Dec 28, 1947
|Age||74 years old|
Louis Floch was a striker who was born in Saint-Pol de Léon, and he was considered at the time as one of the biggest child prodigies in Breton football. Developed by Stade Léonard, a club in his home town, he would rise up through the different age groups in impressive speed, stockpiling goals in the process, and made his First Team debut at the tender age of just 15 years old. At that time, Saint Léonard were playing in Division d'Honneur in amateur football, and Floch would a sizeable number of goals under the tutelage of Jean Combot, a former Rennes player. His performances logically attracted the attention of a number of professional clubs at the time, but it was Stade Rennais who would ultimately give him his first break in professional football, getting him to sign - initially - a contract of non-sollicitation in 1965. He was given a very warm welcome upon arrival at the club, and he was hosted at Mr and Mrs Pleyer's house. This player of raw talent would rapidly earn his place in the starting eleven on the right wing of the Rennes attack in his first season, he would become a firm favourite with the fans and with his team-mates. His promising start would be tragically cut short in March 1966 when he received a serious injury to his shin (tibia and fibula), and his ankle after colliding with the opponents' goalkeeper playing for the French Youth team. His injuries would sideline him for months on end, and he would miss the end of the 1965/1966 season, as well as half of the following campaign. This pacy winger would still demonstrate nerves of steel, however, and he soon regained his form, taking part in the club's heyday in the two subsequent seasons. In 1969, the grave financial situation of Rennes was a factor in his situation, and he accepted a move to AS Monaco in the Second Division at that time. As a player who always looked after himself on and off of the pitch, he would spend three seasons in the principality, playing a major role in the club's promotion to the First Division at the end of the 1970/1971 campaign. This excellent winger would be recognised, being called up to the French National Team, scoring three times for his country in a total of 16 appearances for his country, In 1972, he went on to sign for a young Paris FC side, for whom he would enjoy two very prolific seasons - this in spite of his club being relegated to the Second Division in his final season there. With Paris, he would make history, becoming their all-time record goalscorer in the top-flight. As a much sought-after player, he moved across the French capital to sign for Paris Saint Germain (freshly promoted into the top flight) at the behest of Just Fontaine in 1974. After two conclusive seasons in Paris, this fan-favourite would see his game-time substantially reduced in the 1975/1976 season, and he put in a request for a transfer. At this point in his career, he returned to Brittany, where he had no plans to continue playing, until Brest came knocking. Having purchased a newsagents' in Roscoff, which he ran whilst pursuing his footballing career, he ended his playing days with Brest between 1976 and 1980. Subsequently, this passionate cycling fan would go on to write a book titled "Loulou Floch, Breton Footballing Legend" telling the story of his career, and - in particular - his spell with his favourite club, Stade Rennais.