Hibs legend Franck Sauzee to return to Easter Road for first time in 20 years

Franck Sauzee will return to the Easter Road turf for the first time in 20 years after the club announced the Frenchman will be a special guest for the next home match with Motherwell.

The ex-Hibs player and manager will deliver the match ball before kick-off on Saturday, October 8 as the Steelmen visit Leith in the cinch Premiership.

Sauzee earned the adulation of the club’s support for his classy play across 90 appearances during his time as a player. In almost three years, he helped Hibs win the First Division, finish third in the top flight and reach the 2001 Scottish Cup final, where they lost to treble-winners Celtic.

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His spell as a manager was not as successful. After one win in 15, he was sacked by the club just 69 days into his tenure. He did, however, retain his unbeaten record as both player and boss against Edinburgh rivals Hearts.

Franck Sauzee celebrates alongside Hibs team-mate John Hughes after scoring in a 3-0 win at Tynecastle. Picture: SNS

Angry at how he was treated by the prior custodians, Sauzee refused to return to the Scottish capital for an eagerly-awaited reunion, though relations with the Leith side have softened in recent years following Ron Gordon’s purchase of the club.

Sauzee was the guest of honour at a Hanlon Stevenson Foundation dinner earlier this year. During his visit to the stadium for the Motherwell clash, Sauzee will also unveil the ‘Oor Franckie’ model, a Hibs version of the ‘Oor Wullie’ model painted in an iconic late 1990s Hibs strip that was donated to the Hanlon Stevenson Foundation.

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“I look forward to visiting Edinburgh in a few weeks' time when I will be unveiling “Oor Franckie” as well as presenting the match ball at the Motherwell match, which coincides with the announcement of an exciting fundraising event for Hanlon Stevenson Foundation," Sauzee told the Hibs website.

The club have also announced that Sauzee will attend the Hibs Training Centre during the week to meet the players, new manager Lee Johnson and his coaching staff.

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A former Champions League winner with Marseille, Sauzee represented France 39 times during his career and also enjoyed spells with Sochaux, Monaco, Atalanta, Strasbourg and Montpellier.

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