It is with regret that we announce Franck Sauzée has had to pull out of ‘Le Match’ on health grounds.
No-one is more disappointed than Franck, who was looking forward to pulling on his boots one more time at Easter Road Stadium and – in the process – help to raise a considerable sum for Hanlon Stevenson Foundation activities in the local community.
Rightly, however, his health comes first, and we look forward to welcoming him back to Edinburgh when the time is right.
After some consideration, HSF has decided to push on with preparations for this charity fixture.
No-one is more committed to the causes we support than Franck, who has embraced his role as an HSF ambassador, and the proceeds from this match will go right back into our community.
Those causes will include ensuring children who need a helping hand are able to enjoy a better Christmas, while assisting low-income families and elderly groups during the winter months.
The commitment of those players who have agreed to take part has shone through and we look forward to what’s shaping up to be a real Hibernian family reunion.
Lastly, the backing – as ever – from supporters has been heartening and humbling, if not surprising. It has always been the case with our fundraising efforts, but we know they share our excitement at seeing those familiar faces back in the green and white.
Franck Sauzée said: “I would like to thank all of the Hibees for the warm welcome I received at the Motherwell match. It was great to be back at Easter Road.
“Unfortunately, I have a health problem and it will be impossible for me to be with you for Le Match. I need to rest for a couple of months, but I promise I will be back in Edinburgh to support Hibernian”
Hanlon Stevenson Foundation’s chairman, Graeme Cadger, added: “First of all – and on behalf of everyone associated with HSF – I want to wish Franck a speedy recovery.
“He is a giant of a man, on and off the pitch. My admiration for him as a player has been exceeded by the respect I have for the way he has immersed himself in our HSF activities and goals.
“I also know how touched he was by the reception he received from supporters at our dedicated fundraising dinner and on his long-awaited return to Easter Road.
“This will come as no surprise to anyone who has ever had the pleasure of dealing with him, but he urged me not to cancel the match. He said the players involved will love seeing each other again, in addition to playing in front of the Hibernian support once more.
“We have more than 25 players signed up, with a few more surprises up our sleeves.
“Each of them is committed to helping us generate what we can for causes who need our assistance. The details of this match may have changed but that overriding aim remains.
“We would like to thank those supporters who have bought tickets so far, plus the individuals and groups who have demonstrated their backing in other ways.
“We know Franck will be cheering us on from his home in France and we look forward to having him back with us when the time is right.”
Full details of the match and participants will be released early next week as will details on how to apply for a refund if required.