Former Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba, will be the honorary starter of Britain’s biggest 10k running event, the Bupa Great Manchester Run, when it is staged in the city on Sunday May 26th.
Fabrice, who so nearly died after collapsing on the pitch when playing for Bolton Wanderers against Tottenham Hotspur on 17 March last year, will have a team of 25 runners, one for each year of his life, in the event.
The team, which will include Bolton Wanderers club chaplain, Phil Mason, will run for the Arrhythmia Alliance ‘Hearts and Goals’ campaign, which helps place lifesaving AEDs (automated external defibrillators) in communities.
Fabrice was the Guest of Honour for City's Capital One Cup Final appearance at Wembley Stadium against Swansea City last month (see main picture).
Fabrice said, “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.”
Trudie Lobban MBE, Founder and CEO of Arrhythmia Alliance, 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.”
In addition to the team of 25 runners, Nova, the organisers of the Bupa Great Manchester Run and the charity, are hoping to recruit a football fan from all the Premier and Football League teams in England to ‘Run for Muamba.’ Fans will be encouraged to run in their football shirts in a show of unity for Fabrice and to celebrate his recovery.
David Hart, Communications Director of Nova, 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.”
Previous honorary starters of the Bupa Great Manchester Run, which is televised live on BBC television, include Sir Alex Ferguson, Andrew Flintoff, Jessica Ennis, Victoria Pendleton, Sir Bobby Charlton, Amir Khan and Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson.
Further details and entry is available at www.greatrun.org/Manchester with entries being accepted on a first come, first served basis until the limit of 40,000 is achieved.
To support runners taking part in the event for the Arrhythmia Alliance, Heart and Goals Campaign, you can text your donation by using JustTextGiving by Vodafone.
For example, if you wanted to donate £3 text FABS25 £3 to 70070 to help ensure all communities have public-access defibrillators and more people in the UK are AED and CPR trained. The text costs nothing to send and 100% of every penny donated goes to charity. Gift Aid can easily be added.