfull / (-)
1998–99 UEFA Cup 1R Greece AEK Athens 3–0, 3–3 Laros, Perović, Machlas / Machlas (2), Reuser
2R France Bordeaux 0–1, 1–2 (-) / Jochemsen
1999–00 UEFA Cup 1R Portugal Beira-Mar 2–1, 0–0 Van Hooijdonk, Grozdić / (-)
2R France Lens 1–4, 1–1 Van Hooijdonk / Kreek
2000–01 UEFA Cup 1R Israel Maccabi Haifa 3–0, 1–2 Martel, Peeters, Amoah / Amoah
2R Italy Internazionale 0–0, 1–1 (-) / Peeters
2002–03 UEFA Cup 1R Romania Rapid București 1–1, 1–0 Peeters / Peeters
2R Germany Werder Bremen 2–1, 3–3 Amoah, Verlaat (o.g.) / Levchenko, Claessens, Mbamba
3R England Liverpool 0–1, 0–1 (-) / (-)
2012–13 Europa League Q2 Bulgaria Lokomotiv Plovdiv 4–4, 3–1 Van Ginkel (2), Reis, Bony / Van Ginkel, Van Aanholt, Bony
Q3 Russia Anzhi Makhachkala 0–2, 0–2 (-) / (-)
2013–14 Europa League Q3 Romania Petrolul Ploiești 1–1, 1–2 Reis / Van der Heijden
2015–16 Europa League Q3 England Southampton 0–3, 0–2 (-) / (-)
2017–18 Europa League Group France Nice 0–3, 1–0 (-) / Castaignos
Group Italy Lazio 2–3, 1–1 Matavž, Linssen / Linssen
Group Belgium Zulte Waregem 0–2, 1–1 (-) / Bruns
2018–19 Europa League Q2 Romania FC Viitorul Constanța 3–1, 2–2 Matavž, Linssen, Beerens / Matavž, Linssen
Q3 Switzerland FC Basel 1893 0–1, 0–1 (-) / (-)
2021–22 Europa Conference League Q3

UEFA Current ranking[edit]

As of 17 April 2021[5]
Rank Country Team Points
147 Netherlands Vitesse 7.800

Dutch Cup finals[edit]

Season Opponent Result Place Date
1911–12 HFC Haarlem 0–2 R.A.P.-terrein, Amsterdam 26 May 1912
1926–27 V.U.C. 1–3 Monnikenhuize, Arnhem 19 June 1927
1989–90 PSV Eindhoven 0–1 De Kuip, Rotterdam 25 April 1990
2016–17 AZ 2–0 De Kuip, Rotterdam 30 April 2017
2020–21 Ajax 1–2 De Kuip, Rotterdam 18 April 2021

The winners of the cup compete against the winners of the Eredivisie for the Johan Cruyff Shield.

Johan Cruyff Shield[edit]

Season Opponent Result Place Date
2017 Feyenoord 1–1 (2–4 pen.) De Kuip, Rotterdam 5 August 2017

Club records[edit]

Highest transfer fee received: Wilfried Bony to Swansea City for £12 million. (2013)

Domestic results[edit]

Below is a table with Vitesse's domestic results since the introduction of the Eredivisie in 1956.

