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Fabrice Muamba has sensationally revealed Thierry Henry used to hand out free Playstations and Nike gear to the young players.
One of Arsenal's most decorated footballers, Henry is the Gunners' all-time leading scorer, having racked up a staggering 228 goals across his two stints in north London. Finishing as runner-up in the 2003 Ballon d'Or, the Frenchman was one of the first players inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame and is celebrated with a statue outside the Emirates Stadium.
Yet, despite netting more than 20 Premier League goals in five consecutive seasons, Henry never forgot to look out for the next generation of Arsenal stars. Fabrice Muamba made only two appearances for the Gunners, but the ex-academy ace only has high words for the Invincibles squad.
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"Thierry Henry and Ashley [Cole] would look after the young players and make you feel at home. Thierry always looked after young players. He would sort you out," Muamba told William Hill’s Stripped podcast.
"Back then, he was one of the top five players in the world, and he would get a lot of free stuff from his sponsors. Sometimes he would have a whole box of Nike gear or a PlayStation and say you can have it.
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"Ashley came through the academy, so he always looked out for the young academy players. He even put on our Christmas do and made sure it was good."
Later turning out for Birmingham City and Bolton Wanderers, Muamba's career was brought to an abrupt halt in 2012 when he suffered a cardiac arrest in an FA Cup quarter-final clash with Tottenham Hotspur and was immediately rushed to hospital.
Accompanied by Bolton manager Owen Coyle and club captain Kevin Davies in the ambulance, Muamba's heart stopped for a total of 78 minutes but thankfully the midfielder was able to make a full recovery.
During his time at the London Chest Hospital, Arsenal supporters showed their support for Muamba, raising a banner displaying his name and face during a 3-0 home win over Aston Villa.
Muamba accepted the recommendation from medical professionals to hang up his boots in 2012. He now works as an academy coach at Bolton.
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- Arsenal FC
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