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Heart attack victim in charity bike ride
A FOOTBALL player who suffered from a heart attack at the age of 31 will cycle from Manchester to Blackpool to help other people in the same predicament.
Rob Willcox, now aged 33, suffered from searing stomach pains while driving home after playing football with friends, and was staggered when he was told he was having a heart attack.
A blood clot had formed in one of the arteries of the heart, which prevented oxygen and blood reaching the heart muscle, and days later he had two stents fitted.
Now Mr Willcox has made a recovery and will take part in the British Heart Foundation’s Manchester to Blackpool Night Ride on Saturday evening.
He will cycle 52 miles from the Trafford Centre starting at midnight to arrive at Blackpool for sunrise.
Mr Willcox, of Bury New Road, Heap Bridge, said: “I was driving home from playing football one evening and suddenly my arms went numb, I had shooting pains going down them and had to resort to driving the car with my elbows.
“I pulled over and called 999. When the response team arrived, they told me I was having a heart attack.
“I couldn’t believe it. I had always been so active. I had played for a local football club as a youngster and had kept it up by playing three to four nights a week on average with my mates as well as with a Sunday league team.
“I just kept thinking, how could this happen to me? I am only 31. It was a complete shock to my system.”
Mr Willcox, who plays for the Duck Club in the Bury and District Sunday League, added: “At first, I was told I couldn’t play football or do much in the way of sport but, over the past year, these rules have relaxed a bit and I now play football a few nights a week and have really got into cycling.
“I have actually lost over two and a half stone over the past year.”
The money raised from the ride will help to fund research into the damage caused by heart attacks.
For more information, visit www.justgiving.com/ robert-willcox
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