Jean-Pierre Adams, an ex-footballer who fell into a coma in 1982 following a botched knee operation, has died at the age of 73, his former clubs Nimes Olympique, Paris Saint-Germain and Nice said.
Adams, an imposing central defender, started his career in Fontainebleu, where he helped the local side win its amateur championship, before moving to Nimes to sign for the city’s then first division side.
Within two years, not only had Nimes finished runners-up but Adams was playing for France — one of the first Black players to do so.
With the national team, Adams formed a central defensive partnership known as the “Garde Noire” — “Black Guard” — alongside Marius Trésor.
“We learned this morning of the passing of Jean-Pierre Adams,” Nimes wrote on Twitter. “He had worn the colors of Nimes Olympique 84 times and with Marius Trésor made up ‘the black guard’ of the French team.
“The club offers its most sincere condolences to his loved ones and his family.”
Adams, who was born in Senegal, went on to play for nine consecutive seasons in France’s top division, also representing Nice and Paris Saint-Germain while amassing 22 caps for the French national team.
“Nice was heartbroken to learn of the passing of Jean-Pierre Adams, who fell into a coma on March 17, 1982,” Nice wrote on Twitter.
“The former defender wore the colors of the Gym 145 times from 1973 to 1977. OGC Nice stands with the pain of his relatives who have looked after him for 39 years.”
This article was most recently revised and updated 1 year ago