Clarke made full recovery from heart attack


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The Independent Football

Clive Clarke yesterday spoke of how he suffered a similar incident to that of Fabrice Muamba. In August 2007, Clarke, then on loan at Leicester, suffered a cardiac arrest in the City Ground changing room at half-time of the Carling Cup tie with Nottingham Forest, causing the game to be abandoned.

"I came down the tunnel at half-time feeling a little bit dizzy," the former left-back told BBC Five Live Sportsweek. "I went in the changing room, sat down and next thing I knew I woke up in the back of an ambulance. My heart had a cardiac arrest, my heart just stopped in the changing room. I was lucky I had good people round me who acted quickly and saved my life." Clarke, now 32, made a full recovery.

"I spent 10 days in hospital doing every test under the sun," he reflected. "To be honest, they [the doctors] still don't know exactly what happened to me that night. They couldn't put a finger on exactly what brought it on. I've now got an internal defibrillator which hopefully prevents me from my heart stopping again." Clarke retired in 2008 after leaving Sunderland for health reasons but he is still able to exercise. "I go to the gym and do a little bit on the bike," he added. "I can do as much exercise as I want within reason."

He hopes that Muamba also makes a recovery. "[I'm] absolutely devastated for the lad," said Clarke. "I hope he pulls through. When something like that happens it puts football in perspective. One life is more important than any football game."