Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba remains in a critical condition as he fights for his life following his cardiac arrest at Tottenham on Saturday.
A new statement, jointly released by Bolton Wanderers and Barts and The London NHS Trust, this evening confirmed there had been no change in Muamba’s condition after it was earlier revealed medical staff had taken two hours to get the 23-year-old’s heart working again.
‘Fabrice Muamba remains in a critical condition in intensive care in the Heart Attack Centre at the London Chest Hospital,’ said the fresh statement. ‘There will be no further update tonight.’
The football world remained united in hope for the stricken Bolton player on Sunday.
With the football world united in their anxiety over the popular former England Under-21 star, old team-mate Gary Cahill led the tributes.
Cahill played with Muamba at Bolton for two and a half years before leaving for Chelsea in January.
The bond between the pair remains strong and after scoring in his side’s FA Cup win over Leicester at Stamford Bridge, Cahill revealed a T-shirt with the message ‘Pray 4 Muamba’ printed on it.
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 and Newcastle’s match with Norwich joined in a minute’s applause before kick-off earlier, while Real Madrid’s players wore T-shirts offering their support to Muamba prior to Sunday’s Spanish Primera Division match with Malaga.
The first official statement of the day, a detailed explanation of what had happened to Muamba at White Hart Lane, 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 on 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, the former Arsenal and Birmingham player was visited by members of his family as well as Bolton officials and players, including manager Owen Coyle, who 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.
‘We have been inundated by good messages, everyone praying for Fabrice which is very important.
‘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. We certainly hope he comes through this. If he pulls through it would be marvellous, it really would.’
Bolton chairman Phil Gartside added his own tribute, saying: ‘I know Fabrice’s family have been overwhelmed by the huge outpouring of kindness, from people visiting the hospital to leave cards to those sending messages and emails.
‘On behalf of our club, I would like to thank the Premier League, the FA and all the clubs who have been in touch to offer their support.
‘This has extended worldwide with FIFA, UEFA and the global footballing family also.
‘The staff at the London Chest Hospital have been nothing short of exceptional and I would like to thank them all at this on-going critical time.
‘All BWFC fans who have contacted me personally or the club have been unbelievable. We aspire to be a family and all expressions of support are testimony to the reality of the family club we have at Bolton.
‘I ask for everybody to keep Fabrice in their prayers and thoughts.’
The Premier League have agreed to Bolton’s request for Tuesday’s league encounter with Aston Villa at Villa Park to be postponed, and Gartside added: ‘I would also like to offer our thanks and deep appreciation to all those at Tottenham Hotspur yesterday and Aston Villa for their understanding at this time.’