Skip to main content

Emotional Muamba 'gets closure' with return to scene of heart seizure

November 8, 2012 -- Updated 2307 GMT (0707 HKT)
Fabrice Muamba wept as he addressed the crowd at White Hart Lane -- the English soccer ground where he collapsed due to cardiac arrest during a match in March 2012. Fabrice Muamba wept as he addressed the crowd at White Hart Lane -- the English soccer ground where he collapsed due to cardiac arrest during a match in March 2012.
HIDE CAPTION
Closure for Muamba
Eyes of the world
Capital action
Old friends
Flame still burns
Wembley guest
Life saver
Heart stops
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Fabrice Muamba receives standing ovation as he returns to White Hart Lane for first time
  • Muamba collapsed at the London soccer stadium during a match in March
  • His heart stopped for 78 minutes, but he was saved by a cardiologist from the crowd
  • Muamba is raising awareness for heart problems since being forced to retire

(CNN) -- Soccer player Fabrice Muamba has made an emotional first return to the ground where he suffered a career-ending heart seizure in March.

The 24-year-old wiped away tears after being allowed to address the fans at Tottenham's White Hart Lane during the English team's European match on Thursday.

At halftime, Muamba came onto the same pitch where he collapsed while playing for his former club Bolton eight months ago -- his heart stopped for 78 minutes but he was resuscitated and later made a remarkable recovery in hospital.

However, the Zaire-born England under-21 international was unable to resume his playing career and he officially quit the game in August.

"I can't express... All I can say is thanks to the Tottenham fans for the way they reacted," said Muamba, who had earlier been at London's O2 Arena to watch tennis star Roger Federer in action.

Muamba: I've played football again
Bolton player Fabrice Muamba lies prone on the pitch after collapsing before halftime during the English FA Cup quarterfinal away to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday. Bolton player Fabrice Muamba lies prone on the pitch after collapsing before halftime during the English FA Cup quarterfinal away to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
Fabrice Muamba collapses during match Fabrice Muamba collapses during match
Doctors have described Fabrice Muamba's progress since his cardiac arrest during a match on Saturday as "miraculous." The Bolton star's heart stopped beating for 78 minutes after his collapse but now he is talking and joking with visitors.
Doctors have described Fabrice Muamba's progress since his cardiac arrest during a match on Saturday as "miraculous." The Bolton star's heart stopped beating for 78 minutes after his collapse but now he is talking and joking with visitors.
'Miraculous' Muamba
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
Tributes to Fabrice Muamba Tributes to Fabrice Muamba
Muamba 'In effect dead for 78 minutes'

"There are people out there who prayed for me. I want to thank the chairman, and to all the Spurs fans. I am grateful to them. They are awesome fans.

"Today I wanted to visit that place one more time for closure."

Before Thursday's Europa League match against Maribor, Tottenham's website hailed Muamba as an "inspiration" and referred to his work with the "Hearts & Goals" campaign -- which aims to give communities across the UK access to 500 new defibrillators, as well as training.

"Amazing day at WHL tonight. Thank you guys for everythings spurs fans tonight were awesome. Thank you," Muamba wrote on Twitter -- the web platform where his then fiancee and now wife Shauna kept fans around the world updated about his recovery.

"So proud of my husband @fmuamba for his fighting spirit and courage. Also proud of the humanity in the UK the support has been amazing," she wrote on Thursday after the match.

He earlier revealed: "Off to white hart lane, for the first time the incident happen. I am so nervous is unreal. Hope spurs win tonight."

Muamba got his wish, as Tottenham beat Slovenian side Maribor 3-1 to bounce back from two Premier League defeats and boost the club's hopes of progressing in the second-tier European competition.

Muamba's longtime friend, England international striker Jermain Defoe, scored all three goals for Tottenham to put the club second in Group J behind Italian side Lazio -- which also won, 3-0 against Greece's Panathinaikos.

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas was not in charge when Muamba collapsed, but he welcomed the former Birmingham and Arsenal player in his prematch program notes.

"What happened to Fabrice at this stadium eight months ago has obviously changed his life forever," Villas-Boas wrote.

"Everyone in the game and the wider footballing world was delighted to see him make a full recovery. We are thrilled to have him here tonight and I would like to wish him the very best for the future."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
April 16, 2012 -- Updated 1721 GMT (0121 HKT)
Fabrice Muamba, the Bolton Wanderers midfielder who suffered a near-fatal cardiac arrest on the pitch last month, has left hospital.
March 30, 2012 -- Updated 2026 GMT (0426 HKT)
Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba has been pictured for the first time since collapsing on the pitch with a cardiac arrrest.
March 22, 2012 -- Updated 2207 GMT (0607 HKT)
Fabrice Muamba is showing signs of improvement but his long-term prognosis is still unclear
Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba did not respond to 15 defibrillator shocks and was in effect dead for 78 minutes before his heart started beating again, doctors say.
March 20, 2012 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Professor WIlliam McKenna and former professional player Mitchel Cole talk about heart conditions and Fabrice Muamba's collapsing mid-game.
March 19, 2012 -- Updated 1727 GMT (0127 HKT)
The collapse of an English Premier League player raises questions about how such highly-trained athletes can be struck down in such a manner.
March 20, 2012 -- Updated 0958 GMT (1758 HKT)
Mitchell Cole retired from professional soccer in 2011 after advice from doctors
Fabrice Muamba's cardiac arrest during a soccer match on Saturday convinced former pro Mitchell Cole he was right to quit the game for fear of suffering a heart attack on the pitch.
March 19, 2012 -- Updated 1807 GMT (0207 HKT)
A 23-year-old English Premier League soccer player was in intensive care after suffering cardiac arrest during a game, his club said.
March 19, 2012 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
Fabrice Muamba, who collapsed during a game Saturday, may never return to professional football, according to a London heart specialist.
March 19, 2012 -- Updated 0906 GMT (1706 HKT)
Cardiologist Dr. Chandan Devireddy explains the precautions teams can take when screening their players.
March 18, 2012 -- Updated 1036 GMT (1836 HKT)
World Sport reporter Zayn Nabbi describes the scene inside the stadium as paramedics tried to revive Fabrice Muamba.
March 18, 2012 -- Updated 0023 GMT (0823 HKT)
Fabrice Muamba's fellow footballers rallied around the Bolton player after he was admitted to hospital following a possible heart attack during a match on Saturday.
ADVERTISEMENT