A year after suffering an on-pitch cardiac arrest, former Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba will be the honorary starter of the 10km Bupa Great Manchester Run.
Muamba will have a team of 25 runners raising funds for the Arrhythmia Alliance Hearts and Goals campaign at the event held on Sunday May 26.
The run is expected to attract 40,000 participants and the ex-Trotters star is delighted the funds will go to help put defibrillators in public places.
“I was delighted to be asked along to set the runners on their way,” he told Bolton’s official website.
“It represents a great opportunity for the Hearts and Goals campaign to raise money for their vital work.”
The former England under-21 international suffered a cardiac arrest during Wanderers’ FA Cup clash with Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane last season, his heart stopping for 78 minutes.
Muamba follows in the footsteps of honorary starters including Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Bobby Charlton, Amir Khan, Victoria Pendleton and Jessica Ennis.
The event organisers, Nova, are hoping for football fans from all 92 clubs in the Premier League and Football League to ‘Run for Muamba’ to celebrate his recovery.
Trudie Lobban MBE, Arrhythmia Alliance’s CEO and founder, feels Muamba’s presence is an inspiration to people and is the perfect candidate to start the event.
“I cannot think of a better person to get this fantastic event underway,” she said. “Fabrice continues to inspire a huge number of people into join in Hearts and Goals to help us tackle sudden cardiac arrest and save lives.
“We are honoured to be associated with this event and to have so many people running for Hearts & Goals.”
For more information and entry details visit www.greatrun.org/Manchester.
Picture courtesy of Absolute Radio, via YouTube, with thanks.