I’m lucky to be alive after my heart scare in Azerbaijan

‘very frightened’

Former Arsenal and England captain reveals doctor told him ‘We have a b-e-e-e-e-g problem’ before he underwent cardiac surgery in 2015

FORMER England and Arsenal captain TONY ADAMS reveals his horror at finding he had two blocked arteries, in his new autobiography Sober.

IT began in the run-up to the Dortmund game [at home at FC Gabala in Azerbaijan] in October 2015.

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Tony Adams during his time at FC Gabala in Azerbaijan

I had played a long game of tennis and started to feel pain around my right shoulder.

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After some blood tests, I was given an angiogram at 11am. I was tense and confused, but holding it together.

Soon, the doctor told me I would be going down to theatre and I grew frightened.

Very frightened. The camera was inserted through my arm and I could see pictures of it going across the chest.

‘Mr Adams,’ my doctor said in a serious tone. ‘B-e-e-e-e-g problem.’

Tony AdamsSober: Football; My Story, My Life

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Tony Adams worked as a coach in Azerbaijan from 2011 to 2012

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Tony Adams coaches from the dugout for Gabala in Azerbaijan in 2011

Dr Rahimov said he had to leave the room to consult with a colleague. When he came back, he didn’t pull any punches.

“Mr Adams,” he said in a serious tone. “B-e-e-e-e-g problem.”

“Big problem? Oh my God,” I thought.

“You are a very lucky man,” he added. I didn’t feel that way.

I was getting chest pains because my heart was not getting the blood through that it should have been pumping.

I later found out two of the arteries were blocked, one a dangerous 99 per cent and one 70 per cent, almost as dangerous.

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Tony Adams has had two spells for Gabala in Azerbaijan

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Tony Adams is currently working as Granada manager in Spain’s La Liga

Tony Adams’ new autobiography Sober

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Tony Adams lifts the FA Cup for Arsenal in 2002
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As I would realise when I came round properly – and in speaking to people in the coming weeks – I had indeed been a very lucky man.

The procedure took between 10 and 20 minutes and I was part-amazed, part-relieved and part-emotional as I watched the screen on which the camera was recording it all.

Soon, the red blotches had gone and the white area that resembled cotton wool was a red line, which meant the blood was flowing properly again.

Then I was back in a wheelchair being returned to my room, waving the cardiologist goodbye and thanking him.


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