Jean-Pierre Adams, a former France defender, died at the age of 73 after being in a coma for 39 years.
Adams, who played for Nice and Paris Saint-Germain, had been in a vegetative state since 1982, following a routine knee operation that went wrong.
During the surgery, there was a problem with the supply of anaesthetics. Also, a cushion used to prop him up had slipped without hospital staff noticing.
Adams suffocated and suffered a cardiac arrest.
According to his wife, Bernadette, the anaesthetist failed to spot the signs that he was lacking oxygen “because of his skin colour”.
Adams, who was born in Senegal, spent the next year in a coma in the hospital before he was taken home to be cared for by Bernadette.
He was able to open his eyes and digest food but was unable to move or talk.
Join us for live updates on: