Twenty years later, Franck Sauzee to make long-awaited Hibs return - date, reasons why, Oor Franckie model

Hibs legend Franck Sauzee will make his long-awaited return to the club next month.

The 56-year-old Frenchman, who is revered by the Hibs support for his playing career at the club between 1999 and 2001, has not set foot in Easter Road since his acrimonious sacking as manager in 2002, when the club’s board dismissed him 69 days into the job due to fears over relegation.

Sauzee is now a French football pundit back in his homeland but, with the help of the Hanlon Stevenson Foundation, the former European Cup winner will be in attendance for Hibs’ cinch Premiership match against Motherwell on Saturday, October 8, where he will deliver the match ball.

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Sauzee will also unveil the “Oor Franckie” model, which has been donated to the Hanlon Stevenson Foundation and painted in an iconic late 1990s Hibs strip and christened “Oor Franckie” in honour of Sauzée himself. It will be displayed at Easter Road, along with a “Friends of Oor Franckie” display board that pays homage to donations from supporters to the Hanlon Stevenson Foundation.

Franck Sauzee became a Hibs icon during his playing days at Easter Road.
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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 said.

A former France and Marseille captain, Sauzee won 39 caps for France and scored nine goals, predominantly as a midfielder. He spent the majority of playing days with clubs in Ligue 1 – Marseille, Monaco, Strasbourg and Montpellier – as well as a brief spell in Italy with Atalanta before being brought to Edinburgh in 1999 by then Hibs manager Alex McLeish.

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Then in the second tier of Scottish football, Sauzee quickly won the hearts of the Hibs faithful with his distinctive playing style and affection for the club, firstly as a midfielder and then as a sweeper.

Sauzee took over as manager in December 2001 after McLeish’s move to Rangers but after one win in 15 matches, was axed in February 2002.

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Sauzee left Hibs after he was sacked as manager just 69 days into his tenure.

Hibs’ commercial director Greg McEwan said: “Everyone at Hibernian FC is looking forward to welcoming Franck back to Easter Road for what is bound to be an exciting afternoon.

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“We are hopeful we can get a capacity crowd inside the stadium to give Franck the reception he deserves before kick-off.”

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