Domestic Results since 1956
Domestic league League result Qualification to KNVB Cup season Cup result
2020–21 Eredivisie 4th Europa Conference League (Q3) 2020–21 final
2019–20 Eredivisie 7th  – 2019–20 quarter-final
2018–19 Eredivisie 5th  – 2018–19 quarter-final
2017–18 Eredivisie 6th (5th after EC play-offs) Europa League (Q2) (winning EC play-offs) 2017–18 first round
2016–17 Eredivisie 5th Europa League 2016–17 winners
2015–16 Eredivisie 9th  – 2015–16 second round
2014–15 Eredivisie 5th (4th after EC play-offs) Europa League (Q3) (winning EC play-offs) 2014–15 quarter-final
2013–14 Eredivisie 6th (8th after EC play-offs)  – (losing EC play-offs) 2013–14 round of 16
2012–13 Eredivisie 4th Europa League 2012–13 quarter-final
2011–12 Eredivisie 7th (6th after EC play-offs) Europa League (winning EC play-offs) 2011–12 quarter-final
2010–11 Eredivisie 15th  – 2010–11 round of 16
2009–10 Eredivisie 14th  – 2009–10 third round
2008–09 Eredivisie 10th  – 2008–09 third round
2007–08 Eredivisie 12th  – 2007–08 second round
2006–07 Eredivisie 12th (10th after IC play-offs)  – (losing IC play-offs) 2006–07 third round
2005–06 Eredivisie 11th (10th after IC play-offs)  – (losing IC play-offs) 2005–06 second round
2004–05 Eredivisie 7th  – 2004–05 third round
2003–04 Eredivisie 16th  – (surviving promotion/relegation play-offs) 2003–04 round of 16
2002–03 Eredivisie 14th  – 2002–03 quarter-final
2001–02 Eredivisie 5th UEFA Cup 2001–02 second round
2000–01 Eredivisie 6th  – 2000–01 semi-final
1999–2000 Eredivisie 4th UEFA Cup 1999–2000 semi-final
1998–99 Eredivisie 4th UEFA Cup 1998–99 quarter-final
1997–98 Eredivisie 3rd UEFA Cup 1997–98 quarter-final
1996–97 Eredivisie 5th UEFA Cup 1996–97 quarter-final
1995–96 Eredivisie 5th  – 1995–96 second round
1994–95 Eredivisie 6th  – 1994–95 second round
1993–94 Eredivisie 4th UEFA Cup 1993–94 third round
1992–93 Eredivisie 4th UEFA Cup 1992–93 round of 16
1991–92 Eredivisie 4th UEFA Cup 1991–92 round of 16
1990–91 Eredivisie 5th  – 1990–91 quarter-final
1989–90 Eredivisie 4th UEFA Cup 1989–90 final
1988–89 Eerste Divisie 1st Eredivisie (promotion) 1988–89 quarter-final
1987–88 Eerste Divisie 9th promotion/relegation play-offs: no promotion 1987–88 first round
1986–87 Eerste Divisie 7th  – 1986–87 quarter-final
1985–86 Eerste Divisie 8th promotion/relegation play-offs: no promotion 1985–86 first round
1984–85 Eerste Divisie 17th  – 1984–85 second round
1983–84 Eerste Divisie 11th  – 1983–84 first round
1982–83 Eerste Divisie 10th  – 1982–83 second round
1981–82 Eerste Divisie 8th  – 1981–82 second round
1980–81 Eerste Divisie 8th  – 1980–81 first round
1979–80 Eredivisie 17th Eerste Divisie (relegation) 1979–80 round of 16
1978–79 Eredivisie 14th  – 1978–79 second round
1977–78 Eredivisie 9th  – 1977–78 quarter-final
1976–77 Eerste Divisie 1st Eredivisie (promotion) 1976–77 second round
1975–76 Eerste Divisie 5th promotion/relegation play-offs: no promotion 1975–76 first round
1974–75 Eerste Divisie 3rd promotion/relegation play-offs: no promotion 1974–75 first round
1973–74 Eerste Divisie 2nd promotion/relegation play-offs: no promotion 1973–74 second round
1972–73 Eerste Divisie 3rd  – 1972–73 second round
1971–72 Eredivisie 18th Eerste Divisie (relegation) 1971–72 first round
1970–71 Eerste Divisie 3rd Eredivisie (promotion) 1970–71 second round
1969–70 Eerste Divisie 7th  – 1969–70 second round
1968–69 Eerste Divisie 3rd  – 1968–69 quarter-final
1967–68 Eerste Divisie 5th  – 1967–68 group stage
1966–67 Eerste Divisie 8th  – 1966–67 first round
1965–66 Tweede Divisie 1st (group A) Eerste Divisie (promotion) 1965–66 group stage
1964–65 Tweede Divisie 4th (group A)  – 1964–65 first round
1963–64 Tweede Divisie 9th (group B)  – 1963–64 first round
1962–63 Tweede Divisie 6th (group A)  – 1962–63 second round
1961–62 Eerste Divisie 10th (group A) Tweede Divisie (relegation) 1961–62 fourth round
1960–61 Eerste Divisie 4th (group A)  – 1960–61 group stage
1959–60 Eerste Divisie 2nd (group A) promotion/relegation play-offs: no promotion not held not held
1958–59 Eerste Divisie 10th (group B)  – 1958–59 no participation
1957–58 Eerste Divisie 5th (group A)  – 1957–58 fourth round
1956–57 Eerste Divisie 7th (group B)  – 1956–57 second round


