HIBS favourite Lewis Stevenson reckons Franck Sauzee does not realise how much the Hibees fans love him.
But he hopes that becomes clear on Saturday when the cult hero returns to Easter Road for the first time in 20 years.
Sauzee – nicknamed Le God by supporters – will deliver the match ball for the Motherwell game and will also unveil the ‘Oor Franckie’ model, which was donated to the Hanlon Stevenson Foundation (HSF).
The classy Frenchman, who played for Hibs between 1999 and 2001 before a short stint in charge of the club, was back in Edinburgh in April at a dinner in aid of the charity set up by Stevenson and team-mate Paul Hanlon.
And Hibs defender Stevenson insists the 56-year-old was surprised by the reception he got from the fans.
Stevenson said: “I don’t know what he was expecting when he came over but he was properly taken aback by that night, I think maybe he thought the feeling between the fans had dwindled but it certainly hasn’t.
“I’m sure what he felt that night will be ten fold on Saturday and it will be nice to see him again.
“It’s unbelievable what he did in football and in his short time at Hibs, to have that cult hero status. The fans still talk about him.”
Sauzee has become an ambassador for HSF and Stevenson insists the former France, Marseille and Monaco defender is also a class act off the pitch.
He added: “We’ve got a good relationship with him and Foundation.
“It was good to see him back for the dinner, he loved his time here. I had a good chat with him when he was over.
“He was a massive character and just so humble. When I spoke to him I thought he would be this aloof character and it would be hard to get a conversation but he was really interested in the Foundation and he knew a lot about me and Paul’s career.
“What a guy, seeing the presence he had and how much the fans that night loved him.”