Miracle recovery: Bolton's Fabrice Muamba suffered a heart attack in March (Photo: AP)
The English FA marked the first anniversary of DR Congo’s Fabrice Muamba's cardiac arrest during an FA Cup tie by announcing it was providing more than 900 life-saving defibrillators to senior men's and women's soccer clubs in England.
In a joint statement with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) on Monday, the FA said the "initiative will create thousands of life-savers by giving players, staff and fans access to the equipment and information needed to save a life."
The BHF will match a donation of 400,000 pounds ($605,200) from the FA towards the cost of the defibrillators, with another 400,000 pounds coming from clubs.
Awareness about sudden cardiac arrest was heightened when former England under-21 player Muamba collapsed while his team Bolton Wanderers were playing Tottenham Hotspur in an FA Cup tie at White Hart Lane on March 17 last year.
Muamba, who made a full recovery after effectively being "dead" for 78 minutes, has retired from playing on medical grounds and has been hailed as a medical miracle by doctors because only around one in 10 people normally survive a witnessed, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the United Kingdom.
Professor Peter Weissberg, the BHF's medical director, said: "The importance of these machines in the chain of survival cannot be underestimated and a new partnership between the nation's heart charity and the FA promises to make a difference between life and death in many of our clubs and their communities."
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO Sportsand on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports)