Published: 18 April 2013
Manchester City is in your blood.
It's a strange thing to say when you think about it, but ask any City fan and they'd likely say something along those lines.
I've been a City fan for as long as I can remember; there was no one else in my household who was, but I was drawn to them, even whilst living under the shadow of Old Trafford in the 70s.
Naturally, it is my duty to pass on my 'blood' to my family, and this I have done. I now live in Germany, and I am married to a German, and she is now a fully fledged City fan, as, too, is our 11 year old son, Sam.
And this is where #RememberFoeOn23 comes in.
Our son has Aspergers. It's in the autistic spectrum. I won't bore you with the details of this condition, just that his brain is wired differently to most other people.
On Saturday night he was reading about City online. He does this often, taking in as much information about the club's history as possible (usually ending with a gazillion questions for me to answer the next day), only that night he stumbled across Marc-Vivien Foe's Wiki page.
"Papa, Papa, we must get the fans to applaud Foe!"
If the truth be known, I had forgotten that it will be ten years since his tragic passing on the 26th June 2003 at just 28 years old. I'd have probably remembered/been reminded eventually, but by then it may have been too late.
Foe was on International duty for Cameroon, in France that day. By the 9th minute they were 1up by virtue of a Ndiefi goal. But it was the 72nd minute that everyone would remember.
There was no one near him as he collapsed to the ground in the centre-circle. More than 45 minutes were spent by the medical staff trying to revive him using just mouth-to-mouth and oxygen.
A second autopsy revealed hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a hereditary condition that could, with intense physical exercise, cause a heart attack. Last year the exact same thing happened to Fabrice Muamba, fortunately for him defibrillators were on hand, and his life, thankfully was saved.
Foe wasn't technically a City player, but the club and fans as one mourned the on-loan player from Lyon. His shirt number of 23 was permenantly retired, and later in the Etihad Stadium tunnel a plaque was fitted to the wall (if you ever go on the stadium tour, they make a point of pointing it out).
By the Lyon stadium a street was renamed after him, and Cameroon gave him a State funeral.
Prior to all of this in 1999, West Ham United paid a club record £4.2 million for him, before moving back to France in 2000.
I mention his stay at West Ham, because the Hammers fans loved him just as much as we did.
My son had suggested that we gave him tribute at Wembley, and initially I thought that this was a wonderful idea, as we could not have done it on the true ten year anniversary; an International stadium broadcast to the whole World. I even went on Twitter and spread the idea and so many RT'd it. But I should have thought on it for a few. We were not the only ones who lost a great one on June 26th.
On the 27th April, City host West Ham United in the league. How fitting would it be to have the entire stadium applaud and celebrate Foe's life for one minute in the 23rd?
I am here to ask you all to spread the word amongst your fellow Citizens and Hammers fans. Many of you will not be aware, but there was to be a City v Lyon/West Ham XI game but for reasons unknown it was cancelled. That would have been a fitting tribute, but now we as fans, together, can perform our own.