***Written by Benn Taggart but published under this account***
Tonight sees the re-run of the FA Cup Fifth Round tie between Tottenham Hotspurs and Bolton Wanderers, in which I’m sure everyone will remember the terrifying events on the pitch during the original game.
Usually when tragedy strikes, the football community come together and rivalries are forgotten. None more so than in the last ten days since the original fixture was played and Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest.
The football community had been glued to the various breaking news sources, be it television or social media, waiting for any news to come through from the London Chest Hospital and Owen Coyle, who had stayed with Fabrice Muamba before receiving the blessing of Muamba’s family to leave and go back to the day job.
When the news broke that Muamba was getting better and responding to questions in basic French and English, then it was apparent how much not just the English game, but the worldwide game had come together to support the recovery of Muamba. From ex-team mates and his current team, the likes of Ashley Cole, Johan Djourou, David Wheater, Jussi Jaaskelainen and Zat Knight have all visited Fabrice.
Players from the Tottenham side that fateful day visited the London Chest Hospital including Emmanuel Adeybayor. Players over the coming days had supportive t-shirts on during warm-ups and during goal celebrations. Even the top two sides in Europe at the minute, Real Madrid and Barcelona had supportive messages, for a player whom most players involved had never played with or against. The Madrid players even had a message for Eric Abidal of Barcelona, who is due to have a liver transplant.
So through all the adversity everyday in the papers about the state of football on and off the field, as we look back over this testing period and continue to move on until Fabrice is hopefully fit and well to leave hospital. Let us hope he regains his health if not his football career. Everybody in football can hold their heads high and give themselves a pat on the back. Football eh? It’s a beautiful family.
Find Benn on Twitter: @Bennbfc