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Pitch-perfect tribute as Bolton return to business

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Phil McNulty | 23:15 UK time, Saturday, 24 March 2012

The multi-coloured carpet of shirts, flowers and messages that stands as a monument to the recovery of Fabrice Muamba was still spreading late on Saturday afternoon as Bolton Wanderers celebrated an emotional victory.

It was exactly a week on from the moment Muamba collapsed after suffering a cardiac arrest in the FA Cup quarter-final at Tottenham and supporters of Bolton and Blackburn were standing at the spot in the Reebok Stadium that has become a shrine of support and hope for the 23-year-old.

The floral tributes and mementoes offered a stark reminder that the stadium could have been hosting a much more sombre occasion had it not been for the remarkable work of the medical teams at White Hart Lane and at London's Chest Hospital, where Muamba remains in intensive care.

The young midfielder may have been continuing his recovery more than 200 miles away but his presence was everywhere from the moment fans started arriving in glorious sunshine hours before the meeting between these two fierce Lancashire rivals.

While the mood before, during and after Bolton's 2-1 win could not be described as one of undiluted celebration, there was relief mixed with a cautious optimism, and a desire from both sets of supporters to show their support for Muamba. The tone was struck perfectly.

Between the blue barriers marking the area designated for those wishing to leave tokens of support, the scene was eerily quiet before kick-off, despite the presence of so many fans, but the emotions that would colour this occasion became clear once Bolton's players came out to warm up in white shirts bearing Muamba's "6" on the back - with similar decorations for the substitutes' green bibs.

And spontaneous applause broke out around the crowd of almost 27,000 when a video montage of the moments of global support for Muamba that have accumulated throughout the week - interspersed with images of him smiling and in action - were flashed on to the stadium's giant screens.

The stand named after the great Nat Lofthouse then housed a giant mosaic with "Muamba 6" spelled out on cards in a very visible manifestation of public feeling as a prolonged period of applause began.

Bolton's players pay tribute to Fabrice Muamba

Bolton's players paid tribute to their team-mate before the match. Photo: Getty

Bolton's win - courtesy of two first-half headers from defender David Wheater - was vital in the context of their attempt to stay in the Premier League but, after each goal had been duly celebrated, chants of "Fabrice Muamba" rang around the ground again before play resumed.

And manager Owen Coyle, who has emerged as a dignified and respectful spokesman for the club from the moment he arrived at Muamba's bedside last Saturday, was commendably measured in placing three points in a football match perfectly within the wider context.

He looked tired, entirely understandably, and when asked to sum up his mood he admitted it would be done "with difficulty".

It was done successfully, however, with the Scot at pains to separate football issues and questions from the priority of Muamba's health.

The two strands of the story then became happily entwined when Coyle revealed the player had used a consultant as a messenger to relay a "good luck" message to his team-mates from his hospital bed.

And one of chairman Phil Gartside's first tasks after the game was a call to Muamba's father Marcel - most importantly to check on his progress, but also to pass on the good news of victory.

Blackburn must not be forgotten on what was a delicate occasion for them too. They have shown great respect to Bolton and Muamba. Their fans were a credit to their club, with manager Steve Kean also successfully walking the line between showing awareness of the feelings surrounding this occasion and respecting his own and the Rovers fans' desire for victory.

It never came, despite Steven Nzonzi's goal, and when Andre Marriner's final whistle sounded Coyle joined his players and staff in a huddle to deliver his own private message of thanks to a team he admitted had been left physically and emotionally drained by the week's events.

Thoughts will now turn to Tuesday's FA Cup return to White Hart Lane and the harrowing and still fresh memories that will be evoked for both sets of players. It will be another occasion charged with emotion.

Life started to bear some semblance of normality for Bolton Wanderers again on Saturday as they returned to the business of fighting relegation at the wrong end of the Premier League.

For Muamba, the battle continues and Coyle said one of their tasks was "to represent Fabrice in the right way".

This mission was accomplished by everyone inside The Reebok.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Fantastic tribute by both sets of supporters, players and not least the managers. It was always going to be difficult, but there was a dignity in the way everyone conducted themselves. There are one or two managers that could learn something from Owen Coyle.
    Get well Muamba.

