Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Gartside issues Muamba pledge

Fabrice Muamba

Bolton chairman Phil Gartside has confirmed Fabrice Muamba will remain with the club "as long as he wants".

The 23-year-old has made what team-mate Nigel Reo-Coker has described as a miraculous recovery after suffering a cardiac arrest at Tottenham a week ago that led to his heart stopping for an incredible 78 minutes. Muamba remains in intensive care and the seriousness of what happened last week has brought obvious concerns about whether he will ever play football again.

Gartside has already confirmed Muamba will remain part of the Bolton family, whether he can resume his playing career or not and he told BBC Radio Five Live: "He will be here as long as he wants to be. It is all about Fabrice. It is not a football story. It is a Muamba story."

Bolton honoured Muamba ahead of Saturday afternoon's 2-1 Barclays Premier League defeat to Blackburn, which only got the green light after manager Owen Coyle spoke with the player's father Marcel and fiancee Shauna.

Players from both teams wore shirts with "Muamba 6" on their backs during their warm-ups.

A short video was also played featuring images of support that have been received during the week, whilst a minute's applause was held immediately prior to the traditional pre-match handshake.

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