Muamba collapse proves players need more regular check-ups, says heart-attack survivor Clarke
Published 17:24 18/03/12 By Mike Walters
Clive Clarke is the walking miracle who lived to tell the tale - after his heart stopped for four minutes.
Irish defender Clarke was on loan at Leicester when he suffered a cardiac arrest in the dressing-room at half-time during a Carling Cup tie at Notingham Forest in August 2007.
Paramedics who saved his life used a defibrillator four times to restart his heart with electric shock treatment, and Clarke - who was only 27 at the time - has since called for players to have check-ups every three months.
Now an agent, Clarke said: "I think it needs to be set in stone, every three months the guys get regular checks. I do think it needs to be part of the regular life of a footballer now.
"It's not rocket science: you are paying these guys a lot of money - go and make sure they are fit and well, and make sure you are not having to knock on the door and deliver bad news to their families one day."
Clarke's life includes a void between feeling dizzy, as he took on liquid refreshment during half-time at the City Ground, and coming round in an ambulance to learn he had suffered a heart attack.
Amid the frightening fall-out of Fabrice Muamba's collapse at White Hart Lane, Clarke's recovery offers a beacon of hope as a nation prays for Bolton's critically-ill midfielder.
He added: "I know better than most how lucky I am to be sat here. The medics had to use a defibrillator on me four times and my heart stopped for four minutes, apart from a few seconds between each charge.
"Luckily I was in the care of people who knew what they were doing and Forest had a defibrillator just down the corridor from the dressing room, so there was specialist equipment on hand.
"But every doctor and specialist has told me how lucky I was. I don't think I had much to spare."