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Pau Football Club (commonly known as Pau FC) is a French football club founded in 1920 and based in Pau, prefecture of the department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques in the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, and capital of the former sovereign state of Béarn since 1464.
|Full name||Pau Football Club|
|Founded||1920as Bleuets de Notre Dame de Pau|
|Ground||Nouveau Stade du Hameau|
Pau FC was founded in 1920 as a Catholic patronage under the name Bleuets de Notre-Dame de Pau, which contributed to the ascent of Bearnese football to the highest amateur league in France, at a time when the French Football league system remained a closed-league entity, before changing names to FC Pau in 1959, and finally Pau FC in 1995.
The club's motto has been "Vaincre ou sourire", which translates as "Vanquish or Smile", since the club's inception in 1959.
The club's owner is former goalkeeper Bernard Laporte-Fray, while the manager is Bruno Irles since January 2019.
Pau FC inaugurated its new football stadium - the provisional name of the Nouste Camp in Bearnese - at the start of the 2018-2019 French National Football Championship season.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Football in Pau & South-West France
- 1.2 Bleuets de Notre-Dame de Pau (1920-1959)
- 1.3 Football Club de Pau
- 1.4 Pau Football Club
- 1.5 Key moments
- 2 Stadium
- 3 Rivalries
- 4 Current squad
- 5 Records
- 6 Notable players
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Football in Pau & South-West FranceEdit
Football has always had the status of third sport in Pau, behind basketball and especially Rugby union. Nowadays, the popularity of both Pau's Basketball and Rugby union's clubs - Section Paloise & Élan Béarnais Pau-Lacq-Orthez respectively - remain greater than that of Pau FC.
Historically and culturally, rugby was probably closer to the values of the place (Gascony), replacing the Bearnese & Basque rural sports - or even the La soule - in the hearts of the people of Bearn and Gascony.
Moreover, the antagonism between secular patronage, widely represented in the South-West and Catholic patronage which were the driving forces leading to the adoption of English sports, certainly contributed to favoring the practice of rugby, a sport that was despised by the Catholic Church, due to the frequent contacts between players, focusing instead on football or basketball. Catholics, through the action of the Gymnastics and Sports Federation of the Patronage of France (FGSPF), made football their flagship sport, rugby being considered too elitist.
After 1905, in opposition, the regions's republicans and anticlerical rank behind the oval ball. Rugby thus represented perhaps some form of resistance to the Church and to the "French spirit" in a long independent land, retaining a strong sense of regional identity and pride, in which the republican tradition is strongly implanted.
Thus, despite the very strong British and English historical presence in Pau, especially during the Belle Epoque, since the troops of General Wellington remained posted in Pau after his defeat at the Battle of Orthez (1814), football arrived relatively late compared to other French regions.
At that time, many rich English people flocked to Pau to enjoy the healing virtues of the Pau climate and Pyrenean waters, attracted by Dr. Alexander Taylor and his essayon medicine, "On the Curative Influence of the Climate of Pau, and the Mineral Waters of the Pyrenees On Diseases " which washugely successful in England at the time.
These expatriates, including Henry Russell's father, launched the fashion of Pyreneism and also regularly attended Billère's golf course. Thus, in November 1856, Major Pontifex, Colonels Anstruther and Hutchinson, Archdeacon Sapte and Lord Hamilton formally founded in Pau the first continental golf course in France and Europe, outside of the British Isles, the Pau Golf Club.
Patrice O'Quin, of Irish descent became mayor of Pau in 1860. In the region in the nineteenth century, a Scotsman called J. J. Shearer contributed to the establishment of rugby in Bordeaux and Welshman Owen Roe to rowing and rugby in Bayonne.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, however, formal teams appeared in Béarn and French Basque Country under the patronage of the parishes of the districts of towns and villages. A first championship was organized by the Pyrenean Union, local body of the Gymnastics and Sports Federation of the patronages of France (FGSPF). Ten patronages participate in this original edition: seven located around Bayonne and three patronages of the region of Pau: Alerte de Ségure (patronage of the Lycée which would later be renamed Louis-Barthou Pau), FA Bourbaki of Pau and Avenir Salisien.
