Football: Former France defender Adams dies after nearly 40 years in coma

Jean-Pierre Adams was given a near-fatal dose of anaesthetic before routine knee surgery in 1982. PHOTO: NIMESOLYMPIQUE/TWITTER

PARIS (REUTERS, AFP) - Former France defender Jean-Pierre Adams has died at the age of 73 in Nimes, almost 40 years after falling into a coma following a medical error, his former clubs, Paris St-Germain and Nimes, said on Monday (Sept 6).

In 1982, he was administered a near-fatal dose of anaesthetic ahead of a routine knee operation, which caused brain damage.

The Dakar-born Adams had won 22 caps for Les Bleus in the 1970s, forming with Marius Tresor what was known as "the Black Guard". He was one of the first men born in West Africa to play for France.

He played for Nimes from 1970 to 1973 and for PSG from 1977 to 1979 after joining from Nice.

"We learnt this morning of the death of Jean-Pierre Adams," Nimes wrote on Twitter, extending their "sincere condolences to his family".

Since the accident, Adams had been cared for by his wife Bernadette following his discharge from hospital 15 months after the operation.

"Jean-Pierre feels, smells, hears, jumps when a dog barks. But he cannot see," she said in 2007.

The anaesthetist had to take responsibility for eight patients that fateful day - many of the staff at the hospital were on strike - and left a trainee to keep an eye on Adams.

Both were found guilty in court in the 1990s and received a one-month suspended sentence and a 750 euro (S$1,195) fine.

"I was not up to the task I was entrusted with," commented the trainee later.

Bernadette, who had two sons with Adams, told the BBC in 2016 that despite the sentences handed to the anaesthetist and the trainee, the hospital in Lyon had never apologised.

Nice tweeted their condolences and said they would pay homage to him before their next Ligue 1 home match with Monaco on Sept 19.

PSG also tweeted a tribute to "one of its glorious old players" saluting his "joie de vivre" and his charisma.

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