Toulouse Football Club: “Violet fervor”, the novel of an addiction

‘Violet Fervor’ tells the story of a TFC fan whose blood is the same color as his idols’ jerseys (and that’s no joke). It is also the story of a whole generation in Toulouse and an open book on the values ​​of football that are so overused today.

It was the time of the Patte d’Oie car “toboggan”, the Saint-Michel prison, the SEMVAT. The time when we read comics sitting in the shelves of the FNAC before going to have an ice cream at the “Americans”. It was the time when we rolled the “r”, pronounced the “t” when we chanted “Muret” in the stands of the Stadium, which smelled of pâté des casse-dalle. Stadium where we yelled “Macarel” between the pillars of what was still a velodrome.

Michel Fraysse tells us about the time when we played football in the playground with tubes of aspirin because the ball was forbidden, a time when we stashed “tusts” in our kit on interros days. The time when we called “footix” the one who systematically set his sights on the strongest team without really supporting any.

This book is a novel, not an anthology of Tef, let it be said. On the other hand, the reader learns much more there than in certain so-called specialized works. And if he wants to know more a “little Téféciste bibliography” is attached on the last page.

Who still remembers that before 1979 the TFC did not exist as such and that the flagship football club of la ville rose had gone through a merger with the Red Star. To put it simply, Toulouse players go to Saint-Ouen and professional football is slowly dying out in Toulouse.

But our first supporter of Tef does not let himself be defeated. While listening to the Cup Winners’ Cup final between Anderlecht and Vienna on the radio, Rémi, the author’s fictional double, has “an experience of divination”. The ultra-fan then imagines his heart club playing in purple like the Belgians with, in its ranks, the two scorers of the final Van Binst and Rensenbrink. What will happen two years later with the rebirth of the TFC.

A little later, he will also dream of the arrival of Jacques Santini as Coach. But while waiting for the hours of glory and the rise in 1time division of his club of heart, it is necessary to take good care of it. So Rémi invents fictitious championships for countries like El Salvador, New Zealand or even Greenland. He creates clubs for them with surnames reminiscent of those of the European elite and whose players often bear names drawn from the directory or from the signs of traders in his district.

This devouring passion will follow him all his life including professional (unrelated to football). He will go so far as to miss trains to go and visit stadiums, like that of Tatanbanya, where old glories of Téfécistes had begun. A supporter, a real one like hundreds of others to whom he also pays tribute in these pages.

The queen category is that of the ultras. With them, no compromise. Violet faith is lived totally. It is exclusive and suffers no compromise. The fiercest supporters are of all the trips, of all the pilgrimages to accompany the club. They are the faithful among the faithful. Their lives are subject to the vagaries of the club, its match schedule that is sometimes complicated to follow. It must be Monday evening at the other end of the country, a Wednesday abroad, but they submit to all the constraints with joy and confidence. They sacrifice their comfort and tranquility for the purple cause. Sometimes at the risk of their sentimental life and their professional career. They are the pure. In Cathar country, they may be the Perfect. They received consolation. They are few in number, but the purple people worship them. Some have paid with their lives and we do not forget them. We think of them every time we meet.

Michel Fraysse

“Violet Fervor”, Terral Wind

Alongside Rémi, we will follow the rise to D1 on May 8, 82, the arrival in the wake of Gérard Soler and Christian Lopez. Then will come the European epic against Naples Maradona with our Argentinians Tarantini and Marcico. Then will come the long era of rankings in the soft underbelly, the battles to avoid relegation and the lifts between the first and second division which make the Violets’ supporters even more deserving.

And then for those who are less attracted to football, there are these sketched portraits, Uncle Fernand, the former ONIA, who brings our young hero to the stadium or Robert his faithful friend. Without forgetting Guillaume Crespinette, the very “bon chic bon genre” friend, whose mother, high bourgeois, Eliane, creates a stir at Rémi. Guillaume which gives rise to one of the many comic scenes in the book when they arrive in England for a school language trip and their respective correspondents Terry and Roy receive them.

A short brunette with big teeth tugged at my sleeve. It was Terri. Before leaving to join his mother’s car, a rather slender blonde, but who was far from having Eliane’s charm, I saw Guillaume, distraught, taken care of by his landlady, a skinny woman with a very deep voice of smoker. Beside her, Roy was chewing gum angrily. Eyes made up, all dressed in black, his correspondent was a punk with a red crest and safety pins in his ears. Leaving, as surrounded by his host family, Guillaume looked like a calf being taken to the slaughterhouse.

Michel Fraysse

“Violet Fervor” Terral Wind

Over there, on the other side of the Channel, if Guillaume is homesick and homesick for his family, Rémi, he is pining for the TFC. An addiction of which he will become more and more aware over the years until he consults a psychiatrist when he is a student. He will meet there in particular a fan of literature who seeks references to the Violets even in the works of Balzac.

Then came the time to leave Toulouse for commercial work around the world. A chance meeting on a plane to Singapore with Mika, a supporter of Tef, leads them to watch the match against the Girondins de Bordeaux qualifying for the Champions League together. It will give a TFC-Liverpool on August 15 the day after Uncle Fernand’s funeral.

Rémi did not attend this preliminary round but returned later to attend one of the Violets comeback matches coached by Dupraz at the Stadium. Then he will meet Mika again in Singapore. The latter confides to him that he has lost everything largely because of his addiction to football (his girlfriend, his job), and affirms to him that this sport is “infected with money, completely rotten and corrupt”.

And then the pure football of the origins, it is a vast humbug. By nature, it is violent, it engenders hatred and if we had the courage to count the number of deaths and injuries that this wound has caused, we would be filled with fear and shame. Mika had sworn never to watch a football match on television again and he didn’t miss it at all. He had freed himself from the grip.

Michel Fraysse

“Violet Fervor” Terral Wind

It will not prevent Rémi from returning to the Stadium for the 80th anniversary of the TFC. He takes advantage of this Toulouse getaway to reunite with his old friend Robert and replay the game of their childhood. On that day, exceptionally, many of the monuments of the pink city are lit up in purple. But the passion never goes out.

Michel Fraysse, “Violet fervor”, Vent Terral.

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Toulouse Football Club: “Violet fervor”, the novel of an addiction

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