Hibs team of 2000/01, including Franck Sauzee, to reunite for charity match at Easter Road

The Hibs team of 2000/01 is to reunite for a charity match at Easter Road later this year, it has been confirmed.

An announcement was made on Sunday night at an event dubbed ‘Le Retour’, set up and organised by the Hanlon-Stevenson Foundation (HSF) to welcome Franck Sauzee back to the Capital after 20 years.

Details are still to be finalised but the fixture will likely take place once the Scottish game shuts down for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, which kicks off on November 21, and Sauzee is hopeful of a big turn-out at the stadium where he finished his illustrious playing career.

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The Frenchman is an ambassador for the charity headed up by current first-team players Paul Hanlon and Lewis Stevenson and was greeted by hundreds of fans at a gala dinner in his honour held at the O2 Academy in Edinburgh, with several of his former team-mates including John Hughes, Dirk Lehmann, Stuart Lovell, Ian Murray, John O’Neil, as well as the man who brought him to the club, Alex McLeish, in attendance.

Franck Sauzee, left, David Zitelli, and Mixu Paatelainen (far right) celebrate John O'Neil's goal against Hearts in the 6-2 Edinburgh derby victory in October 2000

There were also appearances by current academy coach, former player, and fellow Frenchman Guillaume Beuzelin, and Des Bremner - one of only five players including Sauzee to have played for Hibs and won the European Cup - as well as video messages from Sauzee’s former team-mates Ulrik Laursen and Mixu Paatelainen; actor Dougray Scott; writer Irvine Welsh and Scot Squad actor Jack Docherty in his guise as Chief Commissioner Cameron Miekelson.

Hibs chief executive Ben Kensell was also in attendance along with Hibs Women captain Joelle Murray and first-team player Darren McGregor.

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Former players shared their memories of playing alongside Sauzee while McLeish told the story of how he was alerted to the availability of the 39-cap French internationalist.

Sauzee, who has been away from Scotland following a 69-day stint in charge of the team that ended with his sacking after a poor run of results, was also inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame last month, with a presentation to him made by Pat Stanton.

The evening, hosted by BBC Radio Scotland broadcaster Grant Stott and Luke Shanley of Sky Sports who serve as HSF Ambassador and HSF Committee Member respectively, was interrupted on numerous occasions by renditions of ‘There’s Only One Sauzee’.

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