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Football | Barclays Premier League

Coyle thanks Spurs for Muamba support



Bolton Wanderers manager Owen Coyle has written to Tottenham Hotspur to thank everyone at White Hart Lane for their care and support of Fabrice Muamba.

The 23-year-old midfielder suffered a cardiac arrest during a subsequently abandoned FA Cup quarterfinal at Spurs' home ground on March 17.

Despite being "effectively dead" for 78 minutes, Muamba is now continuing to make "encouraging progress" at the London Chest Hopsital, where he has been treated ever since his collapse, according to doctors.

Coyle, writing in the programme for Tuesday's re-arranged tie at White Hart Lane, said: "On behalf of everyone at Bolton Wanderers and our supporters, I would like to offer our sincere thanks to Tottenham Hotspur – the staff, players, management and fans – for their support for Fabrice and his family at this difficult time.

"We have been truly humbled by the care and concern shown by you all for Fabrice.

"Harry (Redknapp, the Tottenham manager) has been in touch regularly to check on Fabrice's progress and Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has been in regular contact with our chairman Phil Gartside.

"The family have appreciated the many messages of support from Spurs fans.

"Tottenham's club doctor Shabaaz Mughal, the medical team and paramedics in attendance at White Hart Lane last Saturday played a vital part in giving Fabrice the best possible chance after his cardiac arrest and I would like to thank them all.

"I would like to ask you to keep Fabrice and his family in your thoughts and prayers as he continues his recovery.

"He has a long road ahead of him and the messages of support have been a great source of strength and energy for everybody. Thank you all."

There was due to be a minute's applause before kick-off.

Players from both sides will sign their shirts and then auction them on ebay with the proceeds going to the London Chest Hospital and three other heart charities.

Dr Andrew Deaner, the heart specialist and Tottenham fan who ran from the stands to assist in Muamba's treatment and has continued to oversee his recovery, was a guest in the London club's boardroom for Tuesday's game.

Muamba's father Marcel and fiancee Shauna Magunda also thanked fans from around the world who have responded to the plight of Muamba, born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, for their support.

"We would like to firstly thank God for answering our prayers. Thank you to everyone for the love, prayers and support over the past few days," they said in a joint statement.

"In particular we owe an enormous gratitude to to the Bolton and Spurs medical teams for their quick reaction on Saturday and the fantastic team at The London Chest Hospital.

"We have been overwhelmed by all the kind messages we have received. The support we have had from the fans, not just from Bolton but football supporters around the world, has given us so much strength.

"We have been particularly touched by the support from the football community globally."

Tottenham won the 3-1 and will face Chelsea in a semifinal at Wembley next month where Liverpool will play either Everton, who beat Sunderland 2-0 also on Tuesday.

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