Former France defender Jean-Pierre Adams has died at the age of 73, nearly 40 years after falling into a coma. The former Paris Saint-Germain and Nice defender was administered a near-fatal anaesthetic dose, causing brain damage, during a routine knee surgery in 1982.
Born in Senegal, Adams made over 140 appearances for Nice and PSG, along with 22 for France. He formed a formidable defensive partnership with Marius Tresor, with the two being known as ‘The Black Guard’, according to The Guardian.
In a statement, PSG said Adams exuberated the “joy of living” and that he was a man of “charisma and experience commanded respect”. “Paris Saint-Germain offers its condolences to his family and loved ones,” the club said.
Nice said they will pay tribute to their former defender before their next match on September 19 against Monaco.
Nimes also expressed their “most sincere condolences to his loved ones and his family”. Adams played 84 games for Nimes from 1970-1973, before joining Nice. He played for PSG from 1977-1979.
Much of the staff at the hospital in Lyon – where Adams was operated on after damaging a tendon in his knee while on a coaching training camp – were on strike. However, his operation still went ahead, with the anesthetist looking after eight patients including Adams at the same time.
Adams was left in charge of a trainee, who later admitted he was “not up to the task I was entrusted with,” according to the BBC.
The overburdened anesthetist and the trainee made a slew of mistakes, which led to Adams suffering a heart attack and eventually brain damage. In the mid-1990s, the anesthetist and the trainee were punished for their error, a month’s suspension and a €750 fine.
Adams was discharged from the hospital 15 months later and has been looked after at home by his wife, Bernadette.