REPORTING. Death of Jas Fontaine: Toulouse residents pay tribute to Giusto ‘always smiling’


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Jas Fontaine died on Tuesday night at the age of 89. His loss affected the people of Toulouse who knew him. The former footballer will be remembered as a kind and always smiling man.

On Wednesday morning near the Victor Hugo market in Toulouse, the sad news spread from one stall to another. “Just Fontaine is dead,” shouts the shopkeeper, handing Loic Garcia, manager of Garcia’s Charcuterie, a press article on his cell phone. “No, not Justo,” shouts Loic Garcia. I’ve known him since childhood…”

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His father Gerard, the founder of the charcuterie, knew the former footballer well. As soon as he arrived at the market square in 1987, he met a man he affectionately called Giusto, like everyone else. “He introduced himself and was happy to see young people investing in Victor Hugo. It has kept us going and brought back many clients. He was a very kind person,” recalls Gerard Garcia.

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Over the years, a strong friendship has developed between the two men. “He didn’t live far away and used to come almost every day until he was placed in a nursing home a few years ago. He came to drink coffee and trim the fat. I would like to say that I was his friend, but I was only one of his good friends,” the retired butcher laughs.

Giusto, that’s a joker

Only Fontaine had a habit in the market. All the oldest merchants know this. Jude Fantini, manager of the Lamb House, was devastated when he learned the news Wednesday morning. “Everyone knows him. The news shocked us all. We are captured by many memories, only happy ones,” he assured.

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His wife Anne-Marie was 17 years old when she first met the football legend. take it down before heading to the beach. His wife Arlette was always with him. They were an inseparable pair. They were very kind to us,” he said with a smile. Giusto was above all: a cheerful person who brought smiles to everyone he met.

Always his photo

If asked, he gladly gave an autograph. He also kept a stockpile of photographs in Electrobar’s dressing room, where he cracked jokes and drank black coffee to anyone who would listen. Manager Olivier Ivanes describes himself as “the guardian of his photography”. Giusto was forced to say to himself that he rarely went outside without shooting, you never know if a picture will make someone happy.

Gerard Garcia remembers one day in particular. The merchants organized an inter-school drawing competition and was sponsored by Jas Fontaine. “He took a hundred photos that day and it wasn’t enough. He went home to collect the others, and all the children left willingly,” says the former shopkeeper with a smile in his voice.

The former footballer was at home in Toulouse. In his adopted city, “he loved the people,” says his Toulouse-based biographer Mark Bradfer. “He was polite, courteous, always welcoming and ready to talk about football or sports,” he adds. .

Giusto was seduced by the pink city, and the hearts of its inhabitants were seduced by Giusto.

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