Support for Muamba as team plays on

 

Fabrice Muamba's fans and fellow stars will show their support today as his Bolton Wanderers side return to the pitch.

Muamba, 23, remains in the London Chest Hospital, where he was admitted last Saturday after suffering a cardiac arrest during his club's FA Cup quarter-final with Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

Bolton is encouraging all fans attending today's game against local rivals Blackburn Rovers to take their seats by 2.50pm.

As the players appear from the tunnel at 2.55pm fans in the lower tier of the Nat Lofthouse stand will be asked to raise posters and display a mosaic spelling out his name and shirt number - "Muamba 6".

A video compilation of Muamba's career will then be shown on the big screen followed by a period of applause, the club said.

Muamba faces a long road to recovery according to a joint statement released yesterday by the player's father Marcel and fiancee Shauna Magunda.

"Even though Fabrice has made great progress over the last couple of days, he is still in intensive care, and still has a long period of recovery ahead," read the statement.

"He has asked that you please keep him in your prayers."

It was only after talking to the player's loved ones that Bolton manager Owen Coyle was given the all-clear for his team to resume their Premier League campaign against Blackburn today.

"If Fabrice can show what a battler is, I am sure we can play a football match," said Coyle.

"We are a tight-knit group of players. We are trying to build a family club here and Fabrice is a huge part of that.

"We have to be proud that we are at a fantastic club and do ourselves justice in football terms, knowing our thoughts will be with Fabrice."

Bolton chairman Phil Gartside said there would be a lot of emotion around the match.

He told Sky News: "Fabrice has got a long way to go. From where he was on Saturday to where he is today is a remarkable story, but he still remains very ill in intensive care.

"There is going to be a lot of emotions around today and the best thing we can do is get on with our jobs.

"From 3pm it's a football match. The whole of the week has been about Fab and supporting the family, and it was their request the football match went ahead today."

Mr Gartside said nobody came forward to say they felt they could not play in the match because the family had said how much they wanted the game to go ahead.

PA

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