HONORARY STARTER: Muamba is to kick off the Great Manchester Run
FABRICE MUAMBA has been named as the honorary starter for the Bupa Great Manchester Run which takes place on May 26.
The former Bolton and Arsenal midfielder, who came close to death after suffering cardiac arrest last year on March 17 against Tottenham in the FA Cup, is to have a 25-man team of runners in the event, each one to mark a year of his life when he collapsed.
His team are running to raise money for Arrhythmia Alliance ‘Hearts and Goals’ campaign, which seeks to implement automated external defibrillators in communities – they are the same devices which saved Muamba’s life once his heart had stopped working.
“I was delighted to be asked along to set the 40,000 runners on their way and it represents a great opportunity for the Hearts and Goals campaign to raise money for their vital work,” Muamba said.
The founder of charity Muamba’s team is raising money for, Trudie Lobban, said: “We are honoured to be associated with this event and to have so many people running for Hearts & Goals.
“Fabrice continues to inspire a huge number of people into joining Hearts & Goals to help us tackle sudden cardiac arrest and save lives. I cannot think of a better person to get this fantastic event underway.”
The organisers of the run, Nova, are aiming to recruit a fan of every football league side in the country to ‘Run for Muamba.’ All the supporters will be encouraged to run in their team’s kit to show unity for the retired footballer.
Nova’s communications director, David Hart, said: “We are really thrilled that Fabrice has accepted our invitation and we’d love to see football fans showing their support for both him and Hearts and Goals at the Great Manchester Run.
“Like everybody else, we were willing Fabrice to pull through last March and the fact that he is here is a real cause for celebration.”
There is an illustrious backlog of names who have been honorary starters for the run, including Sir Alex Ferguson, Andrew Flintoff, Jess Ennis, Victoria Pendleton, Sir Bobby Charlton and Amir Khan.
Further details and entry is available at www.greatrun.org/Manchester