I was shaken up to witness possibly the most awful scene on the football pitch. Fabrice Muamba collapsed around the 41st minute, away from play. If I recall correctly, he was face down before paramedics and doctors from both team swarmed over. At this point you watch the reaction on the players’ faces. It wasn’t good. The numbness and shock on those who went over meant this was very serious. Memories of Marc Vivien Foe flooded back. After 6 minutes on the pitch the doctors and medics couldn’t get him to breath, strapped an oxygen mask on him and attempted to stretcher him out while continuing resuscitation efforts.
That is one word to describe those who witnessed the event both live and on TV. The crowd from both sides chanted Fabrice’s name in encouragement. The same warm gesture that was given to Arteta when he was knocked out in Anfield. Things turned for the worse when some players were weeping and some in prayer. Sections of the crowd were in tears. The match was called off soon as Webb managed to keep the situation calm. It was hard to get back to sleep.
Fabrice managed to breathe while he was in ambulance to the hospital. I am amazed that one can hold out for so long without breathing. Hopefully, there are no consequences in this. He was in critical condition before being reported as stable. However, there are some news/rumors leaking out that he is back in critical condition again. Here’s praying that Fabrice recovers well and is able to be back with his wife and son.
I do not like those who attempt to sound knowledgeable about a person only when tragedy befalls but every Arsenal fan knows Fabrice in a way. He was a bright talent and I mean a serious talent (not the many that drop out of the Arsenal Academy). At that time, Fabrice was touted to be the next Vieira especially when PV4 was sold to Juventus. A strong, box to box midfielder was something we needed at that point.
Fabrice falls in the list of better known youth products that include Larsson and Upson. You still watch these players knowing that they were formerly from the club you supported and even in matches where you have no interest in either team, you will for them to do well. Football is funny – it is like family even though you’ve never met these people. Fans instantly connect when they find out they support the same club, etc. As such, it was devastating on my end to see him collapse.
My thoughts are with him and his family. Bring that cheerful smile back on, Fabrice.