In the mid-1970s, Jean-Pierre Adams was one of the best defenders in French football. The native of Dakar, who died this Monday morning at the age of 73 after thirty-nine years in a coma, then formed with Guadeloupe in Marius Trésor a formidable duo, which made the happiness of the French team. The “black guard”, as observers called them at the time.

Arrived in France at the age of 8 with his grandmother, the young player has experienced a clear progression, since his beginnings as an amateur with the club of Fontainebleau until his arrival in Nimes. There, he acquired a reputation which led him to the national team, where he was selected 22 times between 1972 and 1976. He also wears the jersey of the OGC Nice and the very young Paris-Saint-Germain that he joined in 1977. Everywhere, he leaves the image of an athletic player, voluntary, “force of nature”, according to the words of the former coach of the Blues Henri Michel.

This morning we learned of the disappearance of Jean-Pierre Adams. He had worn the colors of the Olympic Nimes 84 times and with Marius Trésor formed “the black guard” in the French team. Extends its deepest condolences to his loved ones and his family.

It was before March 17, 1982, the day it all fell apart. Newly retired, Jean-Pierre Adams kicks the ball in Chalon-sur-Saône, as an amateur. He is married with two children aged 4 and 11 and has opened a sports store. On March 17, 1982, he had an appointment at the Edouard-Herriot hospital in Lyon for an apparently benign operation: the former Némois suffered from a rupture of the tendon contracted in Dijon during training to become a youth team coach.

But the operation goes badly. Affected by a staff strike, the hospital is understaffed and the anesthetist is caring for eight patients at the same time. His assistant later confesses that he was not sufficiently trained to supervise the operation. Result: Many mistakes are made. Jean-Pierre Adams is poorly intubated, the device blocks the passage to his lungs, which deprives the 34-year-old man of oxygen and triggers a cardiac arrest. In the 1990s, the anesthetist and his assistant were sentenced to one month suspended prison sentence and the equivalent of 750 euros in fines.

Jean-Pierre Adams is plunged into a vegetative state from which he will not emerge until the end of his days. Unable to speak or move, he can however open his eyes and close them. After fifteen months in the hospital, he was repatriated to the family home, in the Gard, where his wife Bernadette, whom he met at the end of the years. In 1960, he settled him in a medical bed and watched over him with unfazed attention and patience.

“No one ever forgets to give Jean-Pierre gifts, whether it’s for his birthday, for Christmas for Father’s Day,” Bernadette told CNN in an interview. , in the spring of 2020. And to confess that she applied to change her husband’s clothes every day. According to the nurse who looked after him, the former footballer seemed in a better mood when his wife was around him. “I think he feels things, and he certainly recognizes the sound of my voice,” assured Bernadette, who has always refused to consider euthanasia.

This Monday, the former clubs of Jean-Pierre Adams welcomed the memory of the defender. OGC Nice has announced that a tribute will be paid to it on Sunday 19 September at the Allianz-Riviera stadium, before a match against AS Monaco.