Le Havre AC

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Le Havre
Le Havre AC logo.svg
Full nameHavre Athletic Club
Nickname(s)Le club doyen (The Dean Club)
Les Ciel et Marine (The Sky-and-Navy)
Founded1872; 149 years ago (1872)
GroundStade Océane,
Le Havre
PresidentVincent Volpe
Head coachPaul Le Guen
LeagueLigue 2
2019–20Ligue 2, 6th
WebsiteClub website
Current season
HAC in Tournoi de paques 1913

Le Havre Athletic Club (French pronunciation: ​[lə ɑvʁ]; commonly referred to as Le Havre) is a French association football club based in Le Havre, Normandy. The club was founded as an athletics and rugby club in 1872,[2] making Le Havre AC the oldest French football club[dubious ]. Le Havre is one of the oldest French football club, but the oldest is Standard Athletic Club of Paris[3].[4] · [5]. Le Havre plays in Ligue 2, the second tier of French football, and plays its home matches at the Stade Océane.

Le Havre made its football debut in France's first-ever championship in 1899 and, on its debut, became the first French club outside Paris to win the league. The club won the league the following season in 1900. Le Havre has yet to win the current first division of French football, Ligue 1, but has participated in the league 24 times; its last stint being during the 2008–09 season. The club's highest honour to date was winning the Coupe de France in 1959.

The main rivalries of Le Havre are the "Derby Normand" with SM Caen and an always heated clash with Lens, located in the region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais.


It was in 1872 that a group of British residents formed Le Havre Athlétique,[6][better source needed][dubious ] which played a hybrid form of football, a cross between rugby and association football, called "combination". The oldest french football club is Standard Athletic Club founfed by British in Paris.[7]

Association football began being played in Le Havre in 1894.[4] · [8].

In 1899, Le Havre became the first club from outside Paris to become French football champions. At the time the championship was organised by the USFSA. After being awarded a win over Iris Club Lillois in the semi-final by walkover, they were awarded the title after also receiving a walkover in the final against Club Français.[9] They would also win the following year, with the final being a "re-match" of the forfeited 1899 final.

The club is famous for its notable youth investment program which develops and nurtures young talent,[citation needed] with the vision of using them in the first team if they show enough promise. A vast amount of good young talent has gone on to make an impact at international level including Benjamin Mendy, Ibrahim Ba, Jean-Alain Boumsong, Lassana Diarra, Riyad Mahrez, Steve Mandanda, Vikash Dhorasoo, Paul Pogba and Dimitri Payet.

The club was on the receiving end of some high-profile illegal transfers, by which Charles N'Zogbia, Matthias Lepiller and Paul Pogba were signed by other clubs, allegedly without the proper compensation being paid.[citation needed] The first two were arbitrated by FIFA, who ordered Newcastle United and Fiorentina to pay training compensation.

Club culture[edit]

Le Havre is known as 'les ciel et marine' in France, which translates as 'the sky and navy blues'. These colours were chosen by the club's English founders as they were those of their alma maters, the universities of Oxford and Cambridge: the anthem of the club is played to the melody of "God Save the Queen" to mark the English origins of the club:

"A jamais le premier
de tous les clubs français
ô H.A.C.
Fiers de tes origines
Fils d'Oxford et Cambridge
deux couleurs font notre prestige
Ciel et marine!"

English translation:

"The first ever
of all French clubs
The H.A.C
Proud of your roots
Son of Oxford and Cambridge
two colors make our prestige
(the colors of the) sky and the sea!"


Current squad[edit]

As of the 2020–21 season.[10]
No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK France FRA Mathieu Gorgelin
2 DF Morocco MAR Abdelwahed Wahib
3 DF Turkey TUR Umut Meraş
4 DF Turkey TUR Ertuğrul Ersoy
5 DF Republic of the Congo CGO Fernand Mayembo
6 MF France FRA Romain Basque
7 MF France FRA Jean-Pascal Fontaine (vice-captain)
8 MF France FRA Himad Abdelli
9 FW France FRA Nabil Alioui
10 FW France FRA Alan Dzabana
11 FW France FRA Quentin Cornette
12 DF Tunisia TUN Ayman Ben Mohamed
13 FW Morocco MAR Khalid Boutaïb
14 FW Senegal SEN Jamal Thiaré
No. Pos. Nation Player
16 GK Canada CAN Nikola Ćurčija
17 MF France FRA Alexandre Bonnet (captain)
18 MF France FRA Nolan Mbemba
19 DF Burkina Faso BFA Yacouba Coulibaly
20 FW Ghana GHA Godwin Bentil
21 FW France FRA Ylan Gomes
22 MF Algeria ALG Victor Lekhal
24 MF France FRA Mamadou Fofana
26 DF France FRA Woyo Coulibaly
27 DF France FRA Pierre Gibaud
28 FW France FRA Elies Mahmoud
29 FW Haiti HAI Hervé Bazile
30 GK France FRA Yahia Fofana
36 DF France FRA Isaak Touré


Managerial history[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 January 2019. Retrieved 7 January 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Hernandez, Anthony (15 May 2009). "Avec Louvel," – via Le Monde.
  3. ^ https://www.fff.fr/la-vie-des-clubs/177099/infos-cles
  4. ^ a b (Charitas, p. 20)
  5. ^ Archives municipales du Fort de Tourneville (Le Havre), statuts du HAC, fonds de Sanvic, R3 1 L.2.
  6. ^ "Historical Rugby Milestones – 1870s". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 14 May 2006.
  7. ^ https://www.fff.fr/la-vie-des-clubs/177099/infos-cles
  8. ^ Archives municipales du Fort de Tourneville (Le Havre), statuts du HAC, fonds de Sanvic, R3 1 L.2.
  9. ^ "France - List of Champions". www.rsssf.com.
  10. ^ "Effectif". Le Havre AC Official Site. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  11. ^ "France – Trainers of First and Second Division Clubs on RSSSF". Archived from the original on 31 May 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2007.
  12. ^ "Le Havre : Paul Le Guen manager général et entraîneur (off)" (in French). foot-national.com. 29 May 2019.