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Muamba showing signs of improvement

Footballer Fabrice Muamba is "showing signs of improvement" and his heart is beating without the aid of medication, a joint statement from Barts and The London NHS Trust and Bolton Wanderers Football Club has said.

Earlier Wanderers manager Owen Coyle spoke of Muamba's "brave fight" as the player remained critically ill following a cardiac arrest.

Coyle said the family of the player had been inundated with messages of support following his collapse as Bolton Wanderers played Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

"The message is the goodwill, the prayers from everybody, they are so thankful and they want to put that on record - to say 'keep up the prayers, thanks for all the support,'" he said.

"They have been inundated as we all have, both in the football community globally and family and friends. People are taking a genuine interest and a real concern with how Fabrice is doing."

Coyle was speaking outside the London Chest Hospital where the 23-year-old player is in a stable but critical condition.

"We all know he's such a wonderful lad, he's a young man and we all hope that will help in this brave fight which he is undergoing at the moment," Coyle continued.

"It's a difficult situation but the family are bearing up as well as they can. They themselves are very positive people. You look at what Fabrice has been through in life already and you can tell that he is a fighter. He has such a fantastic smile and that's what we all want to see again."

"When situations like this occur, there is a real strength, a real unity and a real togetherness. As a family they are showing that and again that has been boosted by everybody else's support," Coyle said.

It emerged that paramedics could not get the midfielder's heart to start beating on its own for almost two hours after he collapsed on the pitch during an FA Cup tie. He fell to the ground at White Hart Lane at 6.11pm in front of millions of television viewers watching Bolton's quarter-final clash with Tottenham Hotspur.


From Belfast Telegraph