03/18/2013 09:45 EDT | Updated 05/18/2013 05:12 EDT

FA marks anniversary of Muamba's collapse by making 900 defibrillators available to clubs

LONDON - The English Football Association marked the anniversary of Fabrice Muamba's on-field cardiac arrest Monday by making 900 defibrillators available to non-league and women's top-level clubs across the country.

Muamba survived even though his heart stopped beating on its own for 78 minutes following his collapse while playing for Bolton in an FA Cup match against Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

A year on, the FA has launched an initiative, costing 1.2 million pounds ($1.8 million), in conjunction with the British Heart Foundation that will create "(thousands) of life-savers by giving players, staff and fans access to the equipment and information," including advice on hands-only resuscitation techniques.

"This is a chance to equip many of our football clubs with the life-saving skills and equipment which will improve this country's very poor cardiac arrest survival rates," it said.

Muamba was forced to retire from football five months after the heart attack and his story has touched the football world — he is expected to be given an ambassadorial role with FIFA.

"Last year today my world nearly ended today i'm alive and loving life," Muamba said in a post on Twitter on Sunday. "Thank you all for love and support. God bless you all. (hashtag)stillstanding ."

The FA, the BHF and clubs are investing 400,000 pounds each for the venture, which will provide defibrillators for teams in the Women's Super League and men's fifth-tier leagues downwards who can't afford the equipment.