The football world witnessed a heart-breaking scene on Saturday when Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba collapsed on the pitch 41 minutes into his team’s FA Cup quarterfinal match with Tottenham. Muamba is currently in the intensive care unit of a London hospital and is listed in critical condition. Meanwhile, messages of prayers and thoughts for Muamba are being expressed by fans and even non-fans from all over the world.
Sadly, the tragic events of today have caused football fans everywhere to truly think about what is important in life. While it’s great to root for your team to win or for your rivals to lose, the scene that played out today at White Hart Lane has put everything in perspective. As of this writing, it’s apparent that world football fans are united behind the trending Twitter hashtag #PrayForMuamba.
As an Arsenal fan, I tuned in to today’s FA Cup match between Tottenham and Bolton hoping to see a win for Owen Coyle’s team. Obviously, the long-running rivalry between Arsenal and Spurs was a large part of the motivation behind my support for Bolton. Of course, I realize now how insignificant the game actually is in the big picture and I feel a bit silly for being so fueled by dislike for another club.
It’s sad that it took a tragedy to bring football fans together, but the genuine outpouring of good wishes and prayers for Muamba is heartwarming. My Twitter time-line has been full of non-stop positive messages of support for Muamba all day and has even seen rival supporters unite behind a common cause.
Here is just a sampling of some of the tweets:
@kyle28walker Doesn't matter who you support..Doesn't matter if you aren't a football fan. Doesn't matter if you aren't religious..Pray for Fabrice Muamba.
Other players that took to Twitter to offer their support to Muamba include: Jack Wilshere, Djibril Cisse, Rio Ferdinand, Brad Guzan, Thomas Vermaelen, Stuart Holden, Marc Albrighton, Jermaine Defoe, Juan Pablo Angel, Nico Yennaris,Tom Huddlestone, Mario Balotelli, Kevin Doyle, Henri Lansbury, Vincent Kompany, John Arne Riuise, Benik Afobe, Steven Gerrard, Craig Eastmond, Nigel DeJong, Robin Van Persie, Shay Given, Pablo Zabaleta, Emmerson Boyce, Wayne Routledge, Titus Bramble, Asamoah Gyan, Wayne Rooney, Rafael van der Vaart and Carlos Cuellar.
Almost the entire UK football world used their team Twitter accounts to send out well wishes for Patrice Muamba. This one from Nottingham Forest pretty much sums up the thoughts of the UK’s professional footballing family.
Just some of the other clubs that issued statements of support for Muamba on Twitter include:
Motherwell FC, Tottenham, Bristol, Scunthorpe, Oldham Athletic, Hull, Shamrock Rovers, Blackpool, Sheffield United, Newcastle, Wolves, Sunderland, Everton, Norwich, Aston Villa, Juventus, Arsenal, QPR, Swansea City, Charlton, Blackburn, Sheffield Wednesday, Plymouth Argyle, Chelsea and Fulham.
Finally, Arsenal and Tottenham fans put aside their differences for a common cause. Many Arsenal supporters even complimented Spurs and their fans for the class and respect demonstrated by the home crowd following Muamba’s collapse.
@ArsenalFCView We hate you, and you hate us. But amazing respect to the Spurs fans tonight. Humanity is greater than football ever will be.
@MikelArteta08 Fair play to the Spurs fans who chanted Fabrice Muamba's name, rivalries don't matter in times like these. Please be okay.