'Pray for him' begs fiancee as soccer star fights for life

Jonathan Gray

BOLTON Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba remains in a critical condition in intensive care after his cardiac arrest on the pitch at the weekend.

The player's fiancee urged fans to pray for him, while the club's manager Owen Coyle said he hoped there would be a "happy outcome" for Muamba.

It has emerged that paramedics could not get the 23-year-old's heart to start beating on its own for almost two hours after he collapsed on the pitch during an FA Cup tie.

He fell to the ground at White Hart Lane at 6.11pm on Saturday in front of millions of television viewers watching the club's quarter final clash with Tottenham Hotspur.


Paramedics desperately tried to resuscitate him but were unable to start his heart working by itself again until he reached London Chest Hospital, in Bethnal Green, east London, at 8pm.

He remains in a critical condition and is anaesthetised in an intensive care unit at the hospital which is seven miles away from the stadium.

Muamba's fiancee Shauna, who is mother to their son Joshua, told fans on the social networking site: "God is in control. Please keep @fmuamba in ur prayers xx"

Another post said: "For all your messages of love thank u so much. Where there is life there is hope xx". She tweeted on Valentine's Day that she had accepted the player's proposal.

After visiting Muamba in hospital, Coyle said: "From our end, and on behalf of the family, we certainly want to say thanks to everybody. "Everybody is praying for Fabrice which is very important and that has been a real source of strength to the family.

"It's great to be talented at football but it is more important to be a genuinely nice man and Fabrice is that.

"We certainly hope he comes through this.

"Our concern is Fabrice and Fabrice only and that's what all our energy is going into - hopefully a happy outcome."


Relatives, including Muamba's brother and fiancee, and colleagues have visited the hospital since he was admitted.

Muamba's friend, Arsenal defender Johan Djourou, and Spurs striker Jermain Defoe, who was in tears on the pitch seeing Muamba lying on the floor, have visited the hospital.

Meanwhile, Bolton have postponed their next fixture against Aston Villa.