(As of 17 May 2021) Eredivisie Eerste Divisie Tweede Divisie
Matches played
1216 852 120
Matches won
475 379 57
Matches drawn
341 215 34
Matches lost
400 258 29
Goals for
1854 1450 221
Goal against
1678 1192 165
36 25 4
Best ranking
3 (1997–98) 1 (1976–77, 1988–89) 1 (1965–66)
Worst ranking
18 (1971–72) 17 (1984–85) 9 (1963–64)

Club topscorers by season[edit]

Player of the Season[edit]

Vitesse's Player of the Season award is voted for by the club's supporters. It was first introduced in the 1989–90 season.

Year Winner
1990 Netherlands Theo Bos
1991 Netherlands René Eijer
1992 Netherlands Martin Laamers
1993 Netherlands Phillip Cocu
1994 Netherlands Glenn Helder
1995 Netherlands Chris van der Weerden
1996 Netherlands Arco Jochemsen
1997 Netherlands Edward Sturing
1998 Greece Nikos Machlas
1999 Netherlands Sander Westerveld
Year Winner
2000 Netherlands Michel Kreek
2001 Netherlands Victor Sikora
2002 Serbia Dejan Stefanović
2003 Ghana Matthew Amoah
2004 Netherlands Nicky Hofs
2005 Ghana Abubakari Yakubu
2006 Netherlands Youssouf Hersi
2007 Serbia Danko Lazović
2008 Netherlands Piet Velthuizen
2009 Netherlands Paul Verhaegh
Year Winner
2010 Netherlands Piet Velthuizen
2011 Serbia Slobodan Rajković
2012 Netherlands Alexander Büttner
2013 Ivory Coast Wilfried Bony
2014 Ghana Christian Atsu
2015 Netherlands Davy Pröpper
2016 Georgia (country) Guram Kashia
2017 Netherlands Ricky van Wolfswinkel
2018 England Mason Mount
2019 Norway Martin Ødegaard
Year Winner
2020 Netherlands Remko Pasveer
2021 Netherlands Remko Pasveer

Most appearances[edit]

All competitions[edit]

Bos spent his entire career for Vitesse, making a total of 429 appearances in 14 seasons with his club. He is therefore considered to be Mister Vitesse.
Van der Gouw is a former Dutch goalkeeper who played most of his career for Vitesse. He amassed a total of 294 matches. In 2009, he was appointed as goalkeeping coach of Vitesse.
Ranking Name Position matches First season Last season
1. Netherlands Theo Bos DF 429 1983/1984 1997/1998
2. Netherlands Edward Sturing DF 383 1987/1988 1997/1998
3. Netherlands John van den Brom MF 378 1986/1987 2000/2001
4. Netherlands Martin Laamers MF 354 1986/1987 1995/1996
5. Netherlands Raimond van der Gouw GK 294 1988/1989 1995/1996
6. Georgia (country) Guram Kashia DF 292 2010/2011 2017/2018


