Marc Vivien Foe died and left millions of fans wondering why someone so young and generous could die so easily.
Some of them recall their fond memories of the former football star.
Essoka Julius. Artist /singer, Douala – Cameroon
“Giant 17”, you went too soon Marco!
I, like many other Cameroonians, believe that Marc-Vivien Foe’s legacy goes beyond football. He is largely perceived as a great source of inspiration and a role model for African footballers in general and Cameroon in particular. Unfortunately for Marco as he was fondly called, he did not have the opportunity to complete his sporting complex and neither the government nor any sponsors have been able to help keep that other passion of the man alive. In our country, a lot is still expected to be done in terms of values and mostly for people in the spotlight to keep their memories alive once they pass away. Marco went too soon, but his memory is still very fresh in our minds. The “Giant 17” brought and gave so much to football fans around the world.
Tumnda Emmanuel Wilson, 35 Abuja – Nigeria
Marc Vivien Foé’s death caused a profound shock. Numerous tributes to his joyous personality and infectious sense of humour were expressed in the media. Foe’s commitment to the game was that of hard work and a devoted player. No doubt his last breath was that of a commitment to fatherland making him a devoted patriot. His death sent panic racing through the spine of his numerous fans across the world ranging from all races and tribes.
When an iroko tree falls down, the forest reverberate, same would be said of this fallen hero and let all the African politicians as well as all and sundry draw strength from the edifice of service to his fatherland erected by Foe and make Africa a better place for all and posterity who they hold these positions in trust for. Memory of Foe and his legacy will linger on in the minds of Cameroonians and Africans as the clock continues to tick tock.
Adeniyi Olugbemi, 43, sports journalist, Abuja, Nigeria
The death of late Cameroon’s international midfielder, Marc Vivien Foe, on the field of play while on national assignment was so sudden. The memory of the sad event lingers on 10 years after as if it was yesterday.
Had Foe been alive today, he would have been just 38 years old and probably still be donning the Indomitable Lions jersey but he succumbed to the cold hands of death when he collapsed and died in France on June 26, 2003.
Tears freely flowed, eulogies were countless, tribute was inexhaustible and speaker after speaker praised the late star for his humility, talent and service to humanity. I understood that when Marc Vivien Foe was with the national team, his teammates always looked up to him to settle any differences between them. Although he was not the team captain, he was seen as a leader of the team because of his warmness of heart. These traits constitute some of the rare legacies he left not only in Cameroon but the whole of Africa.
The remains of Marc Vivien Foe were buried in the middle of the four hectare sports complex he was constructing in Okoui near Yaounde.
Regrettably, the appeal from Foe’s family members for the completion of the sports complex as his legacy and contribution to the development of sports in the country seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
Omer Songwe. Bamenda, Cameroon
The heart of Cameroon Football is in a state of lethargy as the Cameroon Football Federation (FECAFOOT) fights internally for survival, hurting the hearts of many Cameroonians. This reminds me, sadly of the internal struggles one of its most illustrious players must have gone through on this fateful day. Marc Vivien fell a hero on this day in 2003 when Cameroon was participating in the Confederation Cup Semi-Finals against Columbia. He was suffering from a heart problem.
Unfortunately, a long way still lies ahead for sports medics to be spot on when it comes to the health of players’ hearts. Fabrice Muamba, we are lucky to have today, alive and kicking! Marc was not lucky and so too many other players who have fallen on the pitch.
As we remember Foe in our hearts this day, may we take time to reflect on the actions of a man with a big heart. He started a football academy to engage young boys and girls in a sport he lived and died for. His wife continues to keep his heart alive