Football has officially been practiced in Pau since 1902 and the first season of Football at the JAB Pau. This club, from the Saint Martin patronage, has trained many professional players like Jean-Michel Larqué, Jean-François Larios or Dominique Vésir.
Like many other football clubs in South West France and Béarn, this club is originally a Catholic patronage.
In 1904 took place the first season of the Bourbaki Football Association4, whose colors are gray and purple. This patronage was founded in 1888 by the abbot Lafourcade, of the parish Saint-Jacques de Pau. The patronage is named after Charles-Denis Bourbaki, French general born in Pau in 1816 and known to have commanded the Armée de l'Est during the War of 1870.
Bleuets de Notre-Dame de Pau (1920-1959)Edit
The Catholic patronage of the Bleuets de Notre-Dame de Pau was officially founded in 1920 - even though the first mentions of the patronage date back to 1904- by the parish priest Jean-Paul Ramonguilhem, with the help of local entrepreneur Gaston Santé and mailman Louis Delnaz.
The Bleuets de Notre-Dame de Pau, founded in the aftermath of World War I, are so named because Bleuets or cornflower in English for this flower is the first to grow (along with poppies) after bombings on battle fields. The club was therefore meant to be a symbol of renaissance and reconstruction. In France the bleuet de France also happens to be the symbol of the 11 November 1918 armistice and, as such, a common symbol for veterans (especially the now defunct poilus of World War I), similar to the Remembrance poppies worn in the United Kingdom and in Canada.
This is the patronage of the parish Notre-Dame de Pau, attended by all the youth of the Mayolis district, which was then a popular district of the city of Pau. This district is nowadays called the Triangle, famous for its festive nightlife. At that time, the patronage enabled the local youth to practice many sports activities such as football, but also music, theater, gymnastics, athletics, or roller skating.
The practice of football dates back to from 1923, although the first meaningful season of a football team of Bleuets would take place in 1935-1936, at the creation of the District of the Pyrenees in 1936.
The Pau Football Club is the result of the split with Bleuets de Notre-Dame de Pau in 1959.
Rise in power (1950 to 1956)Edit
Albert Lille (1899 - 1979), nicknamed "The sorcerer" was a firefighter and deputy secretary general of the city of Pau. He became vice-president of the Bleuets football section of Notre Dame de Pau in 1945 and would remain until 1958. He had previously left in 1932 the Bourbaki Football Association to join Bleuets . The patronage of the Blueberries had acquired in 1941 a ground of 12 000 m2, located road of Buros, in order to build its Stade des Bleuets, equipped with two lateral stands. It was originally a cowshed with a farm, the Bernès farm, where players would wash after matches.
Albert Lille played a vital role for the club and football in Béarn. Under his direction, the patro structured and progressed through the amateur league system. Lille is notably responsible for the constitution of a youth team with players from the district that would go on to help the club experience nine promotions in ten years and reach the highest amateur division, at a time when the leagues were closed.
If you did not give everything, you did not give anything.— Albert Lille
Taking care of training, Albert Lille devoted himself more specifically to youth teams. Thus, he leads his group, championship titles of the Pyrenean Union in several age categories. This team would soon confirm by becoming champions of the League cadets and champions of France F.S.C.F. juniors in April 1950 against the "Vigilante de Saint-Étienne" in Montpellier on the score of 4 to 1, on the ground of the SOM.
Having started life in the lower leagues of the Pyrenees District in 1950-51, the Bleuets, seven years later in 1958, reached the highest amateur league in France, with a team made up of players largely coming from the Mayolis district of Pau. At that time the Bleuets took the ascendancy over the JAB of Pau, FA Bourbaki and Union Jurançonnaise.