Ranking Name Position matches First season Last season
1. Georgia (country) Guram Kashia DF 244 2010/2011 2017/2018
2. Netherlands Davy Pröpper MF 133 2009/2010 2014/2015
3. Curaçao Eloy Room GK 128 2008/2009 2016/2017
4. Netherlands Piet Velthuizen GK 125 2006/2007 2015/2016
5. Netherlands Jan-Arie van der Heijden DF 123 2011/2012 2014/2015
6. Ecuador Renato Ibarra FW 122 2011/2012 2015/2016


Ranking Name Position matches First season Last season
1. Netherlands Theo Bos DF 17 1983/1984 1997/1998
2. Netherlands John van den Brom MF 17 1986/1987 2000/2001
3. Netherlands Raimond van der Gouw GK 16 1988/1989 1995/1996
4. Netherlands Theo Janssen MF 16 1998/1999 2013/2014
5. Netherlands Martin Laamers MF 16 1986/1987 1995/1996
6. Netherlands Bart Latuheru FW 15 1989/1990 1995/1996

Top goalscorers[edit]

John van den Brom played at Vitesse from 1986 to 1993, and from 1996 to 2001. He came back to manage the club from 2011 to 2012.

All competitions[edit]

Ranking Name Position Goals Period
1. Netherlands Jan Dommering FW 168 1929–1948
2. Netherlands John van den Brom MF 110 1986–2001
3. Netherlands Gerrit Langeler FW 91 1916–1925
4. Netherlands Kees Meeuwsen FW 89 1929–1954
5. Netherlands Henk Bosveld MF 82 1968–1979
6. Bosnia and Herzegovina Boško Bursać FW 78 1974–1980


Ranking Name Position Goals Period
1. Ghana Matthew Amoah FW 61 1998–2006
2. Netherlands John van den Brom
Greece Nikos Machlas
60 1986–2001
3. Ivory Coast Wilfried Bony FW 46 2011–2013
4. Netherlands Roy Makaay FW 42 1993–1997
5. Netherlands Bryan Linssen FW 41 2017–2020
6. Serbia Dejan Čurović FW 41 1994–2000


Ranking Name Position Goals Period
1. Netherlands Bryan Linssen FW 4 2017–2020
2. Belgium Bob Peeters FW 4 2000–2003
3. Netherlands John van den Brom MF 4 1986–2001
4. Netherlands Marco van Ginkel MF 3 2010–2013
5. Greece Nikos Machlas FW 3 1996–1999
6. Slovenia Tim Matavž FW 3 2017–2020

Vitesse All Stars[edit]

The daily newspaper De Gelderlander conducted a survey in which fans voted Henk Bosveld (r.) as the best Vitesse-player of the twentieth century.
Name Pos Nat Years at Club Games Goals
Bert Jacobs Coach Netherlands 1988–1993 N/A N/A
Just Göbel GK Netherlands 1909–1924 116 0
Willem Hesselink DF Netherlands 1892–1919 79 38
Theo Bos DF Netherlands 1983–1998 429 1
Edward Sturing DF Netherlands 1987–1988 383 3
John van den Brom MF Netherlands 1986–2001 378 110
Theo Janssen MF Netherlands 1998–2014 242 30
Dik Herberts FW Netherlands 1947–1959 220 49
Toon Huiberts FW Netherlands 1951–1968 469 71
Henk Bosveld FW Netherlands 1968–1979 191 82
Nikos Machlas FW Greece 1996–1999 92 70
Dejan Čurović FW Serbia 1994–2000 109 47

Other teams[edit]

Vitesse II[edit]

Vitesse's reserve team (Under-21) currently plays in the Beloften Eredivisie. It plays its home matches at Papendal and it is coached by Joseph Oosting.[6] The team is composed mostly of professional footballers, who are often recent graduates from the highest youth level (Vitesse U19) serving their first professional contract as a reserve, or players who are otherwise unable to play in the first team.


