Spurs-Bolton FA Cup quarter-final tie abandoned as Wanderers' Muamba stops breathing



By Adam Higgins
Chief Football Editor



Former Arsenal and Birmingham midfielder Muamba received CPR on the field of play after he collapsing to the ground


The FA Cup quarter-final tie between Tottenham Hotspur and Bolton was abandoned towards the end of the first half after Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba collapsed on the pitch and couldn't breathe.

The 23-year old, who has made 130 league appearances for the Premier League side since moving from St Andrews in the summer of 2008, received appropriate attention from the Trotters' medical staff for ten minutes. It was acknowledged that mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and CPR were carried out as the Bolton man was left fighting for his life. He was stretchered from the pitch and down the tunnel where television broadcaster ESPN, who were covering the match live, reported that the player had stopped breathing. Both sets of fans chanted Muamba's name as he was carried off the field.

Muamba collapsed to the ground innocuously with no players surrounding him on 41 minutes. The match was level at 1-1 at the time with Gareth Bale finding his own net to give the visitors the lead after six minutes after shouldering in Darren Pratley's flicked header while Kyle Walker replied six minutes later heading in a Bale cross.

Referee Howard Webb, having consulted with managers Owen Coyle and Harry Redknapp, took the visibly-stricken players off the pitch and into their changing rooms. The match official conspired with club officials and players alike before minutes later deciding to officially abandon the match. Manager Coyle and club captain Kevin Davies accompanied Muamba in the ambulance as he made his way immediately to a London hospital.

Shortly afterwards, the club released a short statement: "Bolton Wanderers can confirm that Fabrice Muamba has been taken to hospital following his collapse at White Hart Lane this evening during the FA Cup quarter-final. There is no further information at this stage." A joint statement from Bolton and the hospital released at 9:30pm on Saturday read: "Bolton Wanderers can confirm that Fabrice Muamba has been admitted to The Heart Attack Centre at The London Chest Hospital where he is in a critically ill condition in intensive care. No further information will be issued at this stage. The club and hospital request that the media and public respect the family's privacy at this time."

Everybody's thoughts at this moment are with the English-Congolese midfielder, the club and the player's family- who has enjoyed a typically terrific season in midfield for Owen Coyle's side despite the club's precarious and relegation-threatening position in the Premier League. We wish him well in the hope he recovers fully as soon as possible.


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