Wednesday 02 May 2012
Bolton Wanderers welcomed back midfielder Fabrice Muamba at their Barclays Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur at the Reebok Stadium on Wednesday.
The 24-year-old made his return to a football ground for the first time since collapsing during Bolton's FA Cup quarter-final tie at Spurs on March 17th.
He suffered a cardiac arrest towards the end of the first half and spent a month in the London Chest Hospital before being released to continue his recovery at home.
"Fabrice is very keen to show his appreciation to both sets of fans"
- Owen Coyle
Muamba's situation produced an outpouring of goodwill from the football community, and before the match Bolton boss Owen Coyle says he was keen to thank people for their support.
"We are absolutely delighted that we will be able to welcome Fabrice and his family back to the Reebok, and we are all looking forward to seeing him," said Coyle.
"It's fitting that the match is between these two clubs and that Fabrice is able to come along.
"I know Fabrice is very keen to show his appreciation to both sets of fans for their support."
The quarter-final tie was level at 1-1 when referee Howard Webb abandoned the match with four minutes remaining in the first half.
Webb led the stunned players off the pitch at Spurs, with both sets of supporters applauding and some chanting Muamba's name.
Muamba's heart stopped for 78 minutes and he was unconscious in a critical condition in hospital for a further three days, before making a remarkable recovery.
Bolton are in the relegation zone in the Barclays Premier League on goal difference, and they now have two matches remaining in which to move clear of trouble.