FabAfriq Magazine

Remembering one of Africa's greatest football Hero's of all time Marc Vivien Foe

Marc Vivien Foe was born on the 1st of May 1975 in Yaoundé the capital of Cameroon. Foe who is now remembered as one of the greatest football legends in Africa and the world at large was a Cameroonian striker who played mid field for his country and international football clubs (French club Lyon and later English team Manchester City.)

 

The late indomitable Lion who built a very successful career in football met his death back in 2003 on the 26th of June while in the middle of an international competition between his home country Cameroon which was representing the African continent at the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup where they were facing Columbia at the Semi-finals of the tournament which held at the Stade De Gerland in Lyon France. The Lion while in active service collapsed at the 72nd minute of the match. Due to failed attempts to resuscitate at the field, Foe was rushed to the Stadium hospital where he died few minutes after. Autopsy did on him showed that the football hero suffered from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a hereditary condition known to increase the risk of sudden death during physical exercise.

 

His shocking death was a huge loss to the football world and to his home country in particular. Though the rest of the Indomitable Lions squad made it to the finals, the pain of losing Foe made it hard for them to play their best. Up till today, Foe is still very much missed as he played a major role in bringing victory to his country and the clubs he played in.

 

Manchester City manager Kevin Keegan announced that the club would no longer use the number 23 shirt Foé wore during his successful season there. At Manchester City's former ground, Maine Road, there is a small memorial to him in the stadium's memorial garden, and on the walls of the players' tunnel are plaques paid for by supporters, with their names, dubbed the Walk of Pride. The first plaque on the wall is for Marc and reads "Marc Vivien Foé – 1975–2003". His first club (Lens) has given his name to an avenue near the Félix Bollaert Stadium.

 

Lyon also decided to withdraw the number 17 shirt that Foé wore a year before when he played in Stade de Gerland with the Lyon team. People in Lyon were shocked as he had received a warm welcome on his return to the stadium. However when the transfer of fellow Cameroonian Jean II Makoun to Lyon, the number 17 shirt was used by Makoun, who stated on wearing the number: "In memory of Marc, for me and for the whole Cameroon, this will be for something."

Prior to the kick-off of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup final between United States and Brazil, his son, then fourteen years old, gave a brief speech in memory of his father.

 

Back at home in Cameroon, Marc Vivien Foe was given a state burial under the patronage of the President his Excellency President Paul Biya.

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