Gilles Peycelon, the footballer turned lawyer - THECHOWANIECS.COM

Gilles Peycelon, the footballer turned lawyer

Inexhaustible. If a single word had to be chosen to sum up the personality of Gilles Peycelon, 62, it would be this one. Inexhaustible on his career as a footballer, a lawyer, his perception of today’s society, the football of yesterday and today. Not prone to the language of wood including on the current situation of ASSE,both on the sporting level and on the management of the club, the former defensive midfielder of the Greens, from 1982 to 1988, deplores the way in which the professional sports environment has evolved.

A sportsman among intellectuals

In 1988, the footballer who graduated from the University of Law (1977-1981) left Saint-Etienne to sign with the Chamois Niortais where he progressed until 1990. The experience proved to be complicated and put an end, in a way, to his career which began as an amateur at the age of 10. “At 30, I had done the trick. I no longer felt aligned with the world of football. »

While his children are still young, the lawyer, now specializing in personal injury law, returns to the benches of the university to get up to speed. He will follow for two years, as a free auditor, a DEA in litigation law before joining the law school. At the same time, he continues to play football in the Sports Association of Saint-Priest, near Lyonat the time classified as D3. Before taking the oath before the bar of Saint-Etienne in December 1992.

A double course which sometimes caused some difficulties. “I often say it but I was considered an intellectual among sportsmen and as an athlete among intellectuals. »

Today everything is going too fast »

Of these obstacles, – he also experienced the turmoil of the slush fund which came to light on 1er April 1982 which, on a sporting level, led to ASSE’s descent into Ligue 2 in 1984 – Me Peycelon drew strength from it. “On a football pitch, you learn to respect the rules, to prepare for matches, as a team, to beat the opponent… You learn to manage your stress and humility. A professional sportsman can be extolled on Saturday because he wins a match and, the following week, one can be spat in the face because of a defeat. It’s a bit similar in the legal profession. Just because you win a case doesn’t mean you’re the best and the worst if you lose. »

Although he has given up crampons for a good couple of years, preferring mountain hiking, the former athlete finds his peers once a year as part of Verts For Ever, orchestrated by Christian Lopez.

Thirty years after taking the oath, including twenty spent at the head of his own firm in which he works with three collaborators, Me Peycelon isn’t ready to put the dress away in the locker room yet. With one condition though: “If I had an aspiration, it would be to be able to work differently, to take the time to process my files. In this, the confinement was great because there was no longer an audience. I was more relaxed to concentrate. Today, everything is going too fast. »


Football turned out to be very young as obvious for Gilles Peycelon. Holder of a bac S, at 17, this pure product of Saint-Etienne, a native of the Côte-Chaude district, went to the Cauldron with his father from an early age. A boarder at the Saint-Louis school from 1970 to 1977, he signed his first football license at the age of 10 and played in the ASSE reserve team from 1978. Taken from the Lycée Henri IV in Paris – “I had planned to go to HEC he decided to stay in Saint-Etienne to pursue his sporting career.From 1977 to 1981, he continued his law studies in Saint-Etienne.In 1982 when he was about to do a year in the army, ASSEwishing to keep him signs a trainee contract. “Three months later, I turned pro.” During his investment as secretary within the UNFP, the National Union of Professional Footballers, he takes pleasure in advising the players, explaining to them the importance of taking out insurance to prevent possible bodily injury. “Consciously or unconsciously, I don’t know, it may have guided my career as a lawyer. »

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