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Fabrice Inspires Academy Youngsters

18 December 2013

Fabrice Muamba has helped launch a pioneering new partnership to prepare young players for life after football.

The former Arsenal, Birmingham City and Bolton Wanderers player, whose career was cut short by a cardiac arrest during an FA Cup match in 2012, met members of Albion’s football academy at the Amex.

The club has teamed up with leading local job board and former shirt sponsor to ensure academy members have the right skills to succeed in work when their careers come to an end.

The academy already runs a comprehensive education programme for its aspiring young players but the new private partnership will encourage them to think more about careers away from the pitch.

Special workshops in areas such as how to apply for a job, how to write the perfect CV and the importance of training, will be held throughout the year at the academy while other high profile visits by former football stars are planned.

During his visit, Fabrice recounted his incredible story to a group of academy scholars and stressed the importance of planning for life after football.

Fabrice told, “It was a pleasure to come to the Amex to help launch this unique scheme and speak to the academy players to make them aware of all the great things they can achieve after football. 

“All young players hope to make the grade and play professional football, and that means working hard, but they should also have a plan B in mind.”
Albion chief executive Paul Barber said, “It was fantastic to welcome Fabrice to the Amex to both inspire our academy players to strive in their football careers but also to highlight the importance of acquiring the right work skills for later life.

“Fabrice has shown that although any sporting career can come to an end in the most unexpected circumstances, sportsmen and women of any age can go on to achieve so much more.

“I am confident our pioneering new partnership with will set new standards in ensuring that our academy players are given the tools they need to succeed.”
Gary Peters, founder of added, “The academy gives young players of tomorrow the best possible chance of realising their dream of playing professional football.

“However, the reality for every football player is that at some point, their career will come to an end, either at a very young age or when they have played for many years.

“At this point, players need the transferable skills to succeed in the workplace, taking with them the qualities they have learned on the pitch and using them to their full advantage, and this is why we have developed this ground-breaking new partnership.

“Its main aim is to give players high quality, hands-on training and advice delivered in an engaging way about how to become work ready and ultimately enjoy a successful career outside of football.

“I am delighted that can continue its long-standing relationship with the club.”
On March 17 2012, Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest whilst playing for Bolton Wanderers against Tottenham Hotspur in an FA Cup 6th round match at White Hart Lane.
After receiving lengthy treatment on the pitch, Fabrice was treated at the London Chest Hospital and initially placed in Intensive condition under a ‘critical’ condition. During the cardiac arrest, his heart had stopped beating for 78 minutes.

Over the following two months, Fabrice made a remarkable recovery and he was discharged on April 21st, having been fitted with an Implantable Cardioverter-defribillator (ICD). He is now studying for a degree in sports journalism at Staffordshire University.

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