  • Comment number 2.

    Similarities between the picture of Bolton players warming up above and the Liverpool players warming up at Wigan post-Suarez saga is both amusing and shocking.

  • Comment number 3.

    Except that you could probably count on the fingers of one hand the people throughout the country who would not wear a Muamba t-shirt, even a Wonky Wanderers one would win applause.
    How many non-LFC fans would wear a Suarez t-shirt ?

    Best wishes Fabrice.

  • Comment number 4.

    so it took just two comments to bring Liverpool into a blog about Bolton and Blackburn?! Unbelieveable. Anyone would think you had some kind of infatuation with them!

    On topic...

    A fantastic tribute upheld brilliantly by both clubs. Right from the fans through to the management. Really good to see the Football world unite over the last week in support of both Muamba and Abidal.

    Lets hope both players can come back as strong as ever.

  • Comment number 5.

    A perfect day for the lad.
    Another day of tributes from the footballing family,another day on the road to a full recovery and a win for his team. A perfect tonic.

  • Comment number 6.

    While I empathise with the spirit of this article, it irks me that McNulty is, in effect, making money out of writing it. A salary has never been more unearned. Dammit my blood boils every time I read the phrase "chief football writer" up there.

  • Comment number 7.

    'Waldovski' - as Chief Footballl Writer, Phil McNulty has to write about the most important stories of the moment. The Muamba storie fits that criteria.

    Is there anything that Phil could write that would impress/entertain you? Or do you just have a grudge for the sake of having a grudge?

  • Comment number 8.

    #6 Oh, for goodness' sake, get over yourself. "A salary has never been more unearned."? Really? I mean, really? The whole world, it seems, has been moved by what happened to a young footballer. It's news. People want to read about it. And so, other people get paid to write about it. How else do you think it should work? The "blog elves" should produce this kind of text?

  • Comment number 9.

    Very poignant article but I can't help but think that this situation is being wrung dry of it's emotive value.

    I accept that this was a frightening event that obviously shook the sport to it's core but it appears from news reports that Muamba is on the mend. We all know that our instinct is to "mourn" tragedy to unrealistic levels, but let's face it, people die every day on the streets and no-one bats an eyelid.

    Just a little perspective....

  • Comment number 10.

    I'm glad that this sad, unfortunate event has shaken english football.

    I'm looking forward to seeing one of the two caps scrapped, those individuals seeking the 39th game being sacked, a winter break to be introduced and the football world to stop talking about a professional footballer's job is to run non stop at 100mph whenever asked.

    Or is it just hypocrisy?

  • Comment number 11.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    @ SoccerLimey

    Perfect Post. Clearly, this thing has gone on for too long now. There are countries under war with little kids dying each day and no body cares for them.

    Let's just wish the lad good luck on his recovery and get on with it. I am sick of this media marketing stunts

  • Comment number 14.

    As a Bolton fan exiled for the moment in India, this of course has been a time that gave me homesickness watching live last week gave me and perhaps a lot of people a reality check. Relegation was my prayer in exchange for a young mans life, if that happens it will be the happiest moment this year for me.
    The reaction of the public and footballing world has been remarkable and let's hope this perspective continues throughout the rest of the season.
    There is a BUT though, Mr Blatter and the Press two professional footballers collapsed this past week, one received the best attention money can buy, the other D Venkatesh playing for Bangalore Mars here in India died of heart failure on the pitch.
    Indian football is never going to get the publicity of the EPL, I know that. however, FIFA the so called father of all things football and perhaps the richest sporting organisation the world has the responsibility to use ite wealth and to look after its players. Mr Blatter is deeply spiritual he tells us, then what will you receive in the next life. Any and every professional football match conducted under the overall guidance of FIFA should have doctors, medics and defibrillators at pitch side. FIFA should use its wealth and ensure that's the case, then perhaps your spirit can rest easy in the next life. The irony is that if you ever hear on a plane in India the flight attendant ask for a doctor and to ring their call bell, you will be deafened by the cacophony of pings. D Venkatesh died on a pitch playing the game we love, with no doctor in site.
    Fabrice we wish you the speediest recovery and we long to see the smile, but could someone direct some hope to the family of our fallen friend in Bangalore.

