ARSENAL and England “lionheart’ Tony Adams has disclosed that he underwent a life-saving heart operation …after he felt pain in his chest whilst exercising in Azerbaijan
Mail Online reported that Adams, who played for the Gunners between 1983 and 2002, immediately alerted medical staff at Gabala – the club he managed during the 2010-11 season – before being rushed to hospital.
Adams, who battled alcoholism during his peak years as a top-class player, is now recovering from his surgery and shared details of his experience and the care he received in a statement.
Adams wrote: “After feeling some acute chest pain whilst exercising in Azerbaijan, and liaising with Gabala Club doctors, I went to The Medical Plaza Hospital in Baku where I was admitted for an angiogram, and then following diagnosis of a severely blocked vein, an immediate angioplasty.
“The brilliant surgeons at the Medical Plaza did a fantastic job – as has been reiterated to me by my cardiologist in the UK. I know full well that without the brilliance of Dr Uzeyir Rahimov and his team I would not be alive now: a minor heart operation saved my life.
“I can’t begin to thank Tale Heydarov and all at Gabala Football Club,as well as the Cardiac Unit at the Medical Plaza Baku enough.
“I would just like to say that if you, like me, have a history of heart disease in your family and you feel chest pains, get yourself to the doctor’s now.”
That Adams reacted the way he did to his illness – and has pulled through – will not surpise many of his legion of fans who watched him fashion a great career for club and country despite battling the bottle for some time during his long spell at Arsenal.
Adams, who is the sports director at Gabala Club after an 18-month spell managing the first-team, spent his entire 22-year playing career at Arsenal, winning three Premier League titles, the First Division title, three FA Cups, two League Cups and the European Cup Winners’ Cup.
A no-nonsense central defender, Adams made a total of 669 appearances for the north London side and also won 66 caps for England between 1987 and 2000.
He captained his country on 15 occasions and played at Euro 88, Euro 96 and the 1998 World Cup, scoring five goals in total.
After hanging up his boots at the end of the 2001-02 season, Adams’ first job in management arrived in November 2003 when he was appointed boss of League One side Wycombe Wanderers.