Sep 29, 1949
|Dead||Apr 9, 2020 (70 years old)|
Daniel Bernard was a goalkeeper who was born in Paris. He began his playing days as a youth with Saint-Laurent-du-Var, before being developed at the Cavigal in Nice, a renowned goalkeeping school, where he would catch the eye of AS Saint-Etienne in 1967, with whom he would spend a solitary season playing for the reserve team. He then moved on to Paris-Neuilly for another year-long stay, before joining Stade Rennais in 1969. Frozen out by the competition of Marcel Aubour for the goalkeeping jersey, he would make just 6 appearances in his first three seasons with the Red and Blacks. He would still be part of the French Cup-winning side in 1971, albeit as a substitute, having not played a single minute of their cup-run that year. It was only as of the 1972/1973 season that he would finally make the breakthrough as a first-choice goalkeeper, when Aubour left the club. Spectacular, very active and lively, with a muscular build despite his relatively small stature for a player in his position, there was no shortage to describe this goalkeeper, widely held as one of the best of his generation. Despite making regular appearances for the Military, Junior and U21 French National Teams, he would only get called up once to the full senior squad, albeit not getting called upon to play (a 1976 European Championships Qualifier against Iceland in May 1975. After spending eight seasons with Rennes, making 166 appearances in total, he left the club in 1977 to sign for Paris Saint Germain, where he would stay for just one year. Eventually, it would be at Brest where he would spend the bulk of his career. First-choice 'keeper and club captain for his 6 years, he would play night on 200 matches between 1978-1984, with two promotions to the First Division with the Breton club in that time. In 1980; he also received the Red Ermine Award (Hermine Rouge), which was given to the Player of the Year at Brest. At the end of his time with Brest, Bernard was planning to hang up his boots and call time on his playing career, only to be called up to replace Jean-Luc Ettori at Monaco for a few games, including some European Cup fixtures in 1984. He finally got to retire in 1985, aged 36. After finishing his football career, he moved back to the Finistère region of Brittany, where he occupied roles in sales, as a printer and taxi driver. Bernard passed away on 9th April 2020, in Brest after a long battle with illness.