The team's honours:

Amateur team[edit]

In 1984 it was decided to divide the professional and amateur sections of the club. The professional section was renamed SBV (Stichting Betaald Voetbal – "Professional Football Foundation") Vitesse whilst the amateur section became "(AVC) Vitesse 1892", who played their home matches at the Sportcomplex Valkenhuizen. In total, the club has won 5 trophies; one Derde Klasse title, one Vierde Klasse title, one Zesde Klasse title and two Arnhem Cups. On 2009, Vitesse 1892 was declared bankrupt. The amateur section has produced a number of professional players including Andy van der Meijde, Nicky Hofs, Léon Hese, Erwin van de Looi en Theo Janssen.

Vitesse Legends[edit]

Vitesse Legends are a beneficiary team that was initiated by Ben Snelders, Leo de Kleermaeker and Dik Herberts in the nineties, competing in at least one match a year, usually in the name of charity and/or to bid farewell to retiring former Vitesse players. The team is made up of various members of the Club van 100 of Vitesse who will come out of retirement for this match to face the current Vitesse squad. Past participants have included Theo Janssen, Marc van Hintum, Edward Sturing, Ruud Knol, Remco van der Schaaf, Nicky Hofs, Erwin van de Looi, Glenn Helder, Philip Cocu, John van den Brom, Theo Bos, Martin Laamers, Michael Dingsdag, Roberto Straal, Frans Thijssen, Dejan Čurović, Jhon van Beukering and Huub Loeffen.

National team players[edit]

A number of Vitesse players have represented the Dutch national team, the first official international being Willem Hesselink. He was one of the founders of Vitesse in 1892 at age 14. In 1905 he started in the first ever home match of the Netherlands national football team, a 4–0 victory against Belgium. Some historians attribute one of the goals scored to him. Just Göbel played 22 matches for the Dutch team, being best remembered for his numerous saves during the 2–1 win over England's amateurs and his bronze medal in the football tournament of the 1912 Summer Olympics. The record number of Vitesse players for the Netherlands was three, which occurred on two occasions in 1989. The following players were called up to represent the Dutch national team in international football and received caps during their tenure with Vitesse:

Notable former players[edit]

See also[edit]


  • Van Mierlo, Joost: Verspeelde Energie. Vitesse en Nuon, verslag van een explosieve relatie. SUN, Nijmegen 2001, ISBN 9789058750327.
  • Molenaar, Arjen: 111 Jaar Vitesse. De sportieve geschiedenis van Vitesse 1892-2003 Vitesse, Arnhem 2003, ISBN 9090173005.
  • Van Roosmalen, Marcel: Je hebt het niet van mij. Een tragi-komisch verslag over de soap bij Vitesse. Hard gras, Amsterdam 2006, ISBN 9046800962.
  • Van Roosmalen, Marcel: Het Jaar van de Adelaar. Hard gras, Amsterdam 2009, ISBN 9789046805664.
  • Van Roosmalen, Marcel: Geef me nog twee dagen. Hard gras, Amsterdam 2011, ISBN 9789071359446.
  • Bierhaus, Peter: Vites! 9 verhalen over onvoorwaardelijke liefde voor Vitesse. Ctrl-E, Arnhem 2011, ISBN 9789081345781.
  • Remco, Kok: Een Arnhemmer is niet voor Ajax. Lecturium, Zoetermeer 2014, ISBN 9789048431816.
  • Reurink, Ferry: Elke dag Vitesse. 125 jaar clubgeschiedenis in 366 verhalen. Kontrast, Oosterbeek 2017, ISBN 9789492411990.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Ritsema, André (16 February 2000). "Aalbers moet bij Vitesse weg als voorzitter". NRC Handelsblad (in Dutch). Retrieved 21 September 2008.
  2. ^ "Van Wolfswinkel fires Vitesse to first major trophy". 1 May 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Guram Kashia: Georgia captain becomes first recipient of Uefa #EqualGame award". BBC Sport. 22 August 2018. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Uefa current ranking". Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  6. ^ "3. Liga / U 23 > Trainer". Retrieved 7 December 2010.[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]

Official websites[edit]

  • Official website of Vitesse Arnhem (in Dutch and English)
  • Official website of stadium GelreDome
  • The Vitesse Arnhem Story

General fan site[edit]

News sites[edit]