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'I was gone, but this one thing brought me back' - the footballer who collapsed on the pitch on his lifesaver

'Without it, I simply wouldn't be here today'.

Time slowed at 6.13pm on a Saturday in March, 2012, during an FA Cup tie between Bolton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. But it wasn't because of a screaming goal or heroic save.

The north London stadium fell silent as a wave of horror unfolded. The then-23-year-old midfielder Fabrice Muamba had collapsed - and his heart stopped beating.

The match was abandoned, and Muamba's heart remained still for the next 78 minutes following a cardiac arrest. But if one lifesaving thing hadn't happened, his heart may never have started again.

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"Before I collapsed in 2012, I was just Fabrice," he said. "Afterwards I was the miracle man. I was gone, but CPR brought me back.”

CPR is cardiopulmonary resuscitation - a critical move to pump the chest down to keep oxygen following from the heart. There are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK each year, equating to at least five every 90 minutes. Each minute that passes without CPR reduces the chance of survival by up to 10 per cent.

Cardiac arrest usually happens without warning and without immediate treatment, the person suffering an arrest will die. Tragically, less than one in ten people survive, often because those around them lack the skills or confidence to perform CPR.

Thankfully, medically trained staff, a St John Ambulance unit, and a consultant cardiology who happened to be in the crowd as a fan, rushed to the goal-scorer's aid.

Muamba was administered CPR and oxygen before being taken to hospital. The footballer credits that quick action with saving his life.

More than a decade on, he is

Read more on manchestereveningnews.co.uk