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Monday 19 March 2012

Premier League stars offer Muamba support

Players, managers and clubs send goodwill messages to Bolton midfielder

Chelsea's Gary Cahill sent a message of support to former Bolton team-mate Fabrice Muamba

Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba is criticially ill in a London hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest during the FA Cup tie at Tottenham on Saturday.

Since then, messages of goodwill for the 23-year-old - who started his career at Arsenal and has also played for Birmingham City and England's Under-21s - have poured in from every Barclays Premier League club.

Liverpool's Luis Suarez dedicated his FA Cup goal on Sunday to Muamba, while Chelsea's Gary Cahill revealed a T-shirt that had the words 'Pray 4 Muamba' printed on it after scoring in the Cup against Leicester.

Here is a selection of the support the Premier League and its clubs have given to the popular midfielder:

PREMIER LEAGUE

Chief Executive Richard Scudamore: "The thoughts of the Premier League, its clubs and players are with Fabrice Muamba, his family and Bolton Wanderers. We would like to praise the players, match officials, coaching staff and medical teams of both clubs at White Hart Lane for their swift actions in attending Fabrice.

"The League would also like to commend the compassion shown by the fans of Bolton and Tottenham. We hope to hear positive news about Fabrice who is and has been a wonderful ambassador for the English game and the League at Arsenal, Birmingham City and Bolton Wanderers."

BOLTON WANDERERS

Manager Owen Coyle: "The support from within the game has been fantastic. We all saw the pictures from round the world. When you see the players of Real Madrid and Gary Cahill wearing T-shirts, and David Beckham sending over a message, that shows you the opinion they have of Fabrice as a man.

"It's great to be talented, but it's more important to be nice and humble, which Fabrice is"
- Owen Coyle

"It's great to be talented, at whatever vocation you are in, but it is more important to be genuinely nice and humble, which Fabrice is."

Captain Kevin Davies: "It's been a difficult time for everyone involved with the club, I think for everyone involved with football really. It's so tragic it could happen to someone like Fab.

"I went to the hospital with the manager and the physios and the doctors and the amount of people and doctors that were turning up and running around down there trying to get Fab sorted out, it was amazing. He's fighting, and we're hopeful that he can pull through."

ARSENAL

Manager Arsene Wenger: "This is of course a massive shock to us all and we just hope that Fabrice will pull through safely. You pray that the damage will be repaired and that we will see his smile again. That is all you wish for.

"Fabrice has a positive attitude towards life, he is full of determination and has a great desire. Everyone at Arsenal has huge respect for Fabrice. Even after he left us, he often passed by to say hello. We feel very deeply attached to him."

ASTON VILLA

Manager Alex McLeish: "I am shocked and saddened by what happened to Fabrice. I worked with Fabrice as a player at Birmingham and he has always been a terrific lad, nothing other than the perfect professional.

"He is a manager's dream in terms of his commitment to the team. The massive response throughout Europe and the world of football underlines how everybody has been touched by this tragic development and I pray that Fabrice is able to pull through."

BLACKBURN ROVERS

"What Fabrice is going through puts football matters full into perspective"
- Steve Kean

Manager Steve Kean: "What Fabrice is going through puts football matters full into perspective. We are due to play Bolton on Saturday but it goes without saying that whatever Bolton wish will receive our full support and co-operation.

"We wish him a speedy recovery and we will facilitate whatever Bolton want to do. We hope that Fabrice can recover and that the game can go ahead. If not, we will respect that and put football aside for the time being."

CHELSEA

Defender Gary Cahill: "It was nice to get the goal but it was a bit of a blur for me, my mind was in a different place.

"After seeing what happened on Saturday I wish Fabrice all the best and I hope he recovers quickly. It was obviously not the best preparation for the game, but it was one of those things where you go out and do the job."

EVERTON

Captain Phil Neville: "On behalf of everyone connected with Everton Football Club we wish Fabrice a speedy recovery.

"A lot of the lads in the dressing room know him personally and our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family at what will be an extremely difficult time."

FULHAM

"The football world is on his side"
- Kenny Dalglish

Club statement: "Everyone at Fulham FC has been left deeply saddened by events at White Hart Lane and the news that Fabrice Muamba is in a critically ill condition in intensive care.

"The club's management, players, staff and fans stand together in offering their thoughts and prayers to Fabrice Muamba and his family at this time."

LIVERPOOL

Manager Kenny Dalglish: "It must have been horrific for his family to be listening to or watching the game and to see something like that. The same as everyone else, I hope there's a very speedy recovery.

"He's got a lot of people on his side, the football world is on his side. Although there are great rivalries there, I think the respect showed by both sets of fans on Saturday at Spurs was exemplary."

MANCHESTER CITY

Manager Roberto Mancini: "Manchester City knows well the pain such an incident can cause* and at this time the Premier League title race takes second place.

