They love their rugby in Toulon. The town itself, with 160,000 inhabitants- or, if you count the surrounding metropolitan sprawl, more like half a million- is centred around the port. Napoleon Bonaparte first made a name for himself here as a young officer by playing a decisive role in lifting the siege laid by the Royal Navy in 1793, and today the French Mediterranean Fleet is head-quartered on the rade.
The stadium is right in the heart of the town, on a site that was a disused velodrome until 1920, when the popular French singer Felix Mayol bought it and donated the ground to the club.
The Stade Mayol was inaugurated in 1920. It is named after Felix Mayol, a very popular concert hall singer from Toulon. Shortly after World War 1 he purchased what would become the stadium site and donated it to the club.
The story goes that on the day of his arrival in Paris, May 1, 1895, just before his first concert, Felix Mayol was met at the station by a female friend. She gave him some lily-of-the –valley, a flower people in France traditionally exchange on May 1. He pinned it on his lapel, the concert was a great success, and Mayol, who was very superstitious, made lilly-of-the-valley his personal emblem. It was taken up by the rugby club in 1921.
Although Toulon play their home games at the Stade Mayol, they have begun to take high-profile matches to the 60,000 seat Stade Velodrome in Marseilles, playing one match there in 2008/09 and two in 2009/10.
The Stadium Stade Mayol is one of the few French stadiums to be embedded in the city and surrounded by high buildings. It was built at the foot of the Mont Faron, the hill on which Toulon is partly built, and overlooks the Toulon military harbour (La Rade) on the Mediterranean.
It is named after Felix Mayol, a very popular singer from the city. He offered to buy a piece of land to build the stadium, donating his own money and the rights to some of his songs.
The least that could be done was to name the stadium after its generous patron
Stade Mayol was inaugurated on March 28, 1920, by the mayor of Toulon, and Felix Mayol himself.
The stadium is fully enclosed on four sides, with each stand named after a past player. The “Tribune Bonnus” runs the length of the pitch on one side, a large all-seater structure. On the other side of the pitch lies the Tribune Lanfontan, another large covered stand with seats decked out in the club colours of red and black. Behind the posts you’ll find the Tribune Delangre and Tribune Finale, also all-seater, but without cover from the elements
Stadium Name Stade Felix Mayol
Stadium Address 53 rue Melpomene
Telephone (33) 8 92 68 06 80
Fax (33) 4 94 41 92 18
Tickets Tickets are available from any of the club stores, online via the club's website, or via Ticketnet.fr
Updated August 2015
Copyright Miles & Miles Publishing 2015