Pictures By Tony Ward
Miracle footballer Fabrice Muamba — the former Bolton Wanderers midfielder who suffered a devastating cardiac arrest during an FA Cup match last year that effectively left him dead for an astonishing 78 minutes — introduces his new baby son and tells how he burst into tears when the infant was delivered, as the fragility of life came flooding back to him.
“I looked at him, this precious new life we’d created after I’d come so close to losing mine, and in that moment it just hit me that he wouldn’t have been here,” the sportsman said.
“In that moment, it all came back and I just went — I lost it completely,” he said.
Fabrice, 25, and his wife Shauna, 28, reveal that they were actually expecting new arrival Matthew Josiah, a much-wanted brother for their elder child, four-year-old Josh, when they married last October at Cheshire’s grand Peckforton Castle, though they didn’t realise it at the time.
Shauna tells how her husband, who arrived in the UK at the age of 11 from war-torn Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), unable to speak any English, was a “calm and reassuring” birthing partner.
“Then when Matthew was delivered safely and they put him in Fab’s arms, his composure just went and he had a total meltdown,” said Shauna.
Forced to retire from professional football after his collapse on the pitch, Fabrice, who took part in the Christmas Special of Strictly Come Dancing, admits that he would be keen to compete in the main series, though what he really hopes for is to remain in sports as a football pundit.
“I want to make the most of every precious day and one of the most important things I’ve learnt is that I don’t have time to waste,” he said.
For the full interview, see HELLO! issue 1287.