Mar 6, 1938
|Age||84 years old|
Jean-Paul Escale hails from the Hautes-Pyrénées region in the South West of France. He would go on to become one of Olympique de Marseille's great goalkeepers. It was there that he kicked off his footballing career in 1961, having previously come through the ranks of the Marseille amateur teams the previous season. He would become the last line of defence for Marseille for eight consecutive seasons, and was undisputed number one for that time.. He would experience both the Second and First Divisions, mostly the latter, notably winning the French League Title in 1971. For a number of years, he would remain the most-capped player at Marseille, and he was only beaten in 2013 by a certain Steve Mandanda. He was also called up to the French National Team, but remained an unused substitute in his only selection. Having made over 300 appearances for Marseille, he left the club in 1971 to sign for Ajaccio, with whom he had a decent season in the First Division. Known for his positional sense and his agility, he was subsequently hired by Stade Rennais in 1972 to compensate for the departure of Marcel Aubour. But he would only make ten or appearances for Rennes, mainly due to the emergence of the young talent, Daniel Bernard. He ended his professional playing career with a spell at Valenciennes between 1973-1976, notably helping his team to finish runners-up in the Second Division in 1975. He continued to play thereafter in amateur football, upto the ripe old age of 48, before retiring to the Luberon region.