He played as a centre-half for Royal Berchem Sport and ROC Charleroi. He was the big name of the "Flaminpic", the nickname given to the team of Olympic de Charleroi between 1936 and 1940, who were promoted in two years from the third to the first division in Belgium, before finishing third in the top flight.
For Belgium, he played on 5 June 1938, the last 16 of the World Cup at Colombes, against France (lost, 1-3). He won 31 caps, with 16 as captain for the Diables Rouges
Later, from 1947 to 1952, he coached Beerschot VAC. His fame was such that he published a successful book, "Comment devenir footballeur?". The stadium of Olympic de Charleroi, one of the largest in Belgium (cap. 32,000) was known for some time as the "Stade Emile Stijnen". Barry Anter.