Europe 1 Studio SEASON 2021 - 202205h00, June 27, 2022

The Calais RUFC is the exceptional story of an amateur football club which, against all odds, managed to reach the final of the Coupe de France during the 1999-2000 season.

A team which, for lack of means, trains on a totally dilapidated ground.

All players work day or night or are students.

How did these poor amateurs manage to rise to the rank of heroes of French football?

In this third episode of the podcast “Les Géants” presented by Jacques Vendroux, this crazy epic is told to you by Réginald Becque.

At the time, he was the emblematic captain of the CRUFC.

From the first matches played in general indifference to the madness of the Stade de France through the elimination of the Girondins de Bordeaux, reigning French champions, 

During the Coupe de France of 1999-2000, Calais RUFC entered the legend of French football by reaching the final.

Never before - and never since - have amateur players reached such a high level of competition.

However, the CRUFC comes a long way.

At the time, Réginald Becque, the captain of the team, worked in a fitting out company for bars and restaurants.

He did not manage to win a contract to become a professional player, but that did not prevent him from living his passion to the full within the club.

Three times a week, Réginald Becque therefore joins his teammates after work, on a pitch in a deplorable state.

That year, the challenge of the Coupe de France was all the greater for the team as the club was on the verge of bankruptcy.

This audio story is a Europe 1 Studio production. 

"The Giants" is a Europe 1 Studio podcast

Presentation: Jacques Vendroux

Producer: Sebastien Guyot

Directed by: Loic Vimard

Broadcaster: Eloise Bertil

Graphics: Sidonie Mangin

Archives: Sound Heritage and Documentation Department

Want to listen to episodes of this podcast?

"Les Géants" is a podcast to be found for free on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Deezer, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, Dailymotion, Youtube on your usual listening platforms.


JC Lemel, boss of the Canaris café.

Lionel Gougelot, March 20, 2000

Cathy, wife of a Calais player.

Mathieu Delahousse, May 8, 2000