Le Havre AC

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. Le Havre plays in Ligue 2, the second tier of French football, and plays its home matches at the Stade Océane.

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 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,[3] 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.[4] 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 cultureEdit

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 squadEdit

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


Managerial historyEdit


  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. ^ "Historical Rugby Milestones – 1870s". The Daily Telegraph. UK. Retrieved 14 May 2006.
  4. ^ "France - List of Champions". www.rsssf.com.
  5. ^ "Effectif". Le Havre AC Official Site. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  6. ^ "France – Trainers of First and Second Division Clubs on RSSSF". Archived from the original on 31 May 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2007.
  7. ^ "Le Havre : Paul Le Guen manager général et entraîneur (off)" (in French). foot-national.com. 29 May 2019.