Fabrice Muamba

Fabrice Muamba

Fabrice Muamba is a retired footballer who played for Arsenal, Birmingham City and Bolton Wanderers. He also represented England at all youth levels up to Under-21.

Born in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Fabrice and his family fled the country to seek asylum in the UK. In 1999, he was granted indefinite leave to remain in the country, and was later joined by the rest of his family.

Fabrice joined Arsenal's youth team as a schoolboy in 2002, and enrolled in the club's academy in 2004. In 2005, Fabrice signed his first professional contract and made his Arsenal debut in a League Cup tie against Sunderland.

A year later Fabrice moved on loan to Birmingham City and the season ended with the club gaining promotion to the Premier League and Fabrice was voted Young Player of the Year by the club's fans.

In 2007, Fabrice's move to Birmingham was made permanent and he signed a three year contract worth £4m.

When Birmingham was relegated from the Premier League, Fabrice transferred to Bolton Wanderer's for an initial £5m in June 2008. He was voted the Bolton Press footballer of the year 2009/10 and his contract at Bolton extended for a further four years.

At international level, Fabrice Muamba has represented England at every youth-level. He was captain of England Under-19s before making his England U-21 debut in August 2007 against Romania. He captained the side at both the 2009 Under 21 European Championships, in which England finished runners-up. Fabrice went on to make 33 appearances for England Under 21s.

But on 17th March 2012 he suffered a cardiac arrest whilst playing for Bolton Wanderers against Tottenham Hotspur in an FA Cup 6th round match at White Hart Lane.

After receiving lengthy treatment on the pitch, Fabrice was treated at the London Chest Hospital and was in a 'critical' condition in intensive care. During the cardiac arrest, his heart had stopped beating for 78 minutes.

Over the following two months, Fabrice made a remarkable recovery and was discharged on April 21st, having been fitted with an Implantable Cardioverter-Defribillator (ICD).

Fabrice is an ambassador for the Arrythmia Alliance's Heart and Goals campaign, and together with Bolton Wanderers, the campaign has been helping place defibrillators in communities up and down the country.