Le Havre AC
|Full name||Le Havre Athletic Club|
|Nickname(s)||Le club doyen (The Dean Club),
Les Ciel et Marine (The Sky-and-Navy)
|2015–16||Ligue 2, 4th|
|Website||Club home page|
Le Havre Athletic Club (French pronunciation: [lə avʁ]; 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. Le Havre plays in Ligue 2, the second level 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 of 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. Le Havre is captained by defender Steven Fortès. The main rivalries are "Derby Normand" with SM Caen and an always heated clash with Lens, located in the region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais.
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It was in 1872 that a group of British residents formed Le Havre Athlétique, which played a hybrid form of football, a cross between rugby and association football, called "combination". Association football began being played on a regular basis in 1894.
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. 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, 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. The first two were arbitrated by FIFA, who ordered Newcastle United and Fiorentina to pay training compensation.
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
Fiers de tes origins
Fils d'Oxford et Cambridge
deux coulours font nôtre prestige
Ciel et marine!"
"The first ever
of all French clubs
Proud of your roots
Son of Oxford and Cambridge
two colors make our prestige
(the colors of the) sky and the sea!"
As of 10 January 2017.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Out on loan
- Ligue 2
- Winners (5) : 1938, 1959, 1985, 1991, 2008
- Runners-up (1) : 1950
- Coupe de France
- Winners (1) : 1959
- Runners-up (1) : 1920
- USFSA Championnat
- Winners (3) : 1899, 1900, 1919
- Challenge international du Nord
- Winners (1) : 1900
- Coupe Nationale
- Winners (2) : 1918, 1919
- Challenge des Champions
- Winners (1) : 1959
- George Kimpton (1921–26)
- Mac Burgess (1934–35)
- George McLachlan (1935–36)
- Josef "Pépi" Schneider (1936–39)
- George Kimpton (1945–46)
- Jean Cornelli (1946–47)
- Roger Magnin (1948–49)
- Jules Bigot (1950–52)
- Elek Schwartz (1952–53)
- René Bihel (1953–54)
- Edmond Delfour (1954–55)
- Roger Magnin (1955–56)
- Théo Bisson (1956–57)
- Lucien Jasseron (1957–62)
- Eduardo Di Loreto (1962–63)
- Arie Devroedt (1963–64)
- Christian Villenave (1964–66)
- Max Schirschin (1970–71)
- Gino Corlani (1971–72)
- Fredo Garel (1972–73)
- Léonce Lavagne (1973–74)
- Edmond Baraffe (1974–76)
- Léonce Lavagne (1976–82)
- Yves Herbet (1982–83)
- Didier Notheaux (1983–88)
- Pierre Mankowski (1988–93)
- Guy David (1993–96)
- René Exbrayat (1996–97)
- Denis Troch (1997 – Oct 98)
- Joël Beaujouan (Oct 1998–99)
- Francis Smerecki (1999–00)
- Joël Beaujouan (2000)
- Thierry Uvenard, Philippe Sence and Bruno Baronchelli (Dec 2000)
- Jean-François Domergue (Dec 2000–04)
- Philippe Hinschberger (2004 – April 2005)
- Thierry Uvenard (April 2005–07)
- Jean-Marc Nobilo (2007–08)
- Frédéric Hantz (2008–09)
- Cédric Daury (2009 – Nov 2012)
- Christophe Revault (Nov 2012 – Dec 2012)
- Erick Mombaerts (Dec 2012 – Dec 2014)
- Thierry Goudet (Dec 2014 – Sept 2015)
- Bob Bradley (Nov 2015 – Oct 2016)
- Oswald Tanchot (Oct 2016 –present)
- "Historical Rugby Milestones – 1870s". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 14 May 2006.
- "Effectif". hac-foot.com. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
- "France – Trainers of First and Second Division Clubs on RSSSF". Retrieved 23 July 2007.
- Official site (French)