RC Lens (France), West
Ham United FC (England), Olympique Lyonnais (France), Manchester
City FC (England)
Marc-Vivien Foé (May 1, 1975 - June 26, 2003) was a Cameroonian
midfield football player, born in Nkolo, Cameroon.
Foé began his professional career with Canon Yaounde in the
Cameroonian league. He made an appearance in the 1994 World Cup
which prompted a move to France where he played for RC Lens in
the French 1st division, winning the French league title in
1998. He was targeted by Manchester United but broke his leg
before any deals were made. As a result, he missed the 1998
World Cup. He recovered and got to play in the English Premier
League when he moved to West Ham United in 1999.
He moved back to France to play for Olympique Lyonnais in 2000.
In that same year, he suffered from a bout of malaria but
recovered and went on to win the French league Cup in 2001 and
the French league title in 2002. Foé made a return to the
English Premier League when he was loaned to Manchester City
where he had a successful season, scoring the team's last goal
at their Maine Road stadium.
On June 26, 2003, Foé collapsed during the FIFA Confederations
Cup semifinal between his country and Colombia, and despite
immediate medical attention he died shortly afterward in
hospital. The game was being played at the Stade Gerland in Lyon,
the home stadium of Olympique Lyonnais. An autopsy later
revealed the cause of death was a heart attack caused by an
enlarged left ventricle. Doctors said the condition may have
been congenital, and would have been virtually undetectable.
Toxicological tests showed no traces of drugs in his system.
Foé's death caused a profound shock for the entire football
world. Numerous tributes to the man's joyous personality and
infectious humour have been expressed in the media. Many
suggestions for ways to honour the life of Marc-Vivien Foé have
been made: the Confederations Cup and the Stade Gerland may be
renamed after him, and Manchester City manager Kevin Keegan has
announced that the club will no longer use the number 23 shirt
Foé wore during his successful season there. There has also been
talk of renaming a stand at Manchester City's new ground, City
of Manchester Stadium, in Foé's memory.