SAINT-ETIENNE, France (AP) — Robert Herbin, a player and storied coach of Saint-Etienne during the French soccer club’s glory years in the 1960s and ’70s, has died. He was 81.
Saint-Etienne announced the death of Herbin on Tuesday, without giving a cause, and described him as a “mythical character of French football” who “embodied” the club.
Easily recognizable because of his permed red hair, Herbin played for Saint-Etienne from 1957-72 and won the French league title five times in that period. He was a defender who also captained the team, and played 23 times for France.
He took over as coach soon after retiring at the age of 33 and revolutionized the fitness regime at the club from central France