Chris Eagles Hopes to Launch Charity After Losing Child

  • March 10, 2016 | By Chris Mann
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Former Bolton player Chris Eagles hopes to establish his own maternity charity, after losing son Mason during his girlfriend's pregnancy.

Eagles, who represented Wanderers between 2011 and 2014, has struggled to rebuild his career since departing Macron Stadium and is currently training with Bury's academy players after falling out with first-team manager David Flitcroft over ongoing injury and fitness problems.

For all his problems on the field, they are nothing in comparison to life away from the game. Eagles and his girlfriend, Danielle, discovered their unborn baby had passed away 28 weeks into pregnancy last summer, leaving the couple with the unbearable situation of giving birth to a stillborn child.

With a baby girl expected in two months' time, Eagles and his girlfriend have found light at the end of the tunnel but the one-time Manchester United footballer admits the experience of previous events have left mental scars and he hopes to raise awareness of an ongoing and often undocumented experience by creating his own charity in his son's memory.

"To find out we were having our own child was magical," Eagles told The Sun.

"It was something I was ready for. We found out it was a boy which as a man was a special feeling.

"We had the cot, we had the furniture, we had the clothes, we had already planned a holiday which would have been his first holiday because we were out the danger zone of 12 weeks.

"Then all of sudden we got back from a holiday in Greece where I had been working on my fitness as I was without a club, and Dan said he wasn't kicking. Then she was going to hospital.

"The lady told us 'he's got no heartbeat'. So I thought, 'right, get it started again'. And she just said 'no'.

"I didn't have a clue and I was trying to support her. I didn't understand.

"We went up to the the Snowdrop Suite at Wythenshawe Hospital. It literally went from Thursday when Dan was 28 weeks pregnant to a few days later when we were planning a funeral for our child.

"Before he came out, I got a reverend to do a blessing and then afterwards Dan gave birth to him and we had a christening just with us and our parents.

"Then we had to sign a consent form to perform a full post mortem which took eight weeks for the results to come back. It came back unexplained which makes it even harder.

"He had been perfect throughout until then. I know everyone has problems but it just left you feeling 'why us?'

"When Dan gave birth she was exhausted and had had gas and air so was sleeping. Next door I had him in a Moses basket and it was like you forgot he wasn't with us.

"And for that first few hours, it was like a family.

"We spent about three days with him in this room. And the worse thing for me was seeing her with him and she was apologising to him. The way she mothered him just broke my heart. It ripped me inside.

"The hardest thing I've done was walking down the aisle at the crematorium, holding his tiny coffin in my hands.

"I walked him in front of all my family from the South. We had Audra Mae, 'Forever Young', on. I was numb.

"That was harder than walking out in front of 70,000 at Old Trafford at 17. I could do that myself because that was a confidence barrier - but doing that with my son, I didn't know what to do.

"It's something I would never wish on anyone. But it's just a proud thing now, and that's why I have Mason on my boots.

"It's made me realise that with my football, I don't care where I play, I just want to play and show people that it's not all about the materialistic stuff, it's about putting on a pair of boots and playing.

"In football, we are in such a bubble, we don't talk about these things. We need to."

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