Through the Muamba tragedy. Humanity shone through.

Posted: 18/03/2012 in General, Sport
Tags: , , , , , ,

Fabrice Muamba who is currently fighting for his life.

By now there have probably been countless posts/news articles dedicate to what happened last night in a football (soccer to those of you across the Atlantic) match between Tottenham Hotspur and Bolton Wanderers at White Hard Lane. This post isn’t going to be about what happened to the player (although I will summarize in a second for those who might be unaware), but about what happened around it.

For those who may not have seen or heard what happened. Patrice Muamba is a 23-year-old player who plays for Bolton Wanderers. At the 41 minute mark the player was seen to just collapse and was seen to be just lying face down on the ground. It was revealed that he had a heart attack on the pitch and had to be resuscitated. It also took two hours to get his heart started again. As of the time of writing this, he is currently in a critical situation and could still go either way. My prayers are with him right now.

Like I said however, this isn’t about what happened to him. I didn’t see what happened live, the first I heard about it was on Twitter last night. I did however catch an eight minute clip of the incident and the aftermath on YouTube before it got pulled, I’m guessing by ESPN. What I saw was humanity shine through.

Firstly players from both sides realised the severity of the situation and called on the physio and medic teams of both sides. During this you saw players praying into the heavens, others having to be consoled. There’s no doubt in my mind that the speed in which the medics came on, has given him every chance of survival.

Bolton Wanderers were the away team on this night so their fans were in the minority, but every shot of the crowd showed supporters of both sides with they heads in their hands. A stadium full of 36,000 was largely quiet. Anyone who tried to mock Muamba was quickly told to shut up. When Bolton’s manager was given permission to run on to the pitch to check on his player the stadium erupted into a round of applause. The eerie silence was broken every now and again by the entire crowd chanting Muamba’s name. As he was stretchered off the pitch, he was given a standing ovation from every one, and loud applause broke out when the referee, Howard Webb abandoned the match. When the match was called off altogether after 41 minutes, the supporters of both sides applauded and once again chanted Muamba’s name.

I only saw this on YouTube today and just watching the outpouring on that clip was enough to send shivers down my spine. The way it quickly dawned on everyone that this wasn’t a standard injury. That this was something extremely serious. All over the footballing world, here in England, Spain and elsewhere. Players from every club have sent messages, have tweeted their support of Muamba. His Twitter account has jumped from 6,000 to around 90,000 in just 18 hours. At the Wolverhampton Wanderers – Manchester United game today, players and fans stood for a 30 second round of applause. Gary Cahill of Chelsea scored a goal and revealed a t-shirt saying “Pray 4 Muamba”.

Bolton were due to play Aston Villa on Tuesday, but Bolton requested that the patch got postponed. Aston Villa released a statement saying the following.

“The thoughts and prayers of Aston Villa Football Club are with Fabrice Muamba and his family,” read the statement.

“Our thoughts also extend to his teammates, the management staff and all at Bolton WanderersFootball Club at this terrible time.

“The Club, without hesitation, has agreed to Bolton’s request to postpone our Barclay’s Premier League game scheduled for Tuesday at Villa Park.

“We also wish to thank our supporters for their expressions of sympathy and support for the Muamba family and all at Bolton Wanderers.”

Football has had its rough spells, occasionally in some parts of the globe it has its violence. Fans chant abuse at others supports, mock tragedies that have happened in the past. Players suffer racism, yet it is times like this. When a simple of game football becomes irrelevant, and you see not just rival supporters, but even those who have no links to either side or the players, officials all the way up to the president of FIFA and even people who have no interest in football, all unite in one voice, it shows that at times the true power of humanity shines through.


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