A former member of the French national team and multiple Ligue 1 teams, died Monday after spending the last 39 years in a coma.
Jean-Pierre Adams was 73-years-old.
“We learned this morning of the passing of Jean-Pierre Adams,” read a statement from Nimes, for whom Adams played from 1970 to 1973. “He had worn the colors of Nimes Olympique 84 times and with Marius Trésor made up ‘the black guard’ of the French team.
“The club offers its most sincere condolences to his loved ones and his family.”
One of the first black players to compete for France, Adams fell into a coma on March 17, 1982 while undergoing a routine operation on a knee tendon that had gotten damaged during a match.
Adams played for some of the top clubs in France during his nearly 15-year playing career.
CNN reported that several workers at the hospital Adams was being operated on were on strike and it led to an anesthetic error.
“The female anesthetist was looking after eight patients, one after the other, like an assembly line,” his wife Bernadette told the outlet in 2016. “Jean-Pierre was supervised by a trainee, who was repeating a year, who later admitted in court: ‘I was not up to the task I was entrusted with.’”
Adams had been lying in a coma at his home in Nimes, where he was cared by his wife, for nearly four decades.
He scored 10 goals in 98 matches for Nimes and 17 goals in 150 games for Nice.
“Nice was heartbroken to learn of the passing of Jean-Pierre Adams,” Nice wrote on Twitter, “The former defender wore the colors of the Gym 145 times from 1973 to 1977. OGC Nice stands with the pain of his relatives who have looked after him for 39 years.”