Fabrice Muamba's nightmare year has turned to joy as he married his fiancee, Shauna Magunda, who stood by him throughout the heart problems that ended his football career.
The 24-year-old former Bolton star married Shauna in a fairytale wedding in a stunning castle in Cheshire.
Thierry Henry flew in from New York to be Muamba's best man at the lavish affair, while among the other footballers invited were Robin van Persie, Andy Cole and all his former Bolton team-mates, according to reports in the Daily Mirror and Daily Mail.
But the guest of honour at the do was Dr Andrew Deaner, the cardiologist who ran onto the pitch at White Hart Lane and saved the midfielder's life with his quick thinking. Several other of the medical team who saved his life were also present.
The stunning venue was Peckforton Castle, between Chester and Crewe, a magnificent, sprawling 19th century building in medieval style designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, the legendary Victorian architect who created St Pancras Station.
The dozens of guests feasted on Caribbean food provided by a Manchester-based caterer, which included curried goat and jerk chicken.
Muamba had asked 27-year-old Shauna to marry him on Valentine's Day, just a few weeks before he suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch in an FA Cup clash against Tottenham at White Hart Lane.
Despite being effectively dead for 78 minutes, the player managed to pull through with Shauna at his side throughout, and her inspirational messages of hope and thanks via Twitter touched millions of fans around the world.
The pair met in 2006 while Muamba was on loan at Birmingham and Shauna was studying for her Masters. They have been together ever since, and have a three-year-old son, Joshua.
And though they had originally planned to wait a while before getting married, the Congo-born player's brush with death convinced him to bring it forward.
"Since Fabrice almost died, he didn't want to waste one moment," a friend of the player's told the Daily Star. "It looked as if the wedding was going to be a little way off, but he decided he didn't want to wait.''
The Bridal Suite at Peckforton Castle that awaited Fabrice and Shauna on Sunday (www.peckfortoncastle.co.uk)
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