|Jul 19, 1924
|Nov 3, 1997 (73 years old)
Born in St Etienne, Antoine Cuissard actually started his football career with FC Lorient in Brittany (at a club which was founded by his Grandmother.) But it would be logically at AS Saint-Etienne where he would make his first appearance as a professional footballer. He was an attacking midfielder, who was regularly deployed on the front line of the attack, and he would go on to play for several clubs in France. He would put his talent as a formidable and combative player to good use with teams such as Saint-Etienne, Lorient, Cannes and then Nice (with whom he would lift the French Cup in 1954.) He finished his career as a player with Stade Rennais between 1955 and 1959. Nicknamed "The Shoe" ("tatane"), he finished top scorer for the Red and Blacks in the 1957/1958 season. He also achieved recognition at international level, playing 27 times for the French national team, scoring once, between 1946 and 1954. After a fulfilling career as a player, he decided to go into football management, taking on FC Lorient from 1959-1960. At that point he stopped all activities related to football following the tragic death of his wife. He returned to the game in 1961, replacing Henri Guérin. He was able to keep the club in the First Division for three seasons, but his relationship with the players deteriorated over time, and he was eventually replaced by Jean Prouff in 1964. He then returned to Lorient from 1967 to 1969, and helped the club to turn professional. In 1971, he headed to Corsica to coach AC Ajaccio for a season, before coming a Swiss exile, managing Vevey Sports (1972-1974). He returned to his beloved Brittany, and took over as Rennes manager from Cédolin, who had been sacked with the Red and Blacks 13th in the First Division in February 1975. His return would not prove a happy one, however, with Rennes being relegated at the end of the season, but - undeterred - he was successful in obtaining promotion back to the top flight the very next season, finishing 1st in their group in the Second Division in the 1975/1976 season. Having got his club back into the First Division, he changed his role at the club, becoming Director of Football whilst also dealing with player recruitment, with Dubaële taking over his job as First Team boss. He would finally retire from football altogether in 1978, leaving to live in Saint-Brieuc, where he passed away on 3rd November 1997. His hometown Saint-Etienne paid tribute to their footballing son, naming a street after him, just down the road from the stadium Geoffroy-Guichard.