Graeme Le Saux
Graeme Pierre Le Saux (born 17 October 1968 in Jersey) is the island's most successful international footballer.
Le Saux started his career in Jersey with St Paul's before moving to Chelsea Football Club in 1987 after being spotted playing in a local tournament by manager John Hollins. He made his debut for the club two years later against Portsmouth and had become a regular by the 1990-91 season. He was sold to Blackburn Rovers in March 1993 for £700,000.
Le Saux arrived at Blackburn as part of wealthy benefactor Jack Walker and manager Kenny Dalglish's plan to establish the club as one of the country's top sides. Blackburn finished second in Le Saux's first season, and were crowned Premier League champions a year later, with Le Saux a near ever-present. He missed the second half of the following season due to a broken ankle which also ruled him out of Euro 96.
Return to Chelsea
In August 1997 Le Saux became the most expensive defender in English football when he returned to Chelsea in a £5 million deal. Always a regular when available, Le Saux's second spell with Chelsea was often interrupted by injury or suspension. He remained there for six seasons, and was an important part of the side which won the League Cup and Cup Winners' Cup in 1998 and the FA Cup in 2000, though he missed two of those finals through injury.
He was swapped in a part-exchange deal with Southampton for Wayne Bridge in 2003. Le Saux played for another two seasons before announcing his retirement in May 2005 following Southampton's relegation from the Premiership. He scored two goals for Southampton, scoring once in the league against Norwich City
Le Saux was capped 36 times for England. He made his first appearance in a friendly win over Denmark and played at the 1998 World Cup, appearing in every game as England reached the second round. Le Saux's only international goal came against Brazil with a powerful shot from outside the penalty area. It came 18th in a recent poll of the greatest ever England goals.
In September 2007, Le Saux published his autobiography Left Field - A Footballer Apart.
Family background from Jersey Archive research
Graeme was faced with a choice when choosing his international team, as he was eligible to play for England or France, as his father’s family roots lie in Brittany and not the British mainland.
Graeme was born on 17 October 1968, the son of James Pierre Francis Le Saux, who came to be known as Pierre, and Daphne Christine Brown. His father was the son of Francis James Henry Le Saux, born in London in 1902 and Sarah Ann Keeling, who was born in Staffordshire. His mother, Daphne, was the daughter of Ernest Henry Brown and Alice Lilian Mulford, both of whom were English.
Graeme’s French roots lie with his great-great-grandfather, François Marie Le Saux, who was born in 1847 in Plougonver, a small town in Brittany near Guingamp. The first evidence of François moving to Jersey is recorded in his marriage at St Thomas’s Roman Catholic Church in 1875 to Elisa Marie Le Brun. Elisa was also a Breton, born in Paimpol in 1859, the daughter of Julienne Le Brun, a knitter. The couple had six children, with Graeme’s great-grandfather Francis James, the eldest son, being born in St Ouen in 1878. Their youngest son, Charles Arsene, born in 1890, emigrated to North America as a teenager.
There is a family story that François Marie took his sons Francis and Charles to the Gaspé to deliver Jersey cattle and that Charles stayed there. Charlie, as he was known, married Blanche Herbert in Illinois and was naturalised in 1917.
By the time of the 1891 census, François Marie, Elisa and the children had moved from Jersey to St Peter Port in Guernsey. The couple seem to have gone their separate ways after this date with Elisa and her eldest daughter, Eliza Hortense, remaining in Guernsey. The remainder of the family scattered to Jersey, France or the UK.
Graeme’s 3x great-grandfather Jean Le Saux, born in France in 1813, was a blacksmith, as was his father Noel and Noel’s father Yves. It is possible that each son served his apprenticeship in his father’s forge. Having moved to Jersey the next generation of Le Sauxs decided to follow different career paths.
- Football League Second Division: 1988-89
- Coca-Cola Cup: Football League Cup Final 1998
- FA Community Shield: 2000
- UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: Final 1998
- Full Members Cup: 1990
- Blackburn Rovers FC
- FA Premier League
- champions: 1994-95
- runner-up : 1993-94
- FA Charity Shield runner up: 1995
- PFA Team of the Year: 1998