Hibs in 50 objects: No.44 – Franck Sauzee’s international shirt

One of Sauzee's France international shirts he donated to Hibs
One of Sauzee's France international shirts he donated to Hibs
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CAPPED 39 times by France, Franck Sauzee is a legend in the eyes of many Hibs supporters despite his ill-fated reign as manager.

His signing was a real coup for the club as Sauzee arrived from Montpellier on a free transfer while Hibs were plying their trade in the First Division during the 1998/1999 campaign, he went on to captain Alex McLeish’s men as the Capital outfit made an immediate return to the top flight.

In their second season back in the Premier League, Sauzee was an instrumental figure in helping Hibs to a third-place finish in May 2001. The club also reached their first Scottish Cup final in 22 years that year but were beaten 3-0 by treble-winners Celtic. Having toyed with the idea of retirement, he was persuaded to stay on at Easter Road for the 2001/2002 season. However, after Alex McLeish’s departure to Rangers in December 2001, Sauzee relinquished the captain’s role, signing an 18-month contract to take over as the club’s new manager. His first match in charge ended in a 1-0 defeat at Dunfermline that signalled the start of a torrid run as Hibs failed to win a single league match during his short reign. Sauzee was in charge for just 69 days and also presided over Hibs’ 1-0 League Cup semi-final defeat to then First Division side Ayr United. Bobby Williamson was appointed the new manager just a week after Sauzee’s dismissal in February 2002. That said, he is still regarded as one of the finest players ever to don the green-and-white jersey. He scored 13 goals in 77 appearances.