  • Comment number 15.

    Couldn't agree more with No9 and the issue of perspective- Whilst of course we wish Muamba all the very best in his recovery as surely we would anyone in similar circumstances , thankfully he is alive and receiving treatment from the very best there is.

    Two soldiers have been killed since this event in Afghanistan who each received no more than a few written lines in the news and approximately 30 seconds coverage on the telly.................add to this the no doubt countless other tragic human stories and a sense of perspective really does need to be sought here!

  • Comment number 16.

    #9: Excellently put. I will happily wait to hear about Muamba again until there is some actual news, without ever considering his situation unimportant or uninteresting. We don't need a new article every day to remind us that bad things happen to good people. That said, all credit to Bolton for the kind of performance they should have been putting in all season. If Muamba's unfortunate circumstance provides the kick in the pants that Bolton need to stay up, I can't help but feel he's the kind of guy who would say that it was worth it.

  • Comment number 17.

    I agree 200% with comment No 9

  • Comment number 18.

    I also agree 200% with comment No15

  • Comment number 19.

    #2 & #3

    Nice going lads for using this blog to air your anti Liverpool views.

    #9 Good post, not much more to add to that except good luck to the lad.

  • Comment number 20.

    Get well soon Muamba.

    But let's now all move on to talking about football.

  • Comment number 21.

    @19

    My comments are founded on anti-racism, not anti-Liverpool.

    Also, I fully support the comments by Kevin Davies on the sadness that the only time you get any applause from opposition fans is when you're carried off on a stretcher in a bad way.

    It takes two teams to play a football match but most people only see their own team.

  • Comment number 22.

    #21
    Or if you score a hattrick at Old Trafford for Real Madrid. But yes, that is a shame.

  • Comment number 23.

    In other news:


    another good weekend for Arsenal :)

    and an even better one for liverpool :):):):)

  • Comment number 24.

    As a football fan I see no contradiction between wishing a player 'get well soon', and feeling thoroughly nauseated by the way this matter has been ludicrously blown out of all proportion - the worst culprits being the BBC, especially MOTD. He's not dead, he's not some saint, he's just a very sick footballer. What the hell does he need a shrine for?

    Meanwhile, real heroes are being flown home in coffins to Brize Norton.

  • Comment number 25.

    It was quite refreshing to see the shirts of clubs like Utd, Blackburn etc outside the Reebok wishing FM a speedy recovery. It shows football fans in a good light for a change in a season where there has been some pretty disgraceful behaviour - Derby fans chanting about Nigel Doughty, Utd fans singing about Hillsborough victims, Millwall fans chanting about Leeds fans dying in Turkey....I could go on. Every club has a small proportion of mindless idiots who think it's ok to shout any sort of abuse from the stands. The response to FM shows that the overwhelming majority of fans are actually decent folk - unfortunately they often go unnoticed behind the nasty vocal minority.

  • Comment number 26.

    #21

    I don't believe there was a need for either of your comments whatever your agenda.

    I am not going down the race route again because that has been absolutely flogged to death on these boards and I do find it sad that people are trying to stir it up again with this story.

    I do however agree with you as regards the vitriol pouring forth from the stands these days. It never used to be like that.

  • Comment number 27.

    24. At 11:33 25th Mar 2012, tonep wrote: "He's not dead, he's not some saint, he's just a very sick footballer."

    When I read that I couldn't help but be reminded of The Life Of Brian - "He's not the messiah. He's a very naughty boy"

  • Comment number 28.

    #24

    People who join the forces presumably know they could be killed on duty, so don't let's bring them into this. And he's not just a sick footballer, he's the sort of dedicated 101% club professional who should be held up by the media as a good example of what is right about football.

    On the subject of this blog, Bolton were living on the emotion for over an hour and then looked very drained. Don't underestimate it, though, because they might just find a way to Wembley because of it.

  • Comment number 29.

    Whilst I sympathise with Muamba and his family, has anyone given a thought to the soldier who actually lost his life in the same week? The 400+ brave souls who have given their lives in order that we may enjoy our freedoms (such as attending premier league fixtures in relative security) should be provided equal media attention. Shame on the BBC for perpetuating the story of individual having a heart attack at the expense of someone who has given their life in order that we may live a normal one.

