The world of football has certainly been given a stark reminder that despite being elite sportsmen, their health can still not be taken for granted.

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The football world was left shocked after Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba, 24, suffered a heart attack during a game in March, while in Italy Livorno midfielder Piermario Morosini collapsed and died during a match aged just 25.

Yesterday Norwich City defender Adam Drury gave his support to an Anglia Stroke and Heart Network event in The Mall Norwich, with those thoughts still fresh in his mind.

He said: “It’s a shame it takes a shock like that to get everyone to realise but that’s opened our eyes that sometimes it doesn’t matter how fit you are, you have to keep on checking.

“There was the London Marathon lady who lost her life recently as well so it doesn’t matter how well you take care of yourself, you have to be aware of the signs and symptoms.”

The campaign is aimed at reminding people how to recognise signs of a stroke or ‘mini stroke’, using the FAST message.

The acronym stands for Face, has their face fallen on one side? Can they smile? Arms, can they raise both arms and keep them there? Speech, Is their speech slurred? and Time, time to call 999 if you see any one of these signs.

There was also an opportunity for visitors to have their blood pressure and pulse checked, and to learn how to prevent a stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA).

Mr Drury added: “It’s a good cause. It’s one of those things maybe people don’t think about too much at any age so anything you can do to test and prevent it is a great idea.

“I’ve had family members who have had scares, nothing too serious thankfully, so if we can make the public more aware and help people to save people then that’s obviously a good thing.”

- Are you holding an event in Norwich? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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