Fabrice Muamba has been there. He knows. Muamba was the Bolton Wanderers player who collapsed during a televised FA Cup match against Tottenham Hotspur. After receiving emergency treatment on the pitch from medical personnel - including a consultant cardiologist who was at the game as a fan - he was rushed to a coronary care unit at the London Chest Hospital. Muamba's heart stopped beating for 78 minutes. But amazingly he survived. He made a remarkable recovery that has engrossed and enthralled both the footballing and wider world. Although it is Muamba's cardiac arrest and his wonderful resurgence that has brought him into the public eye, the truth is that he had already lived a remarkable life prior to his collapse. Born in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Muamba was brought up surrounded by the terror of a civil war and without a father who was forced to flee to the UK in 1994 because of his links to unpopular President Mobutu Sese Seko. Muamba was not reunited with his father until 1999 when he moved to London aged 11.
This schoolboy, who could not speak a word of English, then displayed the kind of strength and faith that would become his hallmark, achieving 10 GCSEs and three A-levels before swiftly rising to the top of the English game, firstly with Arsenal and Birmingham City before his final spell at Bolton.
Publisher: Trinity Mirror Sport Media