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Marc-Vivien Foé

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Title: Marc-Vivien Foé  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Cameroon at the FIFA World Cup, 1994 FIFA World Cup Group B, 2002 FIFA World Cup Group E, Joseph-Désiré Job, Jacques Songo'o
Collection: 1975 Births, 1994 Fifa World Cup Players, 1996 African Cup of Nations Players, 1998 African Cup of Nations Players, 2000 African Cup of Nations Players, 2001 Fifa Confederations Cup Players, 2002 African Cup of Nations Players, 2002 Fifa World Cup Players, 2003 Deaths, 2003 Fifa Confederations Cup Players, Association Football Players Who Died While Playing, Cameroon International Footballers, Cameroonian Expatriate Footballers, Cameroonian Footballers, Canon Yaoundé Players, Cardiovascular Disease Deaths in France, Expatriate Footballers in England, Expatriate Footballers in France, Ligue 1 Players, Manchester City F.C. Players, Olympique Lyonnais Players, People from Yaoundé, Premier League Players, RC Lens Players, Recipients of the Order of Valour, Sport Deaths in France, West Ham United F.C. Players
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Marc-Vivien Foé

Marc-Vivien Foé
Personal information
Full name Marc-Vivien Foé
Date of birth (1975-05-01)1 May 1975
Place of birth Yaoundé, Cameroon
Date of death 26 June 2003(2003-06-26) (aged 28)
Place of death Lyon, France
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1991–1992 Union de Garoua
1992–1994 Fogape Yaoundé
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1994 Canon Yaoundé
1994–1999 Lens 85 (11)
1999–2000 West Ham United 38 (1)
2000–2003 Lyon 43 (3)
2002–2003 Manchester City (loan) 35 (9)
Total 201 (24)
National team
1993–2003 Cameroon 64 (8)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Marc-Vivien Foé (1 May 1975 – 26 June 2003) was a Cameroonian international footballer, who played in midfield for both club and country. With success in the French League, and stints in England in the Premier League, his sudden death, while in the middle of an international competitive fixture, came as a shock to the worldwide footballing community.[1] He was posthumously decorated with the Commander of the National Order of Valour.


  • Biography 1
  • Death 2
  • Career statistics 3
    • International goals 3.1
  • Honours 4
    • Club 4.1
    • International 4.2
    • Individual 4.3
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Foé was born on 1 May 1975 in Yaoundé. He started as a junior with Second Division Union Garoua.[2] Moving to Canon Yaoundé, one of the biggest clubs in Cameroon, he won the Cameroon Cup in 1993.[3] His international debut was against Mexico in September 1993.[4]

The following year, he was included in the Cameroon squad for the 1994 World Cup, starting all three of Cameroon's matches.[5] Marred by financial and disciplinary disputes,[6] the 1994 Cameroon squad was a shadow compared to the quarter-finals in 1990.[7] Cameroon mustered just one point from three matches, and finished with a 6–1 defeat to Russia.[8] However, Foé's performances prompted interest from European clubs.

After turning down Auxerre for a trainee position, he signed for another French club, RC Lens of Ligue 1.[9] His debut on 13 August 1994 was a 2–1 win against Montpellier.[9] In five seasons at Lens, he finally won the 1998 French league title.

In 1999, he was targeted by Manchester United, but refused a £3 million offer.[10] Further negotiations were curtailed abruptly after he broke a leg at Cameroon's pre-World Cup training camp,[11] and missed the 1998 World Cup.

Shortly after his recovery, he moved to English Premier League club West Ham United, for a club record £4.2 million in January 1999.[12] He played 38 league matches for West Ham, scoring one goal against Sheffield Wednesday.[13][14] He also scored a goal in West Ham's 3–1 win against NK Osijek in the UEFA Cup.[15]

In May 2000, he moved back to France's Lyon on a £6 million transfer.[16] He missed much of the season from malaria.[17] After recovery, he won the French league Cup in 2001, and the French league title in 2002.

