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Jean-Pierre Adams died at the age of 73 after being in a coma for 39 years.
Adams fell into a profound sleep in 1982, at the age of 34, as a result of an anaesthetic error during a routine knee procedure at Lyon Hospital.
He was said to be in “excellent shape” before the surgery and was anticipated to wake up within a few hours.
But Adams remained in the coma for 39 years.
He was pronounced dead on Monday at the Nimes University Hospital.
The 73-year-old was born in Dakar, Senegal, in 1948 and went on to play 22 times for the France national team from 1972 to 1976.
He also made 41 appearances for Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain, although spent the majority of his career playing at Nice.