Bolton manager Owen Coyle has left London for the first time since the horrific events of last Saturday at White Hart Lane, when 23 year-old Fabrice Muamba was fighting for his life.
Patrice Muamba with fiance Shuana earlier this year
As may be expected, the story has been reported around the world, and there is hope there could be a good ending to this story.
There’s every indication that Patrice is now a lot better, although he’s not fully out of the woods yet.
But we have to say we have been so impressed by the Bolton club, and especially Owen Coyle with the way they have handled this tragic event, and concentrated only on the health of their midfield player.
The good news of course is that the 23 year-old is now speaking in both French and English, and when he saw his fiance Shuana on Tuesday afternoon, he asked her where’s Josh? – their 3 year-old son Joshua.
Patrice also asked what the result of the Spurs – Bolton game was – so that’s also good news and he had a conversation with Bolton manager yesterday, which will remain private.
But of course the match was rightly abandoned by referee Howard Webb, who also handled the situation expertly.
We’ll never forget the looks on the faces of the fans at White Hart Lane when resuscitation attempts were being made on the 23 year-old, and for a rare time it has brought out the humanity of people the world over.
Coyle and Muamba’s father have apparently also talked through the immediate future, and whether to play Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.
But the father wants the team to play – and play for his son – so Coyle will be back at Bolton today and decide whether his squad is ready – after the emotionally crippling events of last Saturday.
And there were a number of Bolton players visiting Muamba yesterday, including club captain Kevin Davies, team captain Nigel Reo-Coker, Mark Davies and Darren Pratley.
And while the Lancashire club was ready to forfeit the FA Cup quarter final to Tottenham earlier this week, if Muamba continues to do well, they could even go ahead with the replay of the game next Tuesday.
Things are looking a lot better for Muamba, but we still have to remain guarded in our optimism.
We continue to hope and pray that Patrice Muamba comes through this fit and well.