THE football world remain united in hope for stricken Bolton player Fabrice Muamba.
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 on Saturday, former team-mate and Sheffield-born Gary Cahill led the tributes.
Cahill, who had a loan spell at Sheffield United in 2007, 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.
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.
“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.”
As a steady stream of supporters headed to the Reebok Stadium to lay flowers and offer their support to Muamba, he 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 on Saturday along with club captain Kevin Davies.
The Premier League have quickly agreed to Bolton’s request for Tuesday’s planned encounter with Aston Villa at Villa Park to be postponed.