Fabrice Muamba has spoken for the first time about the horrifying moment he collapsed and ‘died’ on the pitch.
The Bolton midfielder, aged 24, insisted he had not felt unwell before his heart stopped and he crashed to the ground in the 41st minute of a televised FA Cup tie at Tottenham on March 17.
Speaking to The Sun, he said: ‘I ran upfield to try and get on the end of a cross from Martin Petrov on our left wing and as I ran back into midfield I felt very slightly dizzy. It wasn’t a normal dizziness – it was a kind of surreal feeling like I was running along inside someone else’s body.
‘Then I made another burst forward and noticed it again. Then my vision started to go. I had no pain whatsoever. No clutching at my chest. Then I started to see double. It felt almost like a dream. There was no one anywhere near me when I started to feel myself falling.
‘The last thing I remember was our defender Dedryck Boyata screaming at to get back and help out in defence. I just felt myself falling then I felt two thumps as my head hit the ground in front of me then that was it. Blackness, nothing. I was dead.’
Now back home after an extraordinary fight for his life in the London Chest Hospital, the former England Under 21 international – born in Zaire but raised in Britain from the age of 11 after his family fled their homeland as political refugees – hopes he will be able to attend one of Bolton’s two remain remaining home games.
Those games are against Spurs in a Wednesday evening kick-off on May 2 or West Bromwich Albion four days later.
While Bolton fans will not want him to do anything that could jeopardise his recovery, an emotional appearance at the game against Spurs would be inspirational for a club facing the prospect of losing their Premier League status.
Muamba, who moved to The Reebok from Birmingham City in 2008, and Bolton have been overwhelmed by the messages of support that have flooded in to the club from around the world.
The player’s dramatic collapse in front of television cameras covering Bolton’s FA Cup quarter-final at White Hart Lane live touched the emotions of people with no interest in the game of football.
They followed every turn in his fight for life and rejoiced when a picture of a smiling Muamba was posted on the player’s Twitter account.
Doctors have since fitted a minidefibrillator in his chest in case he suffers a similar attack. He is now being closely monitored and the club have made it clear that any decision to attend a home game will entirely depend on Muamba and the state of his health.
But sources said last night: ‘It is possible he will be able to come to a match this season, sooner rather than later.’
Skipper Kevin Davies added: ‘The lads are buzzing about the great news of Fab being discharged from hospital. We know he has a long way to go in his recovery but we are all looking forward to seeing him again, sooner rather than later.’
Bolton manager Owen Coyle said he has spoken to Muamba in the last 48 hours.
‘It was great to hear him in such an upbeat mood,’ he said. ‘You could tell by his voice he seems in a very good place.’
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