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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, this touched me.... :angel:

While Markus Babbel was thinking Guillain-Barre syndrome was going to kill him, Liverpool were offering him a new contract and now he wants to repay the Anfield club.

The German defender was struck down by the life-thrteatening illness earlier in the season and was soon reduced to a wheelchair - unable to even walk or close his eyes for a week as his muscles seized up.

But now after returning to light training, the defender aims to repay Gerard Houllier's faith in him on the pitch.

"I would like to thank the club for standing by me," insisted Babbel who also thanked users of this website for sending him more than a thousand get-well soon message via our message boards. "Despite his own health problems, Gerard Houllier rang me two or three times a week. "I now have to give back something to this club who have given me so much. The best way is for me to return on the pitch. The first time I kicked a ball again in training, it travelled only five metres.

"Now my muscles are OK and I am building up power. I will only take one week's holiday. I want to be involved in pre-season training from the start.

"Always in my mind I knew I would come back. I knew all the time that this illness would not stop me. I just kept thinking... I want to play at Anfield again. I want to play for this beautiful club... the best in the world. That was my target, my motivation."

9,967 Posts
Arthro Enas said:
"I would like to thank the club for standing by me," insisted Babbel who also thanked users of this website for sending him more than a thousand get-well soon message via our message boards.
He is talking about us right?:)

Saw him in the stands against Derby. Hopefully GH will give him a 5 minute run-out at the end of the game against (possibly already relegated) Ipswich.

If Liverpool were to win the League, I am sure someone will be more than willing to share his winner's medal with Babbel.:)


Premier Player
5,940 Posts
Hear Hear!! :)

I'm delighted he's back to normal again.. and he seems to be enjoying himself.. the camera kept bringing him on the screen in the Derby game.. :)

Here's an article to show what Babbel has been through..

Priest visit had Babbel fearing for his life

Sunday 21st April 2002

Liverpool defender Markus Babbel has revealed that he feared he would die after contracting Guillain-Barre. Bayern Munich forward Paulo Sergio brought a priest with him when he visited the German, who is hoping to return at the start of next season.

Babbel revealed: "Paulo Sergio, my old team-mate at Bayern Munich, is very religious. He turned up with a priest to offer prayers. It was a nice gesture but I looked up and thought: 'F***ing hell, I could die tomorrow'.

"I had never heard of this illness before. I thought I would be up in two days, fine in a few weeks — then the letters started to arrive. I read things like: 'I have been in hospital for one year...' or 'I have been ill for two years...'

"There were 300 from Germany alone. As I read the stories I began to think: what's happening to me?"

Babbel, 29, is now hopeful that he can resurrect that career at the start of next season as he is continuing to recover from the debilitating syndrome.

He realised that something was seriously wrong when he had to be taken off at half-time of Liverpool's game against Bolton in August 2001 because he hardly had enough energy to move.

He went to Germany for tests, which revealed that he was suffering from the rare Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Babbel is 70 per cent fit now and ready to make his comeback at the start of next season.

But he can also remember the first time he kicked a ball after weeks in rehabilitation: "It went five metres - about as far as a little child could kick" - and when Liverpool coaching duo Phil Thompson and Sammy Lee came to see him.

He said: "I lost all my muscles, all my energy. I could see the look on the faces of my friends as they came into the room. I knew they were thinking: 'F***ing hell - what's happened to you?'

"Phil and Sammy saw how bad I looked but I told them not to come again. If someone has flown all the way from England it's rude to say after just ten minutes: 'Right - go now.' But that was how it had to be.

"I had no feeling in the bottom half of my legs, so I couldn't walk. I had to phone if I wanted to go to the toilet, and sit in the wheelchair for any trip that was more than a little way.

"My mouth went funny, it drooped. I could speak but I couldn't close my eyes for a week," he told the News of the World.

But the former Bayern Munich and Germany defender is still remarkably upbeat: He said: "I've had a lot of luck in my life - but you can't live every day in the sunshine. Sometimes you need the rain to appreciate it. When I come back, I will be stronger."
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