Fabrice Muamba, Fabrice Muamba

The blog I don’t want to write.

No one knew what had happened as we were watching the ball slide off for a throw but straightaway realised it was serious because both sets of physios dashed onto the field. The player lay face down and still. I wondered out loud if the urgent attention paid to his head meant he had swallowed his tongue but quickly he was on his back. The crowd softly moaned when the first chest compressions were applied.

The players, battle-hardened tough guys, were visibly shocked. Defoe pulled his shirt up over his mouth and crouched on his haunches, wanting to be there for support before tearing himself away. Rafa turned to the Shelf and prayed. A few, including Owen Coyle, came to be close, most were uncertain and kept a reverential distance, drifting back together by the benches for mutual comfort.

The stands were eerily silent. Then, some voices began to shout in encouragement, that particular mixture of anxiety and hope when your team is behind and you want to, have to, lift them. Those moments when they are struggling and you, only you the fans, can inspire them. The moments when the team needs the crowd. More spoke up, louder now, becoming an instinctive roar. ‘Come on, come on!’ For the player, perhaps for the man calmly and firmly pounding his chest. ‘Come on!’

From high in the corner of the Park Lane, the ragged bunch of loyal Bolton fans started to sing Muamba’s name and the whole of the Lane joined in. Then respectful, bewildered silence again, followed by successive bouts of cheering and chanting, standing to applaud every step as he was carried off, the pounding pounding continuing all the while.

My sincere and heartfelt good wishes to Fabrice Muamba and his family, extended to any Bolton supporters who may come across this. Full credit to Howard Webb whose authority was never in doubt. Much maligned and often deservedly so, football fans came together in a remarkable and touching way to respect a man who needed us and to respect the game we all love with a passion. Fabrice Muamba is one of us.

16 thoughts on “Fabrice Muamba, Fabrice Muamba

  1. A terrible sight to witness and we can only hope for the best for Fabrice Muamba. We need to praise the medical staff who gave him a fighting chance of life. Credit also needs to go to Howard Webb for taking control of the situation and calling the game off. It was completely the right decision under the circumstances. The behaviour of both sets of fans was impeccable. It’s hard to know what to do when you feel so helpless and you’re watching a fit professional sportsman in deep trouble.


  2. Was watching on ESPN and shocked and upset as I am sure everyone was/is. I wanted to pay my respect to Spurs fans whose behaviour and support was impeccable and sincere in a terrible situation. We are all passionate for our teams, love the banter and sometimes that spills over but in our hearts we know that football is not that important.


  3. Great post. We are all wishing that he makes a speedy and full recovery. All that were tree yesterday are a credit not only to football but humanity aswell. Get well soon Fab.


  4. We are developing a bond beyond football with Bolton. I for one will not forget their impeccable observance of the minutes silence when Bill Nicholson died in 2004 and Bolton were our opponents on the day the sad news was announced. I’m glued to Sky news waiting for some positive news. I was at the lane yesterday and the whole situation is truly shocking. Never heard or seen a crowd leave in near silence


  5. Bolton fan.

    Deepest respect from all of us for that given yesterday and on from the Spurs fans. Indeed, from fans the World over who are coming on our forums with best wishes.

    It shows that, despite rivalries, sometimes deep & bitter, deep down football fans are more similar than they are different … & that concern for another human is the real thing.

    I hope & pray he comes through this. We can worry about his career later. His fiance & newly born child are the priority of course & I don’t want to get mawkish about the whole thing, but it has been a strange day for us all. Horrific for them.

    No-one will forget the compassion & honour shown by you guys yesterday. Never.

    Best wishes & thanks,



  6. Was at the game, it was the most horrific event I have ever witnessed. Confusion soon turned to fear and concern once the urgency of the medical staff was apparent and CPR was given. When they started using the defibrillator…I saw him jolt after the shocks and that sight will be etched in my mind forever. He was being treated for so long on the pitch I don’t think there’s a person in the stands that didn’t think we had just seen the death of a player as we filed out the ground. A massive thank you to the medical staff at the game and their fantastic work on the pitch that meant this wasn’t the case.


  7. Bolton fans. Your man is a fighter. He will pull through.

    Spurs fans. You did your club and football so proud.

    I’m a Evertonian and just bought a Muamba – 6 BWFC shirt. Will wear it with pride.

    God bless you Fabrice.


  8. Pingback: Fabrice Muamba Suffers a Cardiac Arrest | Stop Press News

  9. As a Gooner I would just like to give the Spurs crowd present at the game my respect for the manner in which they behaved. There are usually a few idiots who seem unable to act appropriately in these circumstances but it seemed to a man everyone realised the severity of the situation and showed concern. I am reminded of the minutes silence for David Rocastle that was impeccably observed by Spurs fans a few years ago. Let’s just hope Fabrice Muamba makes a full recovery a gets the chance to play at WHL again.


  10. A pity it takes events like this to make football fans unite across the world.

    Things like this put sport into perspective though.

    Full credit to both sets of players, fans, the medics and Mr. Webb though for their exemplary behaviour


  11. Thanks to all for their comments, especially to the fans of other clubs who have taken the time to drop by and the trouble to post.

    I deliberately refrained from writing about the details but from my seat in the lower central Shelf I could see all too clearly both the extent of the problem and the calm, efficient efforts of the medical staff as they worked on him.

    In a time of tribal fragmentation, fans have come together around the game we love.

    Thoughts are with you, Fabrice.



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