Golden Age in Division Nationale (1956 to 1958)Edit
The Bleuets are promoted to the Division Nationale, managing an honorable 6th place in the Southwest group for their first season at this level, confirming their status as "Pioneers" of football in Southwest France.
In 1958, the patronage of vice-president Albert Lille and coach Bela Herczecg won the South West Division Division Champion title. The football on display was "English", physical and committed, reflecting the character of a rugby mad city.
The 1958-59 National Division season was the 11th edition of the championship, which was the first level in French amateur football. The competition was won that season by AS Saint-Étienne.
Therefore, Pau, still known under the name Bleuets de Notre-Dame de Pau reached the highest level of the French South-West regional football league for the first time in 1956. Under the guidance of coach Albert Lille at the beginning of the 50s, the Bleuets de Notre-Dame de Pau are growing as a football club with a Champion of France youth title in 1951.
This was the foundation of their run in the 1958 Coupe de France, when the first team played in the French third tier.
The Round of 64 of the 1957/1958 edition of the Coupe de France against FC Girondins de Bordeaux, then in the Division 2, that was lost 4–1 after extra-time in front of more than 6000 spectators at the stade de l'avenue de Buros is still one of the greatest matches of the club's history.
There was a split at the club in 1959, which resulted in the creation of Football Club de Pau, focused on the first team and Bleuets de Notre-Dame de Pau, which continued with the youth team. Indeed, the club was not willing to shed their amateur status and start remunerating their players, as the parsons argued that training professional players was not part of their attributions.
Football Club de PauEdit
Creation of the club - José Bidegain era (1959 to 1965)Edit
Thanks to the Bleuets' run in 1957/1958 edition of the Coupe de France and this memorable match against the Girondins, the local demand for high-level football in Pau, Béarn and the South West was really at an all-time high.
The Bishop, responsible for the patronage of the Bleuets de Notre Dame de Pau felt it had reached the limits and looked for a new group of local leaders able to manage a senior team able to represent the city of Pau at the national level. Indeed, the French Championship of amateur football requires the implementation of means that exceed the possibilities and competence of the normal organization of a patronage, whose work is essentially educational.
The first team of the Bleuets Notre-Dame de Pau split and gave birth to the Football Club de Pau on May 19, 1959 with the motto "Vaincre ou Sourire", meaning "To win or smile", at the initiative of the young and dynamic local entrepreneur José Bidegain, in order to endow Pau, in full economic expansion thanks to the exploitation of the Lacq gas field since 1956, of an amateur football team worthy of its reputation as "Queen of Sports" City.
The creation was announced at a press conference held at the Café Majestic, an emblematic place located on the Place Royale. The club's Affiliation Number at the French Football Federation is 50168130 and it chose to retain the original colors worn by the Bleuets, Blue and White. The club has since its foundation had the concern to limit as much as possible the number of matches overlapping with those of the local rugby club.
The headquarters were established at the Hotel Beauséjour, while the club would play its home matches either at the Stade Des Bleuets or at the newly built Stade du Hameau from February 13, 1960.
FC Pau wants to honour football and its supporters.— José Bidegain
An emblematic leftist industrialist, José Bidegain was the CEO of Bidegain SA, a company created in 1936 famous for the Babybottes. He embodied the modernist wing of the National Council of French Patronage of which he was vice-president, and pushed for a better dialogue with the unions.
A figure of social Christianity, Bidegain went on to become President of Action Against Hunger from 1991 until his death and joined the Ministry of Industry, under the second Rocard government. At the time of his death in 1999 following a car accident, Serge July devoted a stirring hommage to him in Libération. An enthusiastic speleologist, Bidegain was one of the rescuers during the tragedy of 14 August 1952 of the Gouffre de Pierre Saint-Martin where Marcel Loubens died during a large-scale expedition in which Haroun Tazieff participated. He is also the father of screenwriter Thomas Bidegain.
Right from the beginning, Football Club de Pau was meant to keep on building on what the Bleuets and other patronages of the city has achieved.