  • Comment number 30.

    Death walks amongst us every day and every now and then it touches our lives. We lose friends and family and we may be there at the time to witness their passing. The pain and the suffering is shared by the few people who are in some way related to the departed.

    Here we have something on an altogether different scale. Thousands of people watching a potential tragedy unfold at a totally unexpected place to a person one would least expect to suffer in such a way? Football matches and many other sporting events focus and amplify emotion to levels that are hard to describe to those who have never been to a game. To see more than 30,000 people united in their concern for a fellow human being is something very special and long may it continue and hopefully we will all learn to respect human life!

    Please I know that there are brave men and women who give their lives for their countries. I lost my brother many years ago to terrorism in the name of religion. If only we could all show the respect and love for our fellow man that is being shown to FM then maybe we wouldn't be losing loved ones who are fighting pointless wars in foreign lands?

  • Comment number 31.

    @25

    its nothing more than a facade, collective mourning and grieving has become a professional pastime for some, on the pretence, they are actually really concerned.

    as for your praise for supporters from other clubs?

    are these the same ones who were showing any sympathy for horror tackles that break peoples legs? and who week in week out spout nonsense its a " mans game " injuries happen.

    as far as i am concerned the guy suffered a " natural " and unfortunate event, as usual, the bbc and other media outlets blow it all out of proportion. The Sportswriters have already given far to much pen and ink and internet coverage to whole thing.

    and as some others have mentioned, people in other walks of their life everyday are dieing some through natural causes, others, being set up as targets in far off places.


    so yes " perspective " is very much lacking on this whole saga.

  • Comment number 32.

    He did nearly die; he's now on the mend. He may be a nice chap who gives 101%? But he's also been given medical attention that most people wouldn’t have got and would now be dead. Can we now move on and stop dragging the last dregs out of this story?

  • Comment number 33.

    I'm not saying that it isn't a story, just lets have some perspective.

  • Comment number 34.

    What are the odds for Arsenal to win their remaining fixtures to the end of the season?

  • Comment number 35.

    @34

    don't know

    but its also possible for them to still win the PL Title as well


    now that would be truly a remarkable story.

  • Comment number 36.

    The whole episode has reflected greatly on the game, and this year it needs it more than ever. I, like everyone hope he gets well soon, at at least this time round, the game got it right.

    http://therestijustsquandered.com/2012/03/22/sometimes-sport-gets-it-right/

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 38.

    It is physically impossible to go about mourning every one who have lost their lives, yet does that mean we stop empathising with the few that touch are lives? BBC does not generate interest, it just reports articles that already have a large audience, because that is their job.
    Secondly, this hypocritical behavior of football fans is tiring me. Blackburn fans finally found in themselves a shred of humanity last night, which they have been lacking for the majority of this season.
    Get well soon, Muamba.

  • Comment number 39.

    #35. HAHA CharadeYouAre.

    "but its also possible for them to still win the PL Title as well


    now that would be truly a remarkable story."

    Yes, arithmetic shows it is still possible.
    I would add just that daydreaming can have positive side effects.

  • Comment number 40.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 41.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 42.

    Who's that bloke with the wedgie?

  • Comment number 43.

    #40 So everyone else's sympathy is fake but yours is completely genuine? You're just living up to you image of an infantile narcissistic troll. Was the support shown by Barca & Madrid also fake? Was that Spanish culture wallowing in grief? It's a shame that you never have anything to offer to these blogs except your contempt for your fellow countrymen. Maybe if you weren't continually childishly rolling your eyes you might not be so grumpy.

  • Comment number 44.

    It's funny how no one in English football did anything to remeber Eric Abidal yet in Spain they remembered Fabrice.

  • Comment number 45.

    Lads i think a lot of you are being very harsh altogether. The past week should be applauded immensely. From the stewards who let Andrew Deaner on to the pitch, the Bolton/Spurs docs who did amazing CPR, the paramedics and doctors at the London Chest Hospital, to the reactions of fans and players in all countries.

