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Remembering How Bolton's Fabrice Muamba Came Back from the Dead

Five years ago today, Muamba's heart stopped beating on the pitch at White Hart Lane. Seventy-eight minutes later, he woke up. This is the inside story of how doctors brought him back from the dead.

by R.J. Rico
Mar 17 2017, 9:59pm

Photo by Facundo Arrizabalaga, EPA

Bolton was wearing black.

Few who were at that evening's FA Cup quarterfinal match five years ago between Bolton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur remember that better than head Bolton physiotherapist Andy Mitchell.

Under a darkening sky and against the dark backdrop of the stands at London's White Hart Lane, Mitchell had a difficult time seeing his team's players. He told himself to stay especially focused: his job was to monitor the players, not watch the ball.

So, when 41 minutes into the first half, Fabrice Muamba, Bolton's 23-year-old Zaire-born midfielder, collapsed near the center circle, yards away from the action, Mitchell saw it all unfold.

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