Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

James Lawton: Muamba's ordeal hijacked by hysteria

Fabrice Muamba

Amid rejoicing over the encouraging signs of recovery in Fabrice Muamba, it is also a relief that the players of Bolton Wanderers have stepped back from what would have been disturbing evidence that so much of football does indeed live in a world utterly separate from the cares and the demands on ordinary people.

Admittedly the line between the latter, who are required to meet their daily obligations in the face of all kinds of adversity and sadness, and the many who have in the last week or so contributed to the mass emotionalism, and even premature mourning at rapidly created shrines, has become somewhat blurred.



Even so, the resolve of the Bolton players to return to working duty at White Hart Lane tonight will hopefully draw a line beneath some of the more cloying indications that we have become a nation of lost perspectives.



The assertion that the admirable Fabrice's effort of recovery has been facilitated not solely by his own obviously sturdy nature but the communal will of a united and profoundly caring football profession has surely been a little much.



If football and some of its supporters see in the fight for life of one young player a source of inspiration, and a counterpoint to many of the game's ills, it will be a benefit about which there can be no equivocation.



In the meantime, though, it is surely reasonable to hope for more consistent evidence of something generated more by a change of values than, dare we say it, selective mass hysteria.

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