    My mother survived a heart attack in 2010, and i received a lot of emotional and physical support from a large group of extended friends and family. People kept asking "if there is anything i can do to help, i'm here for you". What is happening here is no different. If Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi etc wear Muamba tshirts, if the fans and sunderland, oldham teams want to leave a signed tshirt at the reebok, if people want to pray for the lad............ this is all just a basic, decent human desire to express support for a person who has suffered a great trauma (in front of the watchful eyes of millions).

    I guarantee, if soldiers in Afghanistan were seen getting shot on live tv watched by millions, or if a non sporting public figure had a heart attack live on tv, the reaction would be similar. There is no place for negativity on this issue in my opinion. The Muamba story resonated and connected with many people, myself included, because i felt part of the story watching it. Just as i felt part of the story when Eduardo broke his leg in such a shocking manner a few years back.

    In a world with so much negativity and heartache, i think the public outpouring of emotion and support should be commended for what it is, not criticised for the fact it doesnt apply equally to all cases. Football has a lot of problems but has come together in a difficult time, that is the way of the world. A lot of friends i had not seen in years got in touch with me when my mother suffered her heart attack.... it's just human nature to come together in a tragedy, and it should be applauded. It's an uplifting story, fingers crossed he continues to pull through, and the fact it has raised public awareness of cardiac issues in the young is only a good thing.

    Good luck and God speed to Muamba and his family, and to all families who are suffering in this world.

  • Comment number 46.

    #40

    Well said

    #41

    I bet he could explain the war in Afghanistan. Were these the same 'heroes' in Ireland?!

  • Comment number 47.

    This whole situation is bizarre. Firstly I was a little bit surprised that the game got abandoned at White Heart Lane, but understood that some players might have been upset at seeing a player receive such medical attention on the pitch. Then something weird happened - the football world started to mourn him. The media were in a frenzy, Bolton postponed their next match, Spurs offered their players emotional support, flowers and shirts were laid out at the Reebok stadium and players worldwide wore t-shirts with Fabrices' name on. All this for a player that had recovered in hospital and was "doing well" according to doctors.

  • Comment number 48.

    @47

    even more bizarre is that the parents were able to dictate to SKY TV when Bolton should play their next game

    even more bizarre than cameron starting up his own breakaway Premier League when it comes to who you have dinner with

  • Comment number 49.

    #46 Do you really think "emotional hysteria ravages English society" and that "English people love to wallow in their grief culture"? Really? These sound like the sort of ridiculous generalisations that an ignorant child would make.

  • Comment number 50.

    What happened to Fabrice was shocking but he is on the mend.

    It's time to talk about football again.

  • Comment number 51.

    @49

    he's spot on

    and has the courage to say it how it really is controversial to some, should be enlightening to others not yet brainwashed by the vocal minority.

  • Comment number 52.

    I'm very happy to hear Fabrice Muamba is recovering, albeit slowly, and has shown great spirit in his recovery so far.
    However, Fabrice's battle may only just have begun given he may never be able to play professional football again, among other physical limitations he may now have to accept.
    Such a sudden change in his lifestyle and coming to terms with his condition may not be very easy to accept and could lead to longer term problems e.g. depression.
    Fabrice will need lots of support to recover, not just physically, but also emotionally and mentally.
    I wish him luck on his very long recovery.

  • Comment number 53.

    #51 Please enlighten me just how English society is ravaged by emotional hysteria? Can you also demonstrate how England has a grief culture?

  • Comment number 54.

    #49

    I thought his remarks were placed in context and I can think of other situations - like the moronic mass hysteria over Princess Diana - where they would have been equally appropriate.

  • Comment number 55.

    Inside the Reebok in the Blackburn away fans' section there was more indignation at the fact that no beer was on sale to visiting fans than there was preoccupation with Muamba
    While even the most vociferous idiots managed to restrain themselves during the few minutes of respects to the player, the rest of the afternoon was littered with the usual smattering of racist, hateful chanting from a minority - don't take my word look on any Rovers message board or on Twitter - and outside the ground after there were dozens of incidences of fans of both sides attacking rival fans, three quite scary fights which broke out in thespace of a couple of minutes within feet of where I was walking, my mate's frail 80-year old dad knocked to the ground at one point without any hint of apology ( the policeman nearby who made no attempt to collar the