One Woodside resident has scored a goal in the literary world.
Dominique Beaucant, who is originally from France and came to the United States in 1978, is the author of the privately published book called “Garrincha – O Rei Dos Reis,” meaning “Garrincha – A King of Kings.”
The book looks back on the life of Brazilian soccer player Garrincha, whose real name was Manuel “Mané” Francisco dos Santos.
Garrincha, who passed away in 1983, was known for his “dribble” on the soccer field and also for his bent legs which did not prevent him from helping the South American national team take home World Cup titles in 1958 and 1962. He was referred to as nicknames such as “People’s Joy” and “Bent–Legged Angel.”
“He was more than a soccer player, he was a phenomenon,” Beaucant said. “When I saw a book that came out in 1995, I said, ‘You know what? I’m going to do a book one day that gives justice to this great player.’”
The 56-year-old Woodside resident began learning about Brazilian soccer players from his sixth-grade teacher Walter Durando in France. Every time he got together with his teacher he would ask to learn more and before making his trip to America he was given a collection of hundreds of magazine and newspaper clippings of the soccer duo.
As the years went by, his admiration for Garrincha grew into more than just hobby.
“That’s how it started and I never stopped,” Beaucant said. “I was fascinated by the guy, who he was and what he did on the field.”
In 1995, Beaucant, who has been a freelance writer and chef, began jotting down notes on Garrincha and throughout the years kept filling his drawers with hundreds of notes. In 2011, he began combining the notes and started writing the 288-page book.
To complete the book, which is written in Portuguese, contains 245 photographs and comes in a slip case, Beaucant looked back at his large Garrincha collection of newspaper and magazine clippings and images.
He has also traveled to Brazil and Europe for seven years, meeting Garrincha’s family and childhood friends.
More than 100 photographs in the book are never-before-seen images from the French sports newspaper “L’Equipe.”
Each book will be sold individually by Beaucant for $150 and he is plans of taking out a second book on Garrincha as well.
“I never did this book to make money. I never did this book to make a big profit,” Beaucant said. “This book is a result of all of my love, admiration, infatuation, respect and admiration for Garrincha.”
Although the book was printed by a company in New Jersey, the typesetting, cover design and embossing was done by Ebrahim Jaffer of Triboro Printing located at 25-02 Steinway St. in Astoria.
“[Garrincha] is no longer with us physically, but with this book his spirit and his soul [are] still living,”
Beaucant said. “The angel with bent legs, how he was known before, somehow is being reborn and the divine angel that he was is going to fly again.”
For more information or to purchase a book you can email Beaucant at [email protected] or call 718-626-0486.