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Muamba Meets the Youth

4 September 2013

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The PFA came to Cantley Park to talk to the Youth Team

Former 80’s Rovers player Paul Raven, now working for the Professional Footballers Association (The PFA) came to Cantley Park to talk to the youth team about membership of the World’s oldest Sporting Union. Formed in 1907, the PFA helps both current and former players through education, representation, well being and benevolent support in all aspects of a player’s career and beyond. “These boys, like myself here many years ago, are at the start of their journey. We support various enrichments to their apprenticeship programme through education as we want to encourage them to become good young people as well as good young footballers.”

One of the areas that the PFA are involved with is player transition. A player’s career can end suddenly and to make this point Paul was accompanied by his colleague, former Premier League player Fabrice Muamba.  In March 2012, Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest during a televised FA Cup match between Bolton and Tottenham Hotspur, from which he recovered despite his heart having stopped for more than an hour. Following medical advice, he announced his retirement from professional football in August 2012.

Fabrice “You always have to have a plan B as in football as you have no idea when your career might end. For me I awoke that morning feeling good as I had been told I was starting for Bolton at Spurs that afternoon. Little did I know that it would be my last game and that I would remember very little of the day!  I have no memory of what happened until I woke up in hospital. With the help of the PFA I have rebuilt my life and have a career still in football so I’m glad I was a member. I tell every young lad that you need to invest in your education when you are young as you will need it one day as I did”

Paul, who had earlier addressed the first team squad added, “the advice is no different whether you are a apprentice, a James Coppinger or a Ryan Giggs, and that is to plan for a time when you inevitably become an ex footballer”.

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