FC Pau became de facto the only club in the South West, with the exception of Toulouse and Bordeaux, to play in the national divisions.
The local press often refers to the club as FC Palois.
The club was ambitious, playing friendly matches against its Spanish neighbors of Real Sociedad and Club Fútbol Jacetano in 1959, in order to get prepared and more competitive before the start of the season.
The Palois lost to Andoni Elizondo's Real Sociedad on the score of 6-2.
For this inaugural season, FC Pau finished 7th in the South-West Group Amateur Football Championship Group. The new club's start to the season wasindeed difficult, but the Palois finally recovered in the second part of the season. They began the season with an inaugural defeat at the Stade de la Route de Buros against the outgoing champion Brive on August 26, 1959, and then recovered against Limoges the following week, winning on the score of 2 to 1.
The club slowly built on this promising season and began consolidating while attracting experienced players, such as midfielder Joseph Brotons - who would later play in Division 1 at OM. In addition, the young André Altuzarra built a solid reputation and became international junior in 196045 before leaving to try his luck at Girondins de Bordeaux.
Les Palois settled at the Stade du Hameau on February 21, 1960, winning the inaugural match against the Athletic Sport Rochefortais on the score of 5 to 1, thanks to a tactic in 2-3-5 and the confirmation of the form of Altuzarra.
However, recurrent infrastructure problems and the lack of a proper stadium, would continue to hinder the development of this young football club fighting for recognition and survival in the heartland of a Rugby union land, Bearn, and South-Western France as a whole.
Pau Football ClubEdit
New start (1995)Edit
The club was renamed Pau Football Club during the 1995 - 1996 season when Football Cclub de Pau when it went to administration. Two projects were then in competition for the takeover: that of a former player in the person of Bernard Laporte-Fray132 and that of the former president of FC Pau from 1975 to 1991: Pierre Clède.
Mayor André Labarrère believes that the city of Pau could host three professional sport clubs "There is room for three top clubs in Pau. On the condition that they are well managed. "The decision was finally taken to save top-level football in Pau under the name "Pau Football Club" and not "Pau-Pyrénées Football Club", a name championned by the Clede team.
"Mr. Cléde is a quality man who did what was necessary for football in Pau, but he is a man of the past. »— André Labarrère
Bernard Laporte-Fray, the 1983 goalkeeper, became president of the Pau Football Club twelve years after his debut ofr the club. All that remained was to obtain the approval of the liquidator and that of the FFF. Laporte-Fray was the goalkeeper during the 1982-1983 Division 4 season when FC Pau won his place in Division 3 1983-1984, and was the first to play at this level in Blois.
From now on, the emphasis is clearly on training young players and ending the star system. The former captain of the 1980s, Robert Péré-Escamps, who played for the club for thirteen seasons, was appointed to the position of coach with the task of maintaining the club in National 2 for the 1995-1996 season, the club having been relegated administratively the previous season.
But beware, we are not leaders in three-piece suits. Our aim is to save the club, not to show off or promote ourselves. So we are now working as a team. We are a team of friends, and we want to rediscover the values of our sport.— Bernard Laporte-Fray
The club's sporting policy was profundly changed. No more high salaries, and the emphasis was placed on developing academy players so that they do not hesitate to hand them their first team debut in their teenage years.
Pau FC made the first page of their new history at the Hameau stadium against Dijon FCO, winning 1-0.
In 1997, the Pau FC offered René Girard his first coaching opportunity, whose mission was to obtain promotion to the National and eventually to League 2.
Stabilization, development and failure René Girard (1997-2001)Edit
Pau FC entered the newly created national championship at the beginning of the 1998-1999 season under the leadership of René Girard, after having been promoted from the CFA.
When I arrived at Pau FC, then in the fourth division, I thought that despite the competition from basketball and rugby, the city deserved a Ligue 1 club.
