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Last Updated: Friday, 27 June, 2003, 14:13 GMT 15:13 UK
Fans unite in Foe grief
Football fans across the world have united in paying tribute to Marc-Vivien Foe, who died suddenly on Thursday.

By Frank Keogh
BBC Sport and West Ham supporter

Hammers fans had a glimpse of what might have been when wheeler-dealer boss Harry Redknapp snapped up Marc-Vivien Foe in January 1999.

Paolo Di Canio and Marc-Vivien Foe
Foe is fondly remembered by West Ham fans

The fee of 4.2m was a club record, but appeared cash well spent as West Ham finished fifth in the Premiership.

Foe brought a badly-needed commanding central presence alongside the fancy tricks of players such as Joe Cole and Trevor Sinclair.

And best of all, he almost signed for Manchester United months earlier before a broken leg shattered that dream. This was a player in demand.

Foe's no-nonsense approach brought him two red cards and 14 yellows in his short spell with West Ham.

But he will be remembered for his part in Paolo di Canio's wonder strike against Wimbledon. Foe played in Sinclair who crossed for the Italian to ram home his majestic goal of the season.

Foe should have scored more himself, but his two Hammers goals did include one in Europe, on the Intertoto Cup run which secured a Uefa Cup place.

Redknapp wanted to retain the Cameroon star, but his move to Lyon made financial sense, with Frederic Kanoute coming in the opposite direction.

Although some members of the E13 jury were still out after his 14-month stint, Foe was a popular character and his death will have saddened supporters.

By Martin Etonge
BBC Sport, Yaounde

Thanks to a special relationship with the then head coach Pierre Lechantre, I was able to come very close to the team during the 2000 Nations Cup finals in Ghana and Nigeria.

It was only then that I managed to talk to Marc-Vivien Foe. It was seven years after he joined the Lions and six years after I started work.

First I wanted to know how could he be so excellent and yet so reserved.

He responded: "My strength is my calmness. I believe you are at your best when you are discrete and calm".

Marc-Vivien Foe
Foe was the consumate professional

That answer summaries the life of the player.

Never noticeable except on the pitch. Scant interviews, never raising his voice, even during training sessions.

As a staunch Roman Catholic Christian, Foe believed that without God he was nothing.

His belief made him charitable. Without publicity, he donated money and gifts to the needy.

Never in the night clubs where other team mates splashed out their wealth and engaged in excesses.

His death reminds me that good things never last.

By Chris Bevan
BBC Sport and Man City fan

City fans recognised Marc Vivien Foe's presence in midfield played a big part in helping re-establish us as a Premiership side last season.

Despite being inconsistent at times, the general feeling was if he played well, the team did too.

More importantly his enthusiasm and passion for the game meant bucket-loads to us - and obviously to his team-mates as well.

As well as being strong defensively, he enjoyed a purple-patch in front of goal midway through the season - and always looked a player with more to offer - which is why he would have been welcomed back this summer.

Kevin Keegan would have signed him already if it wasn't for Lyon's 6m asking price - as it is he will be sorely missed by all in Manchester.




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC News' Richard Bilton
"Manchester City are to retire Foe's number 23 shirt as a mark of respect"


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