“When my father died, I expected something to happen,” laments Laurent Tapie, son of the former OM head.
Laurent Tapie has just created an association with the aim of raising funds to finance the construction of a statue in memory of his father.
Laurent Tapie, son of Bernard Tapie, who was in charge of Olympique de Marseille when the club won the Champions League thirty years ago, announced on Friday 26 May on franceinfo the creation of an association called “Forever the first” in order to collect funds to finance the construction of a statue in memory of his father. “When my father died, I expected something to be done”But “Seeing after several months that nothing was being done, I decided to take this initiative”, He explains. The statue will be erected on the esplanade of the Vélodrome stadium which will bear the name of Bernard Tapie. An initiative of the town hall of Marseille after “long discussions” with Laurent Tapie. “It is true that it makes sense that this monument is located on the esplanade, near the Vélodrome”he reacted.
franceinfo. What is the purpose of your association?
Lorenzo Tapi. The goal of this association is for all those who want something left of my father’s passage to mobilize and make a donation so that a monument can be built. The monument in question will depict a true scene the day after the Champions League final, when the team returned to Marseille. Everyone went to the Vélodrome stadium to present the trophy to the public. There was a moment where the players took my father on their shoulders and he waved the trophy in the direction of the crowd. It is this scene that we would like to capture in the form of a sculpture. It is a monumental work where there will be six figures on the ground and one on their shoulders. The six characters on the pitch are six emblematic players of the winning team: Basile Boli, Didier Deschamps, Marcel Desailly, Fabien Barthez, Franck Sauzée and Eric Di Meco. On their shoulders will be my father who will hold up the Champions League. It will take almost 300,000 euros. We would like to install it on the esplanade near the Vélodrome stadium which will bear the name of Esplanade Bernard Tapie.
Why take this step?
When my father died, I expected something to be done because it’s a tradition that has always been respected in big clubs or big cities. The stadium where Montpellier will play soon, which is under construction, will be called the Louis Nicollin stadium. There is a grandstand inside the Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Princes that goes by the name of Francis Borelli. The OM Training Center was renamed the Robert Louis-Dreyfus Center when the latter died. There is only for my father for whom nothing happened. I thought it would come naturally. And then, seeing after several months that nothing was being done, I decided to take this initiative.
The mayor, Benoît Payan, has announced that the large esplanade leading to the Vélodrome stadium will bear the name of his father. Are you happy about it?
I thank him. And it is the result of long discussions. I myself have been in discussions with the town hall for several months on this matter. We had discussed other possibilities. And then, they were very constructive. I am sure that this initiative will be successful because I am convinced that the funds will be raised. It is true that it makes sense that this monument is located on the esplanade near the Vélodrome and that the latter will bear my father’s name.
What will you do with the extra money you might get?
The most emblematic OM player of my father’s time was Jean-Pierre Papin. Obviously we couldn’t represent him in this work since he was our opponent that evening [à l’AC Milan]. The way to include him in this initiative is to associate his association nine of hearts who has been around for a long time and who is battling brain damage, a disease that has affected his family. She accepted, of course. Consequently, all sums exceeding the amount that will be used to create the work will be paid to the association. nine of hearts by Jean-Pierre Papin.