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Davis Cup 1991: official dinner, nightclub… The Figaro reporter had accompanied Noah and his gang on their crazy evening in Lyon


The French, Yannick Noah in the lead, had worthily celebrated their triumph in Lyon. Le Figaro of Tuesday, December 3, 1991 published the story of this endless (or almost) night ...

7:30 p.m., Sunday, December 1

: "

We're going to have fun, that's for sure!"

 »... Yannick Noah concludes his press conference. By a promise. Disturbing, when you know the character. For the moment, nothing to fear, Two hours after the victorious match point of Guy Forget, the Habs, overjoyed, jump from TV to TV. From photo to photo. And from autograph to autograph. With their heads in their dreams, they answer everything. Accept everything. One last jump to the locker room, and the group leaves this now legendary Palais des Sports for good. The exit is worthy of Madonna. With the crowded and screaming fans. And a Fabrice Santoro who throws the crowd into delirium… his T-shirt. Direction the hotel. Under good police escort.

9 pm

 : Place Bellecour is in turmoil. In front of the Royal Hotel, admirers throng. How many are they ? A thousand, according to the organizers, five hundred, according to the police? No matter. The main thing is to approach the heroes. Or better, to touch them. Missed for Noah who came in from behind. Cheered and claimed, the players appear on the balcony of the suite on the first floor. Sing one or two refrains of Saga Africa. And go to change. Before coming back down an hour later in dispersed order. But in official attire: gray pants, blue blazer, club or red tie with the rooster. The women follow, elegant, and most often charming, like Isabelle Forget in her short black lamé dress.

Fabrice Santoro, Arnaud Boetsch, Philippe Chatrier, Henri Leconte, Yannick Noah, Guy Forget, Olivier Delaître (from left to right) in Lyon during the official Panoramic dinner

10:15 p.m .

: Michel Noir, the mayor of Lyon, alongside the president of the general council Michel Mercier, welcomes the victorious troop at the top of the staircase of honor of the hotel of the department. Red carpet and photographers' hedges of honor for the newlyweds of the Davis Cup. But, surprise, the guests of the official dinner lost patience. And started the feast. Difficult, it is true, to resist a medallion of Comte Orloff veal fillet with Périgord sauce. The nose in their red tie with gigantic white polka dots, the American players grimace. Dinner? Surely. Nothing beats a good Big Mac ... Jean-Claude Perrin is keen on its shape, and prefers to run away discreetly. “

Everyone has their own specialty. I work early tomorrow morning

. Mother Richard's cheeses and the Brasilia-style frozen dessert give way to photos and speeches in front of the silver bowl. Out of order: Noir, Chatrier, Tobin, Gorman and Noah. Who tries to comfort his unhappy adversaries. “

Today we managed to beat the best team in the world!

 »... Agassi appreciates and raises his glass of Juliénas in honor of the French. The ice is broken, the gifts exchanged, the medals distributed and the wine drunk. To the dregs ...

11.54 p.m .

: return to the Royal Hotel.

The crowd has dispersed.

Only three supporters remain.

Faithful from among the faithful.

In the lobby, Noah discovers the congratulatory messages that have arrived.

And read that of Georges Marchais.

Aloud and with the accent.

General burst of laughter.

The mood rises.

And the ties come down.

In favor of the traditional jeans-basketball-jacket.

But the star is long overdue.

Then finally appears wrapped in her large black cloak.

Like a royal black eagle.

The man of the scene chased the Davis Cup captain ...

Saga Africa, beware the Americans! ... Saga Africa, Davis Cup atmosphere

Yannick Noah

12:45 am

: it's finally time for the party. The truth. The one promised by Noah. Meet at Éclip's, a specially reserved nightclub in a sordid shopping center near Part-Dieu. At the entrance, the bouncers do nothing to warm the atmosphere. Fortunately, inside, the disc jockey is more skillful. “

Ladies and gentlemen, I ask you to cheer on the French tennis team, which has just won this great trophy!

 On the track, Henri Leconte, Fabrice Santoro, Arnaud Boetsch and Olivier Delaître are unleashed. Like on the court. To the great joy of the photographers. Their flashes drown in the flashing neon lights. And the guests (friends, relatives, journalists) in the glasses of alcohol offered by the French federation (cost of the evening: 35,000 F). Guy Forget makes Madame dance - always so delicious - before taking refuge exhausted in a red and black sofa.

1:15 am

: Patrice Clerc, the director of the Roland-Garros tournament, puts his fuse back in battle.

And tries to get the leech photographers off the track.

Mission impossible: the great Yannick arrives.

In an already daze.

The fight changes soul, because the TV gets involved.

Small player, the DJ immediately launches Saga Africa.

Delirium on the track.

Noah play-back.

Then Noah live.

Who improvises words of circumstance: "

Saga Africa, attention the Americans! ... Saga Africa, atmosphere Davis Cup

 " ... Madness!

Noah carried in triumph

3:10 am

: "

Where is he?" I want to see him !

»… Too late, miss! Guy Forget went to bed a good hour ago. Much to Isabelle's despair (no comment!). On the track, Claude François is a hit. Like Yannick, who is carried in triumph. Midinettes with devastating necklines never leave him. We fear a riot when he takes off his shirt. But he puts his waistcoat back on. He waters the crowd with champagne. Give two to three kisses. And discreetly slips away. Leaving the podium in the hands - brandished - of Arnaud Boetsch in delirium ...


a.m .: Noah yawns.

" I'm going to bed.

Although, I would have gone for a walk in a piano bar!

"And it's off again for the Saint-Louis!

On the wheel caps.

Lights, forbidden direction.

Everything goes there.

For nothing.

Because Lyon is sleeping.


3:42 am

 : the lobby of the Royal hotel.

A final farewell to the following supporters.


Sorry guys, we're done!"

 A quick word to the Boetsch couple.

And headed for room 411. Not without asking reception for a newspaper and setting the wake-up time at 9:30 am The elevator door closes.

Then reopens: "

Sir, finally, wake up at 9 am


Good and short night, Yannick ...

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2021-12-01

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