Unfortunately, the results did not follow at the National level and Girard was dismissed in December 1997, complaining about Richard Allenda's influence behind the scenes and not having had a hand in recruitment, in order to keep Michel Sanchez, the team's star striker. He sued the club afterwards.
Pascal Plancque, former player of the club who had finished his career with the Basque club Arin luzien in the regional leagues, took over from Allenda in January 1998.
Joël Bats, the PSG coach, had previously warned his troops, not at best at that time, against the "temperament of the South-West", considering that it was "a trap match ".
Some spectators had queued up to 4 hours to obtain seats.
The match against PSG was played in a packed Stade du Hameau in front of a then capacity crowd of 15,000 spectators. The only goal of the match was scored by the Seleçao captain Raí. The club's prodiugal son, Edouard Cissé came on as a sub, replacing Laurent Fournier. The match was physical and ended with a massive brawl that continued in the dressing rooms. Despite the defeat to a better team, the Palois were able to use "grinta" to thwart the plans of PSG coaches Ricardo Gomes and Joël Bats, who graduated at the acamedy of Pau FC's rivals Stade Montois. Two chances from Girardot and Baylac could have even allowed him to win.
The Capbourruts had three players sent off that day: Jacques Rémy, 73rd; Xavier Bécas, 113th and Laurent Vacher, 119th and consider that the referee was not up to the task144.
On that day, the PSG fielded an experienced team against amateurs (only Vacher and Rémy benefited from federal contracts) but only managed to win on the smallest of margins after extra time:
8th round of the Coupe de France 1997-1998
Pau FC (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper Christophe Baiocco
Defenders Laurent Bédani - Laurent Vacher (Cap) - Arthur Demirdjian - David Jauréguiberry
Eddy Bathie (Richard Goyet, 117th) Normand (Jean-Jacques Bécas, 66th), Alexandre Sallabery, Jacques Rémy
Forwards Raphaël Girardot (Gilles Guerri, 86th) - Denis Baylac
Paris SG (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper Vincent Fernandez
Defenders Jimmy Algérino, Bruno Ngotty, Alain Roche, Paul Le Guen
Milieux Laurent Fournier (Édouard Cissé, 68th), Pierre Ducrocq, Raí Jérôme Leroy
Forwards Marco Simone, James Debbah (Patrice Loko, 80th).
At the beginning of the 1999-2000 season, Pau FC now has a budget of 6.5 million francs, allowing the club to compete with National's big guns and generating growing interest. Bernard Laporte Fray, then a young president, who after the past escapades, was part of this new management team that has given back credibility to a club that was sorely lacking. But by regaining their discipline, the Palois have not lost their ambitions. The club is at the gates of Division 2 and the professional world the club had been wanting to join for years.
"We are aiming for D2 in the medium term, but if it comes this season, we will seize it. Because Ligue 2, and therefore professionalism, is the only way for us to establish our foundations and strengthen our training structures. We have a great potential of talented young players that we can only keep if we disposed of our academy. We're fed of being raided every year by bigger clubs! »— Bernard Laporte Fray
The club is struggling, but lacks structure since the Capbourruts cannot effectively offer young locals a training centre, a preserve of professional structures. Moreover, the partnership with the Girondins de Bordeaux was not very productive, and Pau FC turned to the Toulouse Football Club at that time, with the arrival of Avezac.
Dark Times and relegation to the Fourth Division (2001-2008)Edit
In 2001, the club went through a new troubled period following the conditional sentence of its president Bernard Laporte-Fray and its sports director Richard Allenda to prison for possession of cocaine. The presidency was for a time held by Jacques le Coadou, before a former player, Joel Lopez, took over.
During the 2005-2006 season, Pau FC, led by Marc Lévy, returned to the club in a coaching role and was loaned by Lorient FC a young player named André-Pierre Gignac. At the age of 21, "Dédé Gignac" had scored eight goals in twenty games for the Capbourruts. The Béarnais club had finished 15th.
He built his reputation as a bon vivant, quickly becoming part of the team and sharing local food sausages on the team bus.
