Last spring, Fabrice Muamba was given the gift of a second chance at life. For Christmas, he warmed the hearts of football fans everywhere.
Muamba, the 24-year-old former Bolton Wanderers midfielder, performed a spirited salsa dance routine on the Christmas special of the British television show Strictly Come Dancing, which aired Tuesday in the United Kingdom.
Tuesday was Christmas, and Muamba's gift to anyone and everyone was his mere presence on the dance floor. As most will recall, Muamba was forced to retire in August after suffering a cardiac arrest on the pitch during an FA Cup quarterfinal match between Bolton and Tottenham Hotspur in March.
As widespread reports revealed at the time, Muamba was "in effect dead" for 78 minutes on the pitch (via BBC Sport). Back among the living, the former England Under-21 international wowed TV audiences with his moves on Tuesday.
The video of Muamba's salsa dance with partner Aliona Vilani can be seen above. The clip serves as our Set Piece Video of the Day for this Boxing Day Wednesday. Enjoy, and if you celebrate Christmas, take a moment to reflect on what life brought your way—both good and bad—in 2012.
Muamba didn't win the competition. That honor went to Jonathan "J.B." Gill and partner Ola Jordan. But Muamba later revealed he could participate in a full series—or, as we say in America, a season—of the show.
From the Daily Mirror:
It all depends on what else is going on. I am very busy and we will just have to see.
Two weeks ago, I couldn’t perform ballroom dancing but now I can. I’ve really enjoyed doing the Strictly Christmas special. It was a lot of fun.
I want to use what happened to me and turn it into something positive. You have to get up and go in life. Stopping football is not the end of the world.
That's a message we can all appreciate this winter.