LONDON, England, March 17- Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba was fighting for his life on Saturday after collapsing during his team’s FA Cup quarter-final with Tottenham, forcing the game to be abandoned.
Hospital sources told Sky News that Muamba had stabilised as doctors continued their battle to revive the player.
The 23-year-old Kinshasa-born player appeared to collapse with no players near him towards the end of the first half at White Hart Lane.
Several paramedics were seen attempting to revive the player before he was stretchered off the field after 41 minutes with the scores at 1-1.
Muamba was wearing an oxygen mask and was flanked by a number of paramedics and Bolton medical staff as he left the pitch.
Referee Howard Webb called the players off the field before an announcement shortly afterwards that the game had been abandoned.
Former England Under-21 international Muamba, who had been treated on the pitch for around six minutes, was being taken to hospital while paramedics battled to revive him, ESPN television reported.
Several players from both teams were in tears as the seriousness of the situation became apparent and fans sung Muamba’s name as he was treated.
Muamba’s Bolton team-mate Stuart Holden tweeted: “Praying for you Fab. Hope he’s OK. Thoughts with him and his family.”
Commentating on ESPN, former Liverpool and England winger John Barnes said: “From the players’ reaction on both sides it seemed that things were pretty serious.”
“The fans are in a state of shock. I’ve never seen anything like that on a football pitch before. Our hearts go out to his family.”
English football stars were quick to express their concern, with Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand tweeting: “Come on Fabrice Muamba, praying for you.”
Arsenal and England midfiedler Jack Wilshere, who played with Muamba during a loan spell at Bolton, added: “Hope Muamba is okay. Thoughts with him.”
Spurs striker Defoe said: “Pray for fab god willing he will pull through #PrayForMuamba.”
Middlesbrough defender Justin Hoyte — a former youth team colleague of Muamba’s at Arsenal — posted: “I seriously hope my best friend in football is OK. Stay strong bro please please stay strong.
“God is with you remember that.”
Tottenham midfielder Tom Huddlestone wrote: “Thoughts with Fab and his family. Feel sick watching this, puts football and everything else into perspective.”
Bolton manager Owen Coyle and club captain Kevin Davies are reported to have gone to hospital to join Muamba, who moved to England from the Democratic Republic of Congo at the age of 11 after his father fled the war-torn country.
Wanderers released a statement soon after the match was called off, which said: “Fabrice Muamba has been taken to hospital following his collapse. We have no further information at this time.”
“The match was immediately abandoned. Everyone at the club sends their best wished to Fabrice and his family.”
Born: April 6, 1988
Birthplace: Kinshasa, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo)
1999 – Moved to England at the age of 11 to be reunited with his father who had sought political asylum due to the civil war in his homeland.
2002 – Joined Arsenal’s youth academy and signed professional terms with the club three years later.
2005 – Made his Arsenal debut in a 3-0 League Cup win at Sunderland on October 25 and made his second and final Gunners appearance in another League Cup victory over Reading a month later.
2006 – Joined Championship club Birmingham on a season-loan and won the club’s young player of the year award after helping the team secure promotion to the Premier League.
2007 – Completed £4 million transfer to Birmingham.
2007 – Given his England Under-21 debut in a friendly against Romania.
2008 – Birmingham relegated from the Premier League, prompting Muamba to make a £5 million move to Bolton in August.
2011 – Selected for England Under-21s squad at the European Championships in Denmark.
2011 – Scored his third league goal for Bolton in his side’s 4-0 win at QPR on the first day of the Premier League season.
2012 – Collapsed in the first half of Bolton’s FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham at White Hart Lane and taken to hospital after receiving emergency treatment on the pitch.