Football unites to show support for Muamba but Bolton star remains in 'critical' condition after heart attack at White Hart Lane
19:17 GMT, 18 March 2012
The football world remained united in hope for stricken Bolton player Fabrice Muamba today.
As it was revealed Muamba will spend at least another 24 hours in intensive care after medical staff took two hours to get the 23-year-old's heart beating on its own following his collapse during an FA Cup quarter-final with Tottenham yesterday, former team-mate Gary Cahill led the tributes.
Cahill was a team-mate of Muamba's for two-and-a-half years before leaving Bolton for Chelsea in January. The bond between the pair remains strong and after scoring in Chelsea's FA Cup win over Leicester at Stamford Bridge, Cahill revealed a T-shirt with the message 'Pray 4 Muamba' printed on it.
Sombre: Owen Coyle (left) and Bolton chairman Phil Gartside (right) speak outside London Chest Hospital on Sunday
Sombre: Bolton boss Coyle arrives hospital to visit Muamba on Sunday afternoon
It is a message that has been repeated by so many over the past 24 hours as concern for Muamba's condition continued. Supporters at Wolves' home game with Manchester United combined in a minute's applause before kick-off.
A detailed statement, released jointly by Bolton and the London Chest Hospital this lunchtime, brought good news in the sense that Muamba's heart was working again.
'Fabrice Muamba remains in a critical condition in intensive care in the Heart Attack Centre at The London Chest Hospital,' read the statement. 'He was admitted to the hospital yesterday evening after collapsing at White Hart Lane, where he sustained a cardiac arrest during the FA Cup Quarter Final against Tottenham Hotspur.
Pray for Muamba: Gary Cahill celebrates his goal with a message for his former Bolton team-mate
Respect: Manchester United players took part in a 30-second applause ahead of their match against Wolves at Molineux
Applause: John Terry and Frank Lampard lead Chelsea's support for Muamba
'Fabrice received prolonged resuscitation at the ground and en route to The London Chest Hospital, where his heart eventually started working.
'As is normal medical practice, Fabrice remains anaesthetised in intensive care and will be for at least 24 hours.
'His condition continues to be closely monitored by the cardiac specialists at the hospital.'
Vigil: Jermain Defoe and his mother Sandra visited Muamba at the hospital in east London
Show of support: Bolton Wanderers club doctor Jonathan Tobin (R) and defender Tyrone Mears (L) arrive with other team officials at the London Chest Hospital on Sunday morning
As a steady stream of supporters headed to the Reebok Stadium to lay flowers and offer their support to Muamba, the former Arsenal and Birmingham player was visited by members of his family this morning and Bolton officials and players, including manager Owen Coyle, and other famous footballing names later.
Coyle had accompanied the midfielder to hospital yesterday along with club captain Kevin Davies.
'From our end, and on behalf of the family, we want to say a big thanks to everyone,' said Coyle this afternoon. 'We have been inundated by good messages, everyone praying for Fabrice which is very important.
Shock: Owen Coyle and players from both sides show their concern for Fabrice Muamba
'It has been a real source of strength for the family. We know how difficult a time it is for everyone.
'I can't really quantify it (the support). It has been incredible, not just from the football world, from everyone.
'It is great to be talented at football but it's more important to be a genuinely nice man and everyone recognises Fabrice is that. That has pulled everyone together.
Liverpool fans in the Kop display their get well messages before the club's FA Cup tie against Stoke
Get well soon: Bolton fans have shown their support outside the club's Reebok Stadium home
'We certainly hope he comes through this. If he pulls through it would be marvellous, it really would.'
The Premier League have quickly agreed to Bolton's request for Tuesday's planned encounter with Aston Villa at Villa Park to be postponed. No new date has been confirmed and it is still not clear when last night's game will be played.
Bolton's next game is due to be in the Premier League, against local rivals and relegation scrappers Blackburn, at home on Saturday, although no decision will be made until much later in the week about whether that match can proceed.
Shrine: Well wishers have flocked to the Reebok Stadium to leave get well messages for Muamba
Well-wishers: Bolton fans have been leaving shirts and scarves outside the stadium to show their support
'It was the right decision to abandon the game,' said Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp. 'Everybody was in a state of shock and it wouldn't have been right to carry on.
'Football is the last thing on anyone's mind when an awful situation such as this happens. All we are thinking about now is Fabrice and his family.'
Referee Howard Webb, whose prompt actions last night, in addition to those of medical staff at White Hart Lane, withdrew from fourth official duties at Wolves on the advice of a psychologist who works with the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PMGMOL).
Rio Ferdinand played in the game and afterwards repeated his good wishes for Muamba to make a full recovery. 'Thoughts with Fabrice Muamba, keep fighting bro,' he said on Twitter.
