Footballer Jean-Pierre Adams dies after 39 years in coma

The Senegalese footballer, who used to partner Marius Trésor in the defence of the French football team in the 1970s,…

The Senegalese footballer, who used to partner Marius Trésor in the defence of the French football team in the 1970s, died on Monday at the University Hospital of Nimes, France.Bernadette Adams will finally be able to rest after taking care of her husband, who entered a vegetative state on March 1982. The former French international defender, born on March 10, 1948 in Dakar, was plunged into a deep coma at the age of 34 following a mistake in anaesthesia during a minor knee operation. Bedridden at home all this time, he died at the age of 73.


Nîmes Olympique, the club his played for (1970-1973), paid tribute to him, as did OGC Nice (1973-1977) and Paris Saint-Germain (1977-1979) on the announcement of his death.


Adams had a short international career with 22 caps for Les Bleus between 1972 and 1976. He nevertheless marked the history of the French national team by his association with Marius Trésor, forming a formidable defensive centre-half nicknamed “La Garde Noire.”


Born in the Senegalese capital, Jean-Pierre Adams moved to France at the age of eight where his adoptive parents allowed him to pursue his passion for football. He married Bernadette Adams in April 1969, who gave him two sons before accepting to live the worst with him. In May 2019, his wife was still ruminating on her anger at the medical team for missing the anaesthetic.


“I was rather presented with a fait accompli. I received a letter from the social security system at the time saying that from June 1983 onwards, he would no longer be covered in hospital,” she said in an interview with the French newspaper Le Point. After enquiring about specialised centres that could take in her husband, which she described as “death-traps,” she finally decided to take him home.


Mrs Adams had set up a timetable based around her husband: getting up at seven o’clock, breakfast, washing up, having the physiotherapists and care assistants sweep him off his feet, going to bed, eating…


“It was hard at the beginning, especially with the kids. Now it’s all just part of a routine. In spite of this “long-term work,” she said she has “no regrets” about her choice. “It was the best decision. If I hadn’t taken him with me, I don’t think he would be here today, given the state in which I got him back.


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