"I have sent a message to Owen Coyle, the manager of Bolton, and my best wishes go to Fabrice's family and to his team-mates and colleagues at Bolton. When something like this happens to such a young man it transcends football and rivalries. We pray for his swift and full recovery."

* City's Marc-Vivien Foe died while playing for Cameroon in 2003. The club retired his number 23 shirt.

MANCHESTER UNITED

"It's great credit to our game the safety in stadiums is fantastic"
- Sir Alex Ferguson

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson: "It puts everything into perspective. What was terrific was that both sets of fans acknowledged there was a problem and the medical staff for both teams were fantastic, they got there immediately.

"It is a great credit to our game that the safety in stadiums is fantastic. If that had happened, elsewhere, who knows?"

NEWCASTLE UNITED

Manager Alan Pardew: "It's a boy struck down in the peak of his health, playing the game that he loves and we love. It hurt us all and there was a shadow over today's match [against Norwich].

"All I can do as manager of this club is to send our best wishes to Fabrice, his family and to Bolton from everyone at Newcastle. We really wish him a speedy recovery."

NORWICH CITY

Manager Paul Lambert: "It was horrific to see the incident and hopefully the lad is going to be OK. He is only young but that doesn't make it any easier to see and when things like that happen it puts things into perspective.

"Everybody in the squad knew what had gone on and that the game [at Tottenham] had to be called off. Sometimes as a manager you don't want to raise it because it can make things harder."

QUEENS PARK RANGERS

"I've always seen him as a great man. It's a real shock"
- Nedum Onuoha

Defender Nedum Onuoha: "To see it happen to someone so close to so many people is really hard. I've always seen him as a great man. I've played with Fabrice and I'm lucky enough to be one of his friends as well.

"It's a real shock. All of our prayers are with him and hopefully he can come back healthy. Some things are bigger than football, and this is a prime example. Absolutely everybody is wishing him a speedy recovery."

STOKE CITY

Manager Tony Pulis [ahead of their Barclays Premier League match against Spurs on Wednesday]: "I think we've got to go with the Tottenham players on this one.

"I will speak to Harry Redknapp on the phone and find out what the feeling is. It's been a tragedy and all our prayers are with the poor kid. One or two of our lads were very upset and shocked by what happened."

SUNDERLAND

Club statement: "The world of football has united in its support for Bolton Wanderers star Fabrice Muamba following the tragic events at White Hart Lane.

"The thoughts and prayers of everyone at Sunderland AFC are with Fabrice, his family and our friends at Bolton Wanderers at this difficult and challenging time."

SWANSEA CITY

"All our thoughts and prayers are with Fabrice, his family and friends"
- Brendan Rodgers

Manager Brendan Rodgers: "Mark Gower has friends at Tottenham and he broke the news to us. Everyone was shocked and the mood changed immediately.

"This club felt the pain when young Besian Idrizaj died in his sleep at 22 just before I arrived at Swansea in the summer of 2010. It goes without saying that all our thoughts and prayers are with Fabrice, his family, friends and teammates at this time."

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

Manager Harry Redknapp: "What happened on Saturday to Fabrice Muamba was a shock to everyone. It is possible that the effects of this could hit some quicker than others and despite these difficult circumstances we all have to pull together and carry on with our season.

"We will be providing players with whatever support they need in order to help them move on from what has happened, while obviously always keeping Fabrice at the forefront of our minds and willing him to make a recovery."

WEST BROMWICH ALBION

Club spokesman: "Football is a close-knit community and everyone at West Bromwich Albion was shocked and saddened to witness the scenes at White Hart Lane.

"All of our thoughts and prayers are with Fabrice Muamba and his family, friends and colleagues at Bolton at this difficult time."

WIGAN ATHLETIC

"Fabrice is a great friend. We used to joke our kids would marry and we'd be related"
- Ali Al Habsi

Goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi: "When I heard what was happening it was a very hard moment for me and my family. I'm praying for him and his good recovery. Fabrice is a great friend of mine. I played with him for nearly two years at Bolton. He's a fantastic lad who is one of my best friends in football.

"My wife and his fiancee are close friends and his son and my daughter often play together. In fact, he used to joke that our kids would marry one another in the future and we would all be related. I hope for his recovery."

WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS

Defender Sebastien Bassong: "Big support to the Muamba family. God bless you and give you all the strength to face this tragedy.

"Doesn't matter who you support. Doesn't matter if you aren't a football fan. Doesn't matter if you aren't religious. Pray for Fabrice Muamba."

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Key Points

  • Bolton's Fabrice Muamba is critically ill in hospital
  • Midfielder had a cardiac arrest during FA Cup tie at Tottenham on Saturday
  • Premier League managers, players and clubs have given messages of support