Jean-Pierre Adams

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Jean-Pierre Adams
Personal information
Full name Jean-Pierre Adams
Date of birth (1948-03-10) 10 March 1948 (age 69)
Place of birth Dakar, French West Africa
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Centre back
Youth career
US Cepoy
CD Bellegarde
USM Montargis
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1967–1970 Fontainebleau
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 285 (26)
National team
1972–1976 France 22 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Jean-Pierre Adams (born 10 March 1948) is a French former footballer who played as a central defender.

Since 17 March 1982, he has been in a coma following an operation.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

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 alongside his grandmother, who was a devout Catholic. When they arrived, she enlisted him at a local Catholic school, Saint-Louis de Montargis.[3] He was adopted by a French couple shortly after his arrival.

During his studies, Adams worked at a local rubber manufacturer and he started playing football at several local clubs in the Loiret area.[4][5]

Club career[edit]

Adams started playing with RC Fontainebleau in 1967 as a striker, with whom he won the Championnat de France amateur twice. In 1970, he signed a contract with Nîmes Olympique, going on to remain in Ligue 1 for the following nine seasons, also representing in the competition OGC Nice and Paris Saint-Germain FC.[4]

In the 1971–72 campaign, Adams contributed with four goals in all 38 games to help Nîmes to a best-ever second place, also winning the Cup of the Alps.[6] He added a career-best nine in 1973–74, for a final ninth position.

After one year in Ligue 2 with FC Mulhouse, Adams retired in 1981 at the age of 33, following a spell with amateurs FC Chalon.[4]

International career[edit]

On 15 June 1972, Adams made his debut for the French national team in an unofficial exhibition game against an African XI selected by the Confederation of African Football.[4] His first competitive cap came on 13 October of that year, in a 1–0 home win against the Soviet Union for the 1974 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Adams' last appearance occurred on 1 September 1976, in a friendly with Denmark.[4] During his tenure with Les Bleus, he formed a stopper partnership with Marius Trésor which was dubbed La garde noire (black guard).[7][8]

Personal life and injury[edit]

Adams and his wife Bernadette were married in April 1969, fathering 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. After an error made by his anaesthetist, he suffered a bronchospasm which starved his brain of oxygen, slipping into a coma.[9][10][11]

In the mid 1990s, when a court of law adjudicated on the case, both the anesthetist and trainee were given one-month suspended sentences and fines that translated to a $815 fine.[12]


  1. ^ "The footballer trapped in 'The House of the Beautiful Sleeping Athlete'". The Guardian. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "'Tragic yet heartwarming': How Jean-Pierre Adams touched a nerve". CNN. 17 March 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2016. 
  3. ^ "Quand ces ECRIVAINS sont nos anciens....." [When these WRITERS used to be with us.....] (in French). École Saint-Louis. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Jean-Pierre Adams, 30 ans dans le coma" [Jean-Pierre Adams, 30 years in a coma] (in French). So Foot. 17 March 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Jean Pierre Adams, la mitad de su vida en coma" [Jean Pierre Adams, half is life in a coma] (in Spanish). Marca. 15 March 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "Cup of the Alps 1972". RSSSF. Retrieved 16 March 2016. 
  7. ^ "Avec Marius Trésor, ils étaient "la garde noire" des Bleus" [With Marius Trésor, they were the Blues' "black guard"] (in French). Le Parisien. 17 March 2007. Retrieved 16 March 2016. 
  8. ^ "Jean-Pierre Adams, le roc noir, dans le coma depuis 33 ans" [Jean-Pierre Adams, the black rock, in a coma 33 years later] (in French). Ouest-France. 6 January 2016. Retrieved 16 March 2016. 
  9. ^ "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. 
  10. ^ "Bernadette Adams: l'ange gardien de Jean-Pierre Adams" [Bernadette Adams: Jean-Pierre Adams' guardian angel] (in French). Midi Libre. 26 March 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "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] (in French). L'Écho Républicain. 20 April 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  12. ^ Edward Piers (4 January 2016). "Jean-Pierre Adams: The 33-year coma that can't stop love". CNN. Retrieved 7 January 2016. 

External links[edit]