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Gartside: Muamba can stay as long as he wants

24 March 2012 19:39

Bolton Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside has pledged that Fabrice Muamba will always be involved at the club if he wants to.

The 23-year-old collapsed during Bolton's match against Tottenham at White Hart Lane last week, suffering from a cardiac arrest.

The midfielder faces a long period of recovery but Gartside 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."

The former Arsenal man has received worldwide support after the incident both from inside and outside of the football world.

Gary Cahill, a former team-mate revealed a shirt reading 'Pray for Muamba' when he scored for Chelsea, while Real Madrid, as well as all Premier League teams, also paid tribute to him with special jerseys.

The Bolton chairman admitted he was taken aback by the sheer amount of contact made with the club, while stating he feels 'privileged' to have helped.

"It has been a hard week but I haven't had a terrible week. I have had an amazing week. I feel privileged to have been in the middle of it," he said.

"We have gone through the full capacity of emotions and thankfully, we are smiling at the end of it.

"Fabrice is still very ill in hospital but from where we were last Saturday night it's been an amazing journey.

"We've had letters, calls, emails. The outpouring of emotion this has caused has been amazing."

One of Muamba's team-mates, Nigel Reo-Coker, revealed that the events have changed his life adding it highlights how 'precious' life is.

"After everything you've heard that his heart wasn't beating for 78 minutes to hear that he's alive and to see him at the hospital is enough for me," he said.

"After how we witnessed him on the pitch and being wheeled to the ambulance, to know that he was alive is a miracle.

"It feels like the weight of the world has been lifted off your shoulders.

"It's going to be emotional from now to the end of the season. My life changed on Saturday and I believe it's the same situation for a lot of the players who witnessed that.

"One minute I was playing with Fabrice and he was laughing and smiling. The next minute he drops and goes into cardiac arrest.

"There were no signs, so there was nothing anyone could do - it just shows how precious life is."

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 0 +0 0
2 0 +0 0
3 0 +0 0
4 0 +0 0
5 0 +0 0
6 0 +0 0
7 0 +0 0
8 0 +0 0
9 0 +0 0
10 0 +0 0
11 0 +0 0
12 0 +0 0
13 0 +0 0
14 0 +0 0
15 0 +0 0
16 0 +0 0
17 0 +0 0
18 0 +0 0
19 0 +0 0
20 0 +0 0

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