Jacques Fouroux

Le Petit Caporal

"Jacques Fouroux was more of a management guru than a coach. When he gave the match day shirts out, he would motivate each player in a very individual way. He’d say to the Basque props like Pascal and Doxpi: ‘Make sure your opposite number doesn’t score today, because if he does it means you are tired and he is better than you in the scrum.' To players like Lorieux and Garuet, he would verbally and viciously abuse them, telling them: ‘You were crap in the last game and your opposition far better than you.' It would send them into a frenzy, they would go nuts. To Blanco, he would humbly say: ‘Thank you Serge. Thank you for being with us here today.' He was a genius!" (Patrick Esteve)

In answer to the question, 'Whom would you invite to your imaginary dinner party?' Jacques Fouroux is definitely be on my list. He would be in esteemed company alongside Madonna, Robert de Niro, Brigitte Bardot, Nelson Mandela, Laurent Pardo, Diego Maradona and Stormy Daniels. And based on what the former players and team mates have told me, I have no doubt he would be holding court, although he would probably need Brigitte, Laurent or me to help him with the international lingua francaof English. I haven’t worked out how Diego would understand what was going on but that’s just detail. I’d probably sit him between Stormy and Madonna and let their pheromones oil the wheels.

Jacques was a passionate, articulate, charismatic leader of men and the chef d’orchestre of his teams. He wore his heart on his sleeve and was so effective at preparing his players’ souls for battle. Like all great leaders, he was fearless and capable of moving his men to another level with his tone and use of language. He had a sociable, unpredictable and demanding brand of communication, and boy did his players respond, evincing an unconditional love for him that continues today.

I tracked down his son, Jean Baptiste, in Montauban, to find out more about him.

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