A cardiac arrest at the age of 13 cost him a year’s education at the club but, far more importantly, it very nearly cost him his life.
He came through the ranks with Bradley Barry and Glen Rea, but was released at the age of 16.
Matt Cunnington was a promising Brighton & Hove Albion youth player, who had dreams of playing for his local professional club.
* Purchase Saturday’s copy of Seagull, the club’s matchday programme, for an interview with Matt, who looks back at his time at the Albion, the trauma of his cardiac arrest and the weeks, months and years which have followed.
You can purchase The Fear for £8.99 at www.triopublishing.co.uk where there is also a link to the Kindle version.
, but for any parent with a son or daughter involved in the pursuit of a passion, perhaps it is the strongest.” The Fear “There are many themes within
He added, “As Matt recovered and went through all the necessary steps required to be allowed to play at professional club level, football symbolised his struggle to get all of his life back, to regain all he had before his cardiac arrest.
“It put something as unimportant as football into perspective, yet, in a strange paradoxical way, football started to take on a new meaning. What it became was a symbol for Matt’s life."
“Coping with the shock of Matt’s near-death experience and my parents’ mental problems placed a great strain on myself and my wife.
“Within the pages of the book, I have been completely honest in what I felt at the time of Matt’s arrest, his subsequent recovery and in dealing with my parents’ horrid affliction.
“At the time Matt returned to football, both my parents were suffering from dementia and the plot for the book started to formulate in my mind.
Mark said, “Once Matt made his remarkable recovery from his cardiac arrest, I knew that I would want to write his story.
He has, thankfully, made a full recovery and his father, Mark, has written a book – The Fear – which is a fictional version of the real-life events which surrounded that fateful experience.