He was on the Cameroon squad in the 2002 World Cup. As in 1994, he played in all of Cameroon's matches. Though the team performed better since 1994, they were again eliminated. At the group stage, they beat Saudi Arabia, drew with Ireland and lost to Germany.[7][13]

Foé returned to the Premier League, loaned to Manchester City in the 2002–03 season for £550,000.[18] His debut on the opening day of the season was a 3–0 loss to Leeds United. Foé was a first team regular for Kevin Keegan's team, starting 38 of 41 matches. His first goal for the club came against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on 9 December 2002,[19] and he scored five more goals in the next month. Of nine total, the last was most significant. His second goal in a 3–0 victory against Sunderland on 21 April 2003 was the club's final goal at their Maine Road stadium.[20]


Tributes left at the front gates of Maine Road.

Foé was part of the Cameroon squad for the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup, a tournament played between continental champions from six continents, World Cup holder and the next edition host nation. He played in wins against Brazil and Turkey, and was rested for the match against the United States, with Cameroon having already qualified.

Marc-Vivien Foé streetway, between Louvre-Lens and Bollaert stadium (Lens)

On 26 June 2003, Cameroon faced Colombia in the semi-final, held at the Stade de Gerland in Lyon, France. In the 72nd minute of the match Foé collapsed in the centre circle,[21] with no other players near him.[22] After attempts to resuscitate him on the pitch, he was stretchered off the field, where he received mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and oxygen. Medics spent 45 minutes attempting to restart his heart, and although he was still alive upon arrival at the stadium's medical centre he died shortly afterwards, in spite of the efforts to save his life.[21] A first autopsy did not determine an exact cause of death, but a second autopsy concluded that Foé's death was heart-related as it discovered evidence of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy,[23] a hereditary condition known to increase the risk of sudden death during physical exercise.

Foé's death caused a profound shock. Numerous tributes to his joyous personality and infectious humour were expressed in the media. Also Thierry Henry and other players pointed to the sky in tribute to Foé after Henry had opened the scoring against Turkey in France's Confederations Cup semi-final that evening.[24]

Tribute plaque at the City of Manchester Stadium

It was suggested that the Confederations Cup and the Stade Gerland could have been renamed after him, and Manchester City manager Kevin Keegan announced that the club would no longer use the number 23 shirt Foé wore during his successful season there. At Manchester City's former ground, Maine Road, there is a small memorial to him in the stadium's memorial garden, and on the walls of the players' tunnel are plaques paid for by supporters, with their names, dubbed the Walk of Pride. The first plaque on the wall is for Marc and reads "Marc Vivien Foé – 1975–2003". His first club (Lens) has given his name to an avenue near the Félix Bollaert Stadium. Foé was given a state funeral in Cameroon.[1] Lens decided to withdraw the number 17 shirt that Foé wore during five years.

Lyon also decided to withdraw the number 17 shirt that Foé wore a year before when he played in Stade de Gerland with the Lyon team. People in Lyon were shocked as he had received a warm welcome on his return to the stadium. However, when the transfer of fellow Cameroonian Jean II Makoun to Lyon, the number 17 shirt was used by Makoun, who stated on wearing the number: "In memory of Marc, for me and for the whole Cameroon, this will be for something."

Prior to the kick-off of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup final between United States and Brazil, his son, then fourteen years old, gave a brief speech in memory of his father.

Career statistics

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
France League Coupe de France Coupe de la Ligue Europe Total
1994–95 Lens Division 1 15 3 15 3
1995–96 19 2 19 2
1996–97 28 2 28 2
1997–98 18 2 0 0 18 2
1998–99 5 2 1 0 6 2
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
1998–99 West Ham United FA Premier League 13 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 0
1999–2000 25 1 1 0 3 0 3 1 32 2
France League Coupe de France Coupe de la Ligue Europe Total
2000–01 Lyon Division 1 25 1 3 0 3 0 8 1 39 2
2001–02 18 2 0 0 0 0 8 0 26 2
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
2002–03 Manchester City FA Premier League 35 9 1 0 2 0 0 0 38 9
Country France 128 14 3 0 3 0 1 0 151 17
England 73 10 2 0 5 0 19 2 83 11
Total 201 24 5 0 8 0 20 2 234 28
Cameroon national team
Year Apps Goals
1993 4 0
1994 6 0
1995 2 1
1996 4 0
1997 6 0
1998 5 0
1999 2 0
2000 8 3
2001 9 2
2002 14 2
2003 4 0
Total 64 8

