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Saturday, January 19, 2008
Ex-Birmingham player suffers heart attack on pitch

REIMS, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Former Birmingham City player Marco Randriana is recovering in hospital after suffering a heart attack during a Ligue 2 match with his Niort club in Sedan, a Reims hospital spokesman said on Saturday.

The 24-year-old midfielder collapsed in the 23rd minute of the game on Friday night. Medical staff rushed to his side and used a defibrillator.

'They probably saved his life. He recovered consciousness in the ambulance during his transfer to the Reims hospital. He is now in stable condition but will stay under observation in the emergency ward for a few days,' the spokesman said.

There have been a number of high-profile deaths related to heart ailments in football in recent years.

Sevilla midfielder Antonio Puerta, one of Spain's most promising young players, died last August three days after collapsing during a Primera Liga match.

Cameroon's Marc-Vivien Foe collapsed and died during a Confederations Cup match in 2003.

Among the other victims were Miklos Feher of Benfica in January 2004, Sao Caetano defender Serginho in October the same year and Hugo Cunha of Uniao Leiria in Portugal in 2005.

Motherwell midfielder Phil O'Donnell died last month after collapsing towards the end of a Scottish Premier League match against Dundee United.

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