Critical condition: The London Chest Hospital, who released a joint statement with Bolton Wanderers FC (below), in east London where Muamba remains under care
This is not the first time Bolton
have been at the centre of such a terrible incident. In 2004, former
Senegal international Khalilou Fadiga collapsed prior to a Carling Cup
tie with Tottenham at the Reebok Stadium.
Fadiga had to be fitted with a
defibrillator due to an irregular heartbeat and despite initial
reservations, was eventually able to resume his career, although he
never reached the levels he had been at previously.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy added:
'Our thoughts are with Fabrice's family and Bolton Wanderers and we are
all willing him to pull through. Events such as this put everything into
'We are immensely proud and grateful
to the medical teams at both clubs, their response was immediate and
professional. Our thanks also to both sets of fans for their support and
'Too often we read the negatives
about football and yet last night, at a time of intense emergency and
uncertainty, we saw the true humanity and empathy of the footballing
Distress: Coyle and his backroom staff are all praying Muamba will pull through
Muamba, an England Under 21 star, who is a father of one, underwent six minutes of treatment during worrying scenes at White Hart Lane.
He was fitted with an oxygen mask and was then rushed to the London Chest Hospital in Bethnal Green in east London.
Within a second of seeing Muamba fall
to the ground, Bolton manager Owen Coyle shouted 'he's just collapsed'
before running on to the pitch to be alongside his player amid a sombre
atmosphere at Tottenham's ground.
Horror: Benoit Assou-Ekotto, William Gallas, Carlo Cudicini and Coyle look on
Both sets of fans chanted the
player's name as he was being treated and Tottenham forward Rafael van
der Vaart and Muamba's team-mate Tuncay Sanli both prayed for the former
Arsenal player on the pitch. Some fans cried at the sight of seeing a
player out cold on the pitch.
Muamba was carried off on a stretcher and referee Howard Webb abandoned the match moments later.
In action: Muamba (left) completes with Rafael van der Vaart at White Hart Lane
Worried fans and players took to Twitter to give their reaction to Muamba's collapse.
Message of support: A host of stars are praying Muamba makes a recovery after posting messages on Twitter
Middlesbrough defender Justin Hoyte,
who came through the Arsenal youth team with Muamba, posted: 'I
seriously hope my best friend in football is OK. Stay strong bro please
please stay strong. God is with you remember that.'
Muamba's Bolton team-mate Stuart Holden wrote: 'Praying for you Fab. Hope he's OK. Thoughts with him and his family.'
Spurs striker Jermain Defoe said: 'Pray for fab god willing he will pull through PrayForMuamba.'
Muamba started his career at Arsenal and spent two years at Birmingham before joining Bolton in 2008.
He was born in Zaire, now known as
the Democratic Republic of Congo, but has represented England from Under 16 to Under 21 level.
Quick to react: With Muamba floored, referee Howard Webb immediately called on medical staff
Comfort: Gareth Bale gives Jermain Defoe – a close friend of Muamba's – a show of support
Stunned spectators: White Hart Lane emptied in silence
Stunned: Van der Vaart is lost in prayer
Anguish: Tuncay Sanli prays on the pitch for his team-mate as Tottenham's Luka Modric looks on
Webb removed as fourth official at Molineux on advice of psychologist
Howard Webb has been removed from his fourth official duties at Molineux today after Fabrice Muamba's mid-match collapse left him no choice but to abandon yesterday's FA Cup tie between Spurs and Bolton.
Referee's chief Mike Riley has granted Webb a leave of absence, allowing the World Cup official to miss this afternoon's Barclays Premier League game between Wolves and Manchester United.Riley's decision comes after consulting a psychologist who works with the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PMGMOL).
Referee Howard Webb, who abandoned the match, consoles Bolton boss Coyle
Webb was forced to dramatically call Saturday's match off when Trotters midfielder Muamba collapsed in the centre of the White Hart Lane pitch after suffering a suspected heart attack in front of 36,000 fans and a television audience of a million with players saying they 'couldn't go on'.
The 23-year-old, who was reported to have stopped breathing, received cardio-resuscitation treatment from doctors and paramedics as shocked and distressed players from both sides looked on.
After 10 minutes of treatment, Muamba was carried from the field on a stretcher and rushed to the London Chest Hospital, where he was still being treated late on Saturday night.
Pain: Bolton's Ivan Klasnic is distraught as Muamba receives treatment
England midfielder Jack Wilshere, who
played alongside Muamba at Bolton, posted a message saying: 'Hope
Muamba is OK. Thoughts with him.'
Wayne Rooney, Vincent Kompany, Emmanuel Adebayor and Michael Owen were among those who were desperate to send their best wishes.