Surrounded by his family, OM supporters and several players, Bernard Tapie, who died of cancer in Paris on Sunday, made his last stop yesterday in Marseille.
“The gladiator is finally resting,” said Jean-Louis Borloo, ex-minister and historic lawyer of Bernard Tapie, his friend for 45 years, at the last mass yesterday for the ex-businessman and former president of the Olympique de Marseille, in the cathedral of Sainte-Marie Majeure, la Major, facing the Mediterranean.
In the nave, the whole family of the one Marseille supporters revered as the “boss” is there: his wife Dominique, his four children, his grandchildren.
But also all the local politicians, from the socialist mayor of Marseille, Benoît Payan, to the LR president of the department and of the Metropolis, Martine Vassal, via Renaud Muselier, the LR president of the region, or Samia Ghali, deputy to the mayor of Marseille.
“He went to get us the star”, recalled the former Socialist senator, in her speech, in reference to the Champions League, the only one ever won by French football, won by the Olympians, in 1993, during the long term of Bernard Tapie at the head of the club (1986-1994).
You were “strong as a lion, cunning as a fox, but human, resolutely human”, insisted Mr. Muselier. Bernard Tapie, “he was a child of Marseille, an adopted child”, recalled for his part Mr. Payan, about the Parisian titi of the twentieth arrondissement.
A “dark side”
“If he had been a guru, he would have had a sect with thousands of followers”, had previously released Eric di Meco, one of the players to have won the Champions League, to the regional newspaper La Provence, of which Tapie was the majority shareholder.
Died at 78, the former deputy and general councilor of Bouches-du-Rhône and very ephemeral Minister of the City of François Mitterrand had chosen Marseille, to finish his journey. “We bring you home,” Stéphane Tapie, his son, confirmed on Instagram on Wednesday. On the square of the cathedral, supporters who have not managed to enter listen to the speeches broadcast over loudspeakers. They applaud when the grandson of the “boss”, Rodolphe, tells the anecdote where the great-grandson encourages Manchester against Paris SG.
After having experienced it Thursday, at the Vélodrome stadium, cradle of OM’s exploits, Fridays accompanied Bernard Tapie for the last time, gathered behind the funeral convoy, for a procession between the Old Port and the Major. If most of the speakers of the day avoid evoking the judicial convictions of the one who was also an actor, singer but also buyer of companies did not often melt the workforce, the Archbishop of Marseille did not evade this “shadow party”.