Ex-Millwall player Tobi Alabi: The game I love nearly killed me

Tobi Alabi Still

Former Millwall player Tobi Alabi had to quit football last month after collapsing on the pitch.

Tobi Alabi had grown up playing football since the age of five. It was all he ever wanted to do, and he had put all his focus and determination into the game. Sadly his career was stopped abruptly at the age of 20.

Tobi is now turning his attention into helping people with similar conditions as him. He believes more scans and tests should be carried out from an earlier age.

Alabi had previously suffered numerous dizzy spells, and other health worries, but they had been dismissed as dehydration or asthma. He kept on pursuing his dream, but that dream nearly took his life away. In his own words he has spent 'every single minute of his life' set on playing football.

On the 15th October whilst playing in a friendly for Metropolitan Police he collapsed on the pitch. Luckily Alabi was not unconscious for too long, and he quickly came round. He was later diagnosed with a heart condition in hospital. After he overheard the doctors saying his heart had stopped for five minutes, he knew his career was over.

Alabi was inconsolable, all he had wanted to do was play football. He never imagined that his career would end at 20, and in non-league football. Before being told officially, Alabi knew that he could no longer pursue his career in football.

The case of Fabrice Muamba in 2012 brought great attention to heart conditions within football. Tobi Alabi wants to continue helping further the awareness of the problem. Alabi has wasted no time in turning his attention towards this. Whilst he doesn't know what he plans to do as a career now, he is determined to help others avoid what he has been through.

Alabi wants footballers from as young as 14 to have yearly heart scans and test screenings. He believes they need to find out if they have any health problems as young as possible. Aged 14 you still have time to focus on your education and career, if football is not possible. By the time you're 20, you may have missed numerous other opportunities in life.

The former Millwall player has released a video online, detailing what happened to him, and giving an insight into his thoughts at the time. Alabi is throwing all his weight behind this campaign, and hopes the video can bring more attention to this area. Whilst Muamba's story gathered a lot of attention, there is still not enough being done.

Please, if you have some spare time, watch Tobi Alabi's video below; "My Story". A very moving video, and a very brave one for Alabi to film. It is certainly worth a watch, and once done so, spread the word.


images: © Tobi Alabi, © Tobi Alabi

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