FOOTBALL “miracle man” Fabrice Muamba was brought to tears by the kindness of pupils at a Westhoughton school.
The former Bolton Wanderers player, who was brought back to life after suffering a cardiac arrest during a FA Cup match almost a year ago, surprised youngsters with a visit to St Bartholomew’s CE Primary School in The Fairways.
Year Six teacher Andy Done, a lifelong Whites fan, wrote to Muamba on behalf of his class asking if he would visit the school because they had been reading his biography, I’m Still Standing, and had been writing about him.
Muamba, along with club chaplain Phil Mason, went to the school and spoke to the Year Six pupils, who asked him questions about his faith, his inspiration and his top five tips.
He also spoke to the school during an assembly and listened to youngsters who told him how they wanted a defibrillator in the school to help save lives.
Mr Done said: “I have seen a different side to the children since he came to school.
“Pupils have been saying they want to be like Fabrice and that they want to try hard.
“He told the pupils that if you try hard enough at anything you will achieve what you want if you are determined.
“He was inspirational.
“We have read his book in class and he has become a bit of a legend and an idol.”
During his visit, the 24-year-old became overwhelmed by prayers written for him by pupils Michael Stephens and Lauren Hallam and welled up with tears when the class all said a prayer with him.
He was so touched by the prayers he took them home along with a “thank you” card made by the pupils made, detailing how he had influenced their lives.
Mr Done said: “The kids said Fabrice’s visit was something they would remember for the rest of their lives.
“As a teacher there’s nothing better than giving the pupils those memorable experiences.”
The 10 and 11-year-old pupils will now write newspaper reports and biographies about Muamba.