Fabrice Muamba was one of the greatest young players in soccer. He had huge potential and was becoming a top player in the English Premier League. Sadly his career was ended early in a moment by a tragic incident.
Fabrice Muamba was born April 6, 1988. He was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. His father fled the country in 1994 as the country was corrupt, and he did not want his children to be brought up the hostile environment. For that reason, the family moved to the United Kingdom.
In 1999 the whole family were granted the privilege to stay in the UK for as long as they wished. Despite having arrived in Britain at eleven years old and not knowing a word of English, Fabrice went on to successfully attain 10 GSCE's* and achieve A levels in Math, English and French.
*GSCE – General Certificate of Secondary Education
Muamba was signed by Arsenal's youth system in 2002, while he was still a schoolboy. He joined as an apprentice in August, 2004. He signed his first professional contract in 2005 and made his debut in the League Cup.
He made only his second appearance which turned out to be his last for Arsenal against Reading in the Cup helping them to a 3-0 win.
Fabrice was loaned to Birmingham City in 2006. He had a slow start, but managed to become a regular starter. His energetic style of play was allowing people to compare him to his hero: Patrick Viera.
He became a fans' favorite which was shown when he won the Young Player of the Year award. He went onto make 34 appearances that season.
He made his move to Birmingham permanent for a fee of Â£4 million. The next season Birmingham got relegated from the Premier League, and Fabrice made 37 appearances.
Fabrice Muamba moved to Bolton Wanderers in the Premier League as he and many others felt that he was too good to be playing in the Championship. He deserved to be in the Premier League.
During his first season with Bolton (2008/2009) he put down his mark, earning his position and winning the Player of the Year award. He went on to make over 140 appearances for Bolton.
Sadly Fabrice Muamba's career was cut short on 17 March 2012 at the age of 24. He was playing for Bolton in the Quarter Final of the FA Cup against Tottenham Hotspur. Suddenly, during the match, Muamma collapsed.
His heart had failed, and he went into cardiac arrest during the first half. After receiving lengthy attention on the pitch which included a fan who was a cardiologist, Muamba was rushed to hospital with Manager Owen Coyle and Captain Kevin Nolan at his side. The game was abandoned.
Muamba's heart had stopped for a total of 78 minutes. He was in intensive care for one month.
On April 16th, there were pictures released of Muamba sitting up in his bed smiling. This recovery shocked the soccer world as they thought they had lost a bright prospect.
He remained positive that he could play again and traveled to Belgium to see a leading cardiologist. He was given the news he had been dreading: he had to retire from the sport he loved.
He still remains very involved in Bolton, considering them his soccer family. He travels around to soccer programs, encouraging teams to invest in testing for heart murmurs. He tries to help people understand more about what happened to him to prevent it happening to other players.
Fabrice Muamba is and always will be a true inspiration.
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