International goals

Scores and results list Cameroon's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 24 December 1995 Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo, Yaoundé  Liberia 1–0 1–0 Friendly
2. 22 January 2000 Accra Sports Stadium, Accra  Ghana 1–0 1–1 2000 African Cup of Nations
3. 6 February 2000 Accra Sports Stadium, Accra  Algeria 2–0 2–1 2000 African Cup of Nations
4. 19 April 2000 Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo, Yaoundé  Somalia 2–0 3–0 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
5. 1 July 2001 Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo, Yaoundé  Togo 2–0 2–0 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
6. 14 July 2001 Independence Stadium, Lusaka  Zambia 1–0 2–2 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
7. 7 January 2002 Stade du 4-Août, Ouagadougou  Burkina Faso 1–0 3–1 Friendly
8. 7 February 2002 Stade 26 mars, Bamako  Mali 3–0 3–0 2002 African Cup of Nations







See also


  1. ^ a b Martin Etonge (7 July 2003). "State funeral for Foe". BBC Sport. Retrieved 16 December 2007. 
  2. ^ "Thousands follow Foe to burial". Rediff. 8 July 2003. Retrieved 16 December 2007. 
  3. ^ "La fiche de Marc-Vivien Foé" (in French). L'Equipe. Retrieved 16 December 2007. 
  4. ^ "Marc-Vivien Foe Factbox". CNN. Retrieved 16 December 2007. 
  5. ^ "World Cup 1994". RSSSF. Retrieved 16 December 2007. 
  6. ^ Glanville, Brian (2005). The Story of the World Cup. London: Faber and Faber. p. 343.  
  7. ^ a b Brian Glanville (28 June 2003). "Marc-Vivien Foé". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 3 October 2008. 
  8. ^ Glanville, The Story of the World Cup, p 344.
  9. ^ a b "La vie de Marc Vivien Foé". Bonaberi. Retrieved 16 December 2007. 
  10. ^ Metcalf, Rupert; Nixon, Alan (19 May 1998). "Football: Lens want United to dig deep for Foe". The Independent (London). Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  11. ^ "Foe's World Cup dream ends with broken leg". The Independent. Retrieved 16 December 2007. 
  12. ^ Keogh, Frank (27 June 2003). "Fans unite in Foe grief". BBC Sport. Retrieved 16 December 2007. 
  13. ^ a b Glanville, Brian (28 June 2003). "Marc-Vivien Foé". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  14. ^ Rowbottom, Mike (21 November 1999). "Wednesday undone by Di Canio". London:  
  15. ^ Isaacs, Mark (30 September 1999). "Hammers ease ahead on cruise control". London:  
  16. ^ "Summer signings". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 12 August 2000. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  17. ^ "Marc-Vivien Foe". ESPN. Retrieved 3 October 2008. 
  18. ^ "Foe signs for City". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 16 December 2007. 
  19. ^ "Sunderland 0 Manchester City 3". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 16 December 2007. 
  20. ^ "Foe: Career on two continents". BBC Sport. 26 June 2003. Retrieved 16 December 2007. 
  21. ^ a b "Cameroon star Foe dies". BBC Sport. 26 June 2003. Retrieved 5 January 2008. 
  22. ^ "Footballer Foe dies during game". London: Guardian. 26 June 2003. Retrieved 5 January 2008. 
  23. ^ "Autopsy reveals Foe died of heart problem". CNN. Retrieved 5 January 2008. 
  24. ^ "France 3–2 Turkey". BBC Sport. 26 June 2003. Retrieved 26 September 2009. 
  25. ^ Marc-Vivien Foé at
  26. ^

External links

  • History, stats and pictures of Marc-Vivien FOE
  • Marc Vivien FOE : Actualité
  • Marc-Vivien Foe: The Most Indomitable of Lions (Just Football)
  • Marc-Vivien Foé career statistics at Soccerbase
  • A Tribute to Marc-Vivien Foe: 5 Years On
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