first_imgFormer Senegal international striker Jules-Francois Bocande died on Monday in Metz, France at the age of 54, Senegalese Press Agency (APS) confirmed in Dakar.Bocande had been ill for several months after suffering a stroke and died after a surgery, hospital reports said. He kicked off his career at Senegal’s Casa Sport in 1978 before moving abroad to play for Metz in 1984, where he enjoyed his greatest success in football, scoring 25 goals and earning the then Championnat de France top scorer in the 1985-86 season.Bocande later played for Paris Saint Germain, Nice and Lens and took part in three editions of the Africa Cup of Nations -1986, 1990 and 1992.He was named the Teranga Lions coach in 1994 but would spend only one year at the helm of the team, before being replaced and asked to sit as a member of the coaching staff.“I’m totally devastated,” Senegal FA boss Augustin Senghor said.“It’s an enormous loss for Senegalese football. We knew that he was suffering. Bocande revived Senegalese football. He gave everything to Senegalese football through his talent and his commitment.” Metz vice president Carlo Molinari, who worked closely with Bocande between 1984 and 1986 said the former player came to France a while ago and asked for help to undergo a surgery. “We had to arrange for his treatment at the club, but I knew it was going to be difficult because he was in a very bad shape. But I never expected this fatality,” Molinari said.last_img