FOOTBALL – Centenary of the district: Yves Mercher succeeds Henri Leclercq

FOOTBALL – Centenary of the district: Yves Mercher succeeds Henri Leclercq
FOOTBALL – Centenary of the district: Yves Mercher succeeds Henri Leclercq

In 1980, Henri Leclercq, who had been at the head of the Somme Football District since 1928, gave way to his vice-president, Yves Mercher. Back to this event.

Quite exceptional event this Sunday, June 15, 1980 in the Dewailly room in Amiens. Having just celebrated his 77th birthday, Henri Leclercq, the Pope of Football in the Somme, confirms the decision that he had announced to his colleagues on the Somme District Steering Committee, namely that he gives up the presidency but without definitively letting go of the reins since he will still sit on commissions.

Since 1928, Henri Leclercq has led the District of Picardie, which became District of the Somme in 1967. He did it with great tact and never, ever, was he challenged. With his colleague and faithful friend Georges Cuisset, he held the organization of the District at arm’s length since at that time, there was no administrative employee. On this Sunday, June 15, 1980, the moment is therefore solemn. Henri Leclercq gives way to Yves Mercher, former deputy in charge of Sports for the City of Amiens (at the time when the mayor of Amiens was Maurice Vast). Yves Mercher, who is 64 years old, has had a good career as a sportsman and manager. He was thus directly at the origin of the creation of ASPTT Amiens then general secretary of Amiens SC from 1967 to 1971 and he contributed to the creation of six gymnasiums in Amiens including the famous Coubertin with its ice rink.

In the short statement that he will make to the leaders of the clubs present, Yves Mercher announces “that he will be a president of transition, of resignation even. » And to add “Mr. Leclercq had a lot of presence. For my part, I will try not to have too many absences. » However, it is still up to Henri Leclercq to take final responsibility for taking stock of the past season, which is marked by a slight increase in the number of referees (there are 240 for 300 weekly matches), just as the number of clubs (291 compared to 280 the previous season), and the discipline which is and will always be a real scourge.

During the elections to the steering committee, two valiant elders stopped: MM. Renaud Foudrin and Pierre Marquette and they give way to the newly elected Jean-Marie Warme and André Castandet. In this year 1980, the number one referee Robert Wurtz came to Amiens at the invitation of the refereeing school and achieved a triumph. The Dewailly room is packed. Robert Wurtz lets his heart speak and he talks about his career and his first match as a referee interregional of 3e Division on September 25, 1966 at the Moulonguet stadium where Amiens met Beauvais. This cannot be invented. Robert Wurtz came to refereeing because he considered himself too big and he was the first to flirt with professionalism since he went into exile in the 1970s in Mexico and Brazil.

In 1985, it is decided to create an Excellence group which is located between the Interdistricts and the First Division with the aim of allowing clubs accessing the League championship to play a suitable role. Mr. Mercher will contribute to the purchase of the building on rue Jules-Lefebvre because the one on avenue Foy has become too cramped. True to his word, Yves Mercher will therefore be a president “of resignation” and suddenly, in the middle of 1986, he resigned during a steering committee that remained famous for witnesses of the time. The Yves Mercher era therefore lasted barely six years. It will therefore be necessary to find a successor.

Lionel Herbet

Photo credit: Kevin Devigne – Gazettesports.fr (illustration)

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