I never forget the years spent in Championnat National and Ligue 2. Today, it is an additional strength. It was not easy to come down even though I spent incredible moments in Pau. I have not only had high points in my career and it is part of me.— André-Pierre Gignac
In 2002, the club continued to structure itself and appointed Jean-Marc Ferratge as head of the club's training unit153, before taking over the reins of the first team in 2003.
The average attendance was around 1,500 that season.
Behind the scenes, Jacques Le Coadou handed over the presidency of the club, a position he had held since 2001 to Joël Lopez. The club is in a poor state of repair in terms of training and no longer includes many regional players.
Pau Football Club remained at National level until the 2007-2008 season, when it finished at the 17th place and was relegated to Group C of the 2008-2009 French Amateur Football Championship. The foolowing season, the club finished third, narrowly missing immediate promotion back to the Third Division. That season, David Vignes was appointed coach on October 8, 2007, in place of Jean-Luc Girard, of whom he was the assistant. h
During this last National season, Joël Lopez made an uncompromising assessment of the state of football in Béarn, which, despite 6,000 licence holders, lacks "football culture", while regional competitions and levels of play are low, which hinders the club's ability to detect regional talent155.
Pau Football Club (1998-1999 to 2007-2008) and AS Cannes (2001-2002 to 2010-2011) still co-host the record for longevity in National, with 10 consecutive seasons played.
Pau Football Club stayed in National until the 2007–2008 season when they finished 17th and were relegated to CFA. Pau Football Club (from 1998 to 1999 to 2007–2008) and AS Cannes (from 2001 to 2002 to 2010–2011) are the record holding clubs for the number of seasons spent in the French third tier, with 10 consecutive seasons
Pau FC is again promoted to National for the 2016–2017 season from the CFA after finishing first in the 2015–16 season. They entered the season and did not win any of their first 5 games (drawn 3, lost 2). However they steadily pulled themselves out of the relegation zone and after 22 games, appeared safe from relegation in 12th position. However, Pau went on a 10 match winless run (drawn 5, lost 5) and found themselves sitting in 17th position with 2 games remaining. However, victories over SAS Épinal and US Concarneau saved them from relegation and finished in 14th position, just 1 point out of the relegation zone.
1920: Foundation of Bleuets Notre-Dame de Pau.
1923: First Football season at Bleuets Notre-Dame de Pau.
1951: French Champion – youth team
1956: Reached the top level of the French South-West Regional football league.
1958: Champion of the French South-West Regional football league. Promotion to the third tier of French football.
1959 : Split of Football Club de Pau and Bleuets de Notre-Dame de Pau.
1995 : The club went to administration, reformed, changed their name to Pau football Club and were relegated to the fourth tier of French football.
1998 : Pau football Club is champion of the Group C of the Championnat de France Amateur groupe C and are promoted to the Championnat National. The club also reached the Round of 16 of the Coupe de France, which they lost 0 – 1 a.e.t. to Paris Saint-Germain FC.
2008 : Relegation to Championnat de France Amateur .
2016 : Promotion to the Championnat National.
The historic ground of the Bleuets Notre-Dame de Pau is the stade de l'avenue de Buros.
Pau FC's ground has long been the Stade du Hameau, completely renovated for the 2017 season, with an 18426 seating capacity.
The club's new football ground has been provisionally named Nouste Camp.
Pau Football have long-standing rivalries with
- Aviron Bayonnais FC – Derby basco-béarnais
- Tarbes Pyrénées Football
- Stade Montois Football Derby lando-béarnai.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Denis Baylac is Pau Football Club's all-time top goalscorer, with 59 goals.
Pierre Aristouy and Seydou Koné are respectively second and third with 29 and 22 goals.
- "Rafaele Novelli quitte Pau, Bruno Irles le Remplace" (in French). actufoot.com. 16 January 2019. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
- "Effectif". paufc.fr. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
- "Pau FC". Soccerway. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
- (in French) Official website