Marc-Vivien Foe was born on May 1, 1975 in Yaoundé, Cameroon. He began his playing career with local side Canon Yaoundé, before going on to play for Lens, West Ham and Lyon. He joined Manchester City in the summer of 2002, as the Blues paid £550,000 to take him on a season long loan, with a view to a permenent transfer.
Foe scored a creditable 9 goals in his 35 appearances for the Blues, including the last ever goal scored at Maine Road by a City player in a 3-0 victory over Sunderland. His performances divided City fans to some extent, but he put in a number of impressive performances for the club, including a 2-2 draw away at Charlton in which he scored both goals, and the aforementioned win against Sunderland. City were looking to make his deal permanent at the end of the 2002/03 season.
Tragically, his life was cut short when he passed away whilst gaining his 64th cap for his country, in a Confederations Cup semi-final against Columbia. In the 72nd minute Foe collapsed in the centre circle, and medics spent 45 minutes trying to resuscitate him but he died shortly after arriving at hospital. An autopsy revealed hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and concluded that his death was heart related. His death had a profound effect on the footballing world. Tearful French players saluted the sky in tribute to Foe during the Confederations Cup finals, days after he had passed away, and City officially retired the number 23 shirt in his honour. He is survived by his wife and three children.
"Marc was not only a special footballer but a very special person. You only have to look at the range of tributes that have come in to realise the regard and respect in which his fellow professionals held him. We will all miss his smile and his personality. Nothing was ever too much trouble for him and he was the ultimate professional, loved by everyone. He never gave this club less than 100 per cent and was a big factor in us finishing ninth in the table. He only missed two games all season - and one of those was to be at the birth of his new baby - and won the fans over. We are all distraught. Our hearts go out to Marc's young family and Manchester City will do all we can for them at this terrible time. I felt it was a privilege to work with him for the past year and we were still in the process of trying to negotiate a deal that would have made him a City player."
"Our fans thought the world of him. He was a great guy to have around the club ... everyone loved him. He was a really, really nice guy. You could not meet a better professional. He never gave anyone an ounce of trouble. Typically he was going to spend his summer teaching youngsters the game back in France. We gave him a few days off at the end of the season so he could go back for the birth of his daughter and when he returned he just couldn't stop smiling. He will go down in history as the last City player to score at Maine Road. We are devastated. Marco made an excellent contribution to our successful return to the Premiership last season and was very highly regarded by his fellow players. We will all miss him."
"Marco was a very private person though he wasn't adverse to saying something when it needed saying. He was one of the most genuine, likeable blokes you could ever meet, and I think I speak for all the lads when I say that. You could say he was a gentle giant. He was an incredibly strong bloke and a great athlete but he had a great caring side too. Marco looked out for all the kids both on and off the pitch. Everyone liked him and that is unusual in a dressing room. You will not find anyone with anything but good things to say about him. We will all miss him."
"He was intelligent, articulate, fun, relaxed, just great to be with. He was a powerful player the sort of player who gave you great confidence on the pitch."