Ligue 1 side Stade de Reims are in shock this morning after club doctor Bernard Gonzalez tragically took his own life yesterday after testing positive for coronavirus.
According to numerous reports in Le Parisien, the 60-year-old had been self-isolating at home with his wife when the devastating incident occurred, leaving a ‘detailed letter’ explaining the link between his actions and the diagnosis.
Gonzalez’ death is said to have caused heartbreak throughout the city in northern France after over 20 years of loyal service with les rouges et blancs.
Mayor of Reims, Arnaud Robinet, released the following statement regarding the tragic news: “He was the club doctor. A great professional, recognised and appreciated by all.
“My thoughts are for his parents, for his wife, his family. He is a collateral victim of Covid- 19. I know he left a note to explain his gesture. But I ignore its content.”
It is reported Gonzalez’s wife had also tested positive for the virus, and the two were living together in confinement.
Jean-Pierre Caillot, Stade Reims president, said: “Words fail me, I am stunned by this news.
“This pandemic affects Stade de Reims in the heart, it is a personality of Reims and a great professional of the sport who left us.
“His mission to the club of more than 20 years has been carried out with the utmost professionalism, in a passionate and even selfless manner.
“Doctor Gonzalez, in the harshest periods of the club, worked on a voluntary basis.
“He is my personal doctor, and today all my thoughts, those of the club of which he will remain a strong figure, go to his wife and his parents. Today it is a drama that strikes us.”
As the football club mourned the loss of its most experienced medical practitioner, French authorities announced a further 518 deaths on Sunday. In total, more than 90,000 cases of the illness have been recorded in France, with almost 3,000 deaths.
According to League 1 president Bernard Caiazzo, there is no chance of the division resuming anytime in the near future due to the severity of the virus, but June has been earmarked as a potential month where football could return in France.
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