Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba collapsed on-pitch during the team's FA Cup quarter-final at White Hart Lane this weekend. 23 year old Muamba, former England youth player and a refugee to England from the Republic of Congo at age 11, fell to the ground during Saturday's game against Tottenham – to the shock of everyone present.
Following the cardiac arrest medics attempted to resuscitate him for several minutes and the game was eventually abandoned. They continued administering mouth-to-mouth and used a defibrillator for a total of two hours before Muamba finally began to breathe, and fans of both teams chanted his name in support as he was removed from the stadium on an ambulance stretcher, accompanied by team Manager Owen Coyle and Captain Kevin Davies.
The game was left at 1-1 and officials say it may be rescheduled for a future date.
According to the Club and London Chest Hospital, where the player is being cared for in the heart attack ward, Muamba has improved somewhat and is now breathing independently and moving his limbs. He has also been able to speak lucidly with his family and friends. His amazing recovery could seem like a miracle. However, he remains in intensive care for the moment for continuing monitoring and treatment and it is still unknown how his health will progress.
After a visit to the hospital on Monday morning Coyle and Bolton chairman Phil Gartside made an online statement commending hospital staff for their excellent work. Coyle stressed that the prayers from those involved and the public have been particularly good in helping the family to get through this difficult time.
The president of Muamba's country of birth, the Democratic Republic of Congo, has also expressed the support and sympathy of the entire country and of the Congolese FA, who tried unsuccessfully to poach the player a few years back.
Bolton captain Davies dismissed suggestions that the club may have to withdraw from the Cup due to players being too upset as irrelevant. The team's upcoming Premier League game at Aston Villa this week has been postponed.