"Jean Caudron, but especially striker Ferdinand Adams, as the club's biggest star in the 20s, made Anderlecht more than just a club in Belgium." That's what Constant Vanden Stock said about Adams. The player ended his carreer in 1933 after successive muscular injuries.
One of his most successful moments was in 1924 when he was selected for the national team for an interland in Denmark. It was also the first time that three Anderlecht players were selected for interland duty. Demunter and Caudron were the other two. By the end of his carreer, Adams, nicknamed Cassis, collected 23 A-caps. He played two games on the World Cup of 1930 in Montevideo. Cassis had serious competition of Rik Larnoe and Bernard Voorhoof, who both played excellent games for the Belgian Red Devils.
He got his nickname 'Cassis' in his first years as a player. His mother already called him 'Ciske', due to his resemblance with his nephew. The fans in Brussels used that name and changed it to 'Cassis'. 'Kas' is the local dialect word for 'goal' and they combined it with 'Ciske', leading to 'Cassis'...
Cassis is remembered for his devastating shots on goal. Vanden Stock: "I remember him scoring several excellent goals. He scored one of his most beautiful ones against Daring striker Léon Vandermeiren on a pass of Herings. He really was a striker that managed to set the stadium on fire. Cassis was a fast player, who managed to outrun his defenders. As soon as he appeared in front of the goalkeeper, he netted the ball with a hard shot. One of his flaws was shooting too fast, without controlling the ball. He was very impulsive. He was very athletic. He always said that he became so fit by helping his father in his bakery when he was still a kid. Children from the neighborhood would chase him for a free sandwich, thus he had to be fast..."
Cassis was a real Anderlecht fan. He went watching his favorite club from the age of 8, in 1910. Back then, a game cost between 10 and 12.5 old Belgian cents. Cassis often waited for the players to arrive, helped them by carrying a bag and managed to sneak in for free that way. The young Adams was already a real football player. He was playing every day, even during the winter, on a small square in the city. He didn't have a decent ball or decent shoes, but that didn't seem to stop him. He also participated in inter-school games, during lunch time.
He became a player for Anderlecht when he was 16 years old, in 1918. In his first year in Anderlecht's youth team, they became vice-champions. It was the first time they ever ended so high in the ranking. One year later, he was added to the first team. He was very self-confident. Vanden Stock smiles when he thinks back of his time with Cassis: "Self-confident... yes! A proud man, eager to play. Later on he was assisting the assistent-trainer Charles Gillis and he made clear to the rest that they had to listen to him."
Despite the fact that Anderlecht was far from being a top club in that time, Cassis made sure the club was respected throughout the coutry. In 1921, the club appeared in the highest division for the first time. Cassis and many of his team mates were training very hard. He stated: "It's a lack of talent that prevents this club from competing with our rivales Daring and Union. That's why the club needs me." And indeed, he was right. In 1926, Sporting was leading in the highest division but fastly lost places on the ranking when Cassis got injured. It took until 1930 before Anderlecht ended before Union and Daring; a personal victory for the proud Cassis.
In that era, football players weren't making a lot of money. Cassis got two serious offers though: one from Tienen and the second one from Paris. In the French capital he could have become the face for a promotion campaign for a drink named Bitter-Cassis! (an invention of his father). The Parisian club offered him, besides a nice salary, a villa and the possibility to take one other player with him. But Anderlecht refused the transfer, thus he stayed there until the end of his carreer in which he had many injuries.
In 1933, on Anderlecht's 25th birthday, Adams ended his carreer. He left to Leuven to become a trainer. Though by doing that, he violated the rules which stated that a player had to stay at his club until the age of 35. But the direction board of the club granted Cassis, their first star player, the right to leave earlier. In 1941 he returned to Anderlecht to become the trainer of the club he served so well. He did that together with Bob Wyckaert (Max Well) and Defevere. He was occupied with Anderlecht's youth players. Later on, he became trainer of Daring Club Brussel (with Raymond Goethals as goalkeeper), US Centre and Ukkel Sport.
Ferdinand 'Cassis' Adams died on the age of 80 in the year 1992.
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