After 39 Years in a Coma, Former Soccer Player Jean-Pierre Adams Dies at 73

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Jean-Pierre Adams, an ex-soccer player in France, has died after being in a coma for 39 years. He was 73.

On Monday, Adams’ former clubs — Nimes OlympiqueParis Saint-Germain (PSG) and Nice — confirmed his death in various statements.

“This morning, we learned about the death of Jean-Pierre Adams. He played for Nimes on 84 occasions and alongside Marius Tresor, he formed the ‘Black guard’ in the French national team,” Nimes Olympique wrote on Twitter, as translated by ESPN. “The club offers its most sincere condolences to his loved ones and family.”

“Paris Saint-Germain has lost one of its glorious former players,” PSG said in a statement, which was also translated by ESPN. “PSG offers its condolences to his family and loved ones.”

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In their own statement, Nice added that the club would pay tribute to Adams before their next home game against Monaco on Sept. 19.

Jean-Pierre Adams
Jean-Pierre Adams

AFP via Getty Images Jean-Pierre Adams         

Born in Dakar, Senegal, on March 10, 1948, Adams began his career in Fontainebleu before he later moved to Nimes, CNN reported. During that time, he was one of the first Black players to compete with the club.

Adams played for Nimes for three years, from 1970 to 1973, then later played for PSG from 1977 to 1979, after joining from Nice, according to ESPN.

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In March 1982, Adams had an operation on a damaged tendon in his knee. But at the time his surgery was scheduled, the hospital staff was on strike and he was being cared for by an anesthesiologist with seven other patients and a trainee who was out of their depth, per CNN.

Among “numerous errors,” according to the BBC and CNN, Adams was intubated incorrectly during the procedure, as one tube blocked the path to his lungs, which led him to suffer a cardiac arrest and brain damage.

He had been cared for at his home in France for decades after going into a coma.

He is survived by his wife, Bernadette, and their two children: sons Frédéric and Laurent, according to Nice’s statement.

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