Jean-Pierre Adams

Jean-Pierre Adams
Jeanpierre adams card (cropped).jpg
Adams with Nice in 1976
Personal information
Date of birth

(1948-03-10)10 March 1948Cite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page).

Place of birth Dakar, French West Africa[1]
Date of death 6 September 2021(2021-09-06) (aged 73)[1]
Place of death Nîmes, France
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)[2]
Position(s) Centre-back
Youth career
US Cepoy
CD Bellegarde
USM Montargis
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1967–1970 Entente BFN
1970–1973 Nîmes 84 (8)
1973–1977 Nice 126 (15)
1977–1979 Paris Saint-Germain 41 (1)
1979–1980 Mulhouse 11 (1)
1980–1981 Chalon 23 (1)
Total 385+ (36+)
National team
1972–1976 France 22 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Jean-Pierre Adams (10 March 1948 – 6 September 2021) was a French professional footballer who played as a centre-back.

He was capped 22 times for France in the 1970s, and at club level, he played Division 1 football for Nîmes, Nice and Paris Saint-Germain. From March 1982 until his death in September 2021, he was in a coma as a result of mistakes made during a hospital operation.[3][4]

Early life

Adams was born and raised in Dakar until the age of 10, when he left his native Senegal on a pilgrimage to Montargis in the Loiret department accompanied by his grandmother, a devout Catholic. When they arrived, she enrolled him at a local Catholic school, Saint-Louis de Montargis.[5] He was adopted by a French couple shortly after his arrival in the country.[6]

During his studies, Adams worked at a local rubber manufacturer and he started playing football at several local clubs in the Loiret area.[7][8]

Club career

Adams started playing with Entente BFN in 1967 as a striker, with whom he was runner-up in the Championnat de France Amateur twice.[9] In 1970, he signed a contract with Nîmes, going on to remain in Division 1 for the following nine seasons, also representing Nice and Paris Saint-Germain.[7]

In the 1971–72 campaign, Adams contributed four goals in all 38 games to help Nîmes to a best-ever second place,[10] also winning the Cup of the Alps.[11] He added a career-best nine for Nice in 1973–74, for a final fifth position.[10]

After one year in Division 2 with Mulhouse, Adams retired in 1981 at the age of 33, following a spell with amateurs Chalon as player-coach.[7][12]

International career

On 15 June 1972, Adams made his debut for the France national team in an unofficial exhibition game against an African XI selected by the Confederation of African Football.[7] His first competitive cap came on 13 October of that year, in a 1–0 home win over the Soviet Union for the 1974 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.[13]

Adams' last of his 22 appearances[14] occurred on 1 September 1976, in a friendly with Denmark.[7] During his tenure with Les Bleus, he formed a stopper partnership with Marius Trésor which was dubbed La garde noire (black guard).[2][15]

Personal life, injury and death

Adams and his wife Bernadette were married in April 1969 and had two sons, Laurent (born 1969) and Frédéric (1976). Following a ligament rupture injury, he was hospitalised for surgery on 17 March 1982 at the Édouard Herriot Hospital in Lyon. Because many hospital staff were on strike during that time, errors were made by his anesthetist and a trainee, who later admitted to being "not up to the task." As a result, Adams suffered a bronchospasm which starved his brain of oxygen and he slipped into a coma.[16][17][18][19]

In the mid-1990s, when a court of law adjudicated on the case, both the anaesthetist and trainee were given one-month suspended sentences and were fined $815.[19] His wife continued to tend to his needs, refusing to consider euthanasia.[20]

Adams died on 6 September 2021 in Nîmes at the age of 73, after being in a coma for 39 years.[21][14] The following day, he was honoured with a minute's applause prior to the World Cup qualifier between France and Finland in Lyon.[22]


Entente BFN


  1. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference Bio was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ a b "Jean-Pierre Adams, le roc noir, dans le coma depuis 33 ans" [Jean-Pierre Adams, the black rock, in a coma for 33 years]. Ouest-France (in French). 6 January 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  3. ^ Bairner, Robin (27 February 2014). "The footballer trapped in 'The House of the Beautiful Sleeping Athlete'". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  4. ^ "'Tragic yet heartwarming': How Jean-Pierre Adams touched a nerve". CNN. 17 March 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Quand ces ECRIVAINS sont nos anciens..." [When these WRITERS used to be with us.....] (in French). École Saint-Louis. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  6. ^ Greck, Clément (17 March 2018). "Jean-Pierre Adams: Bernadette, sa femme rencontrée à Montargis, veille sur lui sept jours sur sept" [Jean-Pierre Adams: Bernadette, the wife he met at Montargis, at his bedside 24/7]. La République du Centre (in French). Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d e Goubin, Thomas (17 March 2012). "Jean-Pierre Adams, 30 ans dans le coma" [Jean-Pierre Adams, 30 years in a coma] (in French). So Foot. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  8. ^ Palomar, Roberto (15 March 2016). "Jean Pierre Adams, la mitad de su vida en coma" [Jean Pierre Adams, half his life in a coma]. Marca (in Spanish). Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  9. ^ a b "RCP Fontainebleau Football" (in French). Stat Football Club France. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  10. ^ a b "Jean-Pierre Adams" (in French). Skyrock. 22 February 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  11. ^ Veronese, Andrea. "Cup of the Alps 1972". RSSSF. Retrieved 16 March 2016.
  12. ^ "Jean-Pierre Adams nous a quittés" [Jean-Pierre Adams has left us] (in French). Paris Saint-Germain F.C. 6 September 2021. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  13. ^ Colombari, Bruno (18 May 2012). "1972, une année dans le siècle" [1972, a year in the century] (in French). Chroniques Bleues. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Jean-Pierre Adams: Former France international dies after 39 years in coma". BBC Sport. 6 September 2021. Retrieved 6 September 2021.
  15. ^ "Avec Marius Trésor, ils étaient "la garde noire" des Bleus" [With Marius Trésor, they were the Blues' "black guard"]. Le Parisien (in French). 17 March 2007. Retrieved 6 September 2021.
  16. ^ "30 ans dans le coma: Le destin tragique de Jean-Pierre Adams" [30 years in a coma: The tragic fate of Jean-Pierre Adams] (in French). Ndamli. 21 March 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  17. ^ "Bernadette Adams: l'ange gardien de Jean-Pierre Adams" [Bernadette Adams: Jean-Pierre Adams' guardian angel]. Midi Libre (in French). 26 March 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  18. ^ "L'Eurélienne Bernadette Adams vit au chevet de son mari footballeur, dans le coma depuis 30 ans" [Eurélienne Bernadette Adams lives at her footballer husband's bedside, in a coma after 30 years]. L'Écho Républicain (in French). 20 April 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2014.
  19. ^ a b Piers, Edward (4 January 2016). "Jean-Pierre Adams: The 33-year coma that can't stop love". CNN. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  20. ^ Eli Dokosi, Michael (1 October 2019). "The sad story of Jean-Pierre Adams, the French soccer star who has been in coma for 37 years after botched surgery". Face2Face Africa. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  21. ^ "Jean-Pierre Adams est mort" [Jean-Pierre Adams has died]. L'Équipe (in French). 6 September 2021. Retrieved 6 September 2021.
  22. ^ Gaillard, Claire (7 September 2021). "Hommage à Jean-Pierre Adams" [Tribute to Jean-Pierre Adams] (in French). French Football Federation. Retrieved 8 September 2021.

External links


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