Tag Archives: Fabrice Muamba

BBC…Sports Personality of The Year (SPOTY)

16 Dec

If you enjoy watching sports on TV, 2012 has been MEGA!.  From the Manchester City’s last gasp win to snatch the Premiership from bitter rivals Manchester United, Bradley Wiggins historic triumph in France to win the Tour, the multitude of magic moments from the Olympics  and Andrew Murray’s winning his first grand slam after the emotional heartache of Wimbledon.

So many magic moments, how do you choose a winner for the sports personality of the year. Well it has to be done and tonight is the night.  The nominees were

  • Andy Murray – (US Open Champion, Olympic Gold [Tennis])
  • Bradley Wiggins – (Tour De France winner, Olympic Gold [Cycling])
  • Ben Ainslie – (Olympic Gold[Sailing])
  • Chris Hoy – (Olympic Gold [Cycling])
  • David Weir – (Paralympic Gold[Wheelchair Racing])
  • Ellie Simmons – (Paralympic Gold [Swimming])
  • Jessica Ennis – (Olympic Gold [Athletics])
  • Katherine Granger - (Olympic Gold [Rowing])
  • Mo Farah - (Olympic Gold [Athletics])
  • Nicola Adams - (Olympic Gold [Boxing])
  • Roy McIlroy – (PGA Championship 2012 Winner, Ryder Cup 2012)
  • Sarah Storey – (Paralympic Gold [Cycling])

The show as expected was heaving with sporting celebs, the great, the good, the okay and the not so good.  It was also heaving with nostalgia as we were taken back through the glory days of 2012, ably assisted by  mini montages of all the great moments. I have to say no one does montages better than the BBC.  My favorite was from ‘Super Saturday’ the day Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah came good winning three golds in the space of 46 golden minutes

Other great moments were the audience doing the Poznan, when Vincent Company and Sergio Aguero came one, that was brilliant. The award to Martine Wright, a victim of the 7/7 bombing who went on to represent the UK in sitting volleyball at the Paralympics was special, as was the segment with Fabrice Muamba.

It wasn’t all about celebrity honorable mention also goes out to Jim and Sue Haughton who won the unsung hero of the year award.

In other awards Team GB and Paralympic GB won team of the year. Coach of the year went to Dave Brailsford, cycling GB supremo. Usain Bolt won overseas athlete of the year. Lifetime achievement went to Seb Coe.

Then it was all down to the big one. Drum roll and the third place went to…. Andy Murray (shame I really wanted Andy to win, the Wimbledon Final, The Olympic Gold and the US Open were incredible achievements).

Second place went  to the Golden Girl Jessica Ennis and the winner was….Bradley Wiggins.  Congratulations sir, not my preferred choice but a deserved winner.

p.s. From reaction on Twitter it looks like Jessica Ennis’s well appointed dress has bagged her another honour – Rear of The Year.

ITV’s Sports Life Stories…Fabrice Muamba’s miracle

5 Dec
Fabrice Muamba, then on loan to Birmingham Cit...

Fabrice Muamba (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I can’t really remember the last time I watched ITV4, it is possible I have never actually watched it. I can’t even think of a single programme normally broadcast on the channel, or at least I couldn’t till today.

While skimming the channels I came across their Sports Life Stories and today’s was on Fabrice Muamba.  Fabrice Muamba was not a widely celebrated footballer, if you weren’t into the football the chances are that before the 17th of March,2012 you would never had heard of him.

The tragic events of that day changed all that. On that day Fabrice Muamba slumped on a football pitch at White Hart Lane,  North East London in front of a crowd of tens of thousands and for all intents and purposes was medically dead for 78 minutes. That he survived was incredible, that he seems to have suffered no lasting brain damage is a miracle.

Sports Life stories followed his life up to to that pivotal point as well as the immediate aftermath.

We learnt about his early life in Lubumbashi and later Kinshasha both in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We learn how his father left for England on the back of political upheaval in his home country leaving behind his wife and children. We learn how Fabrice eventually joined his Father in this new country only to find out his Dad had a completely new family as well.

His love for football and maths,  his struggle to learn English and his determination to play for Arsenal, his love for his now wife, Shauna, and his son.  How he downloaded the national anthem from the Internet to learn by heart when he was called up to play for England’s U-16 team. These all provided the backdrop to that eventful day in March this year.

It was the quater-finals of the FA Cup played between Tottenham Hotspurs and Bolton Wanderers at Tottenham’s home ground.  41 minutes into the match with almost no one around him Muamba collapsed and  within seconds it became clear this was not just a muscle sprain or cramp it was something much more serious.

I remember the day as I caught the incident on one of the rolling news channel and even from my home the atmosphere was palpable. No one can be really sure how Fabrice Muamba survived, but the combined effort of the Tottenham Hotspurs team doctor Shabaaz Mughal, the Bolton Team Doctor Jonathan Tobin and a Cardiologist from Lodon Chest Hospital Andrew Deaner who happened to be in the crowd and all the other medical staff contributed greatly.

From the moment he collapsed and went on life support  the nation and the football world held its breathe. It was not till to 2 days later that the first signs of a miracle began to emerge. Dr Dearner recalls how after Fabrice began to show signs of consciousness he visited him held his hand and asked him “Whats your name?” “Fabrice muamba” he replied,  ”I heard you’re a good footballer” his reply “I try”.  At that point the hope of a full recovery became reality.

He indeed went on to make a full recovery and we see two more poignant points in his life.

His return to White Hart Lane, to the spot where he “died” and was given a second chance.  As the crowd cheered  Fabrice struggled and failed to hold back the tears.

We also see as he makes an honest woman of Shauna, who had stood steadfastly with him over those trying periods.

It was a beautifully produced documentary and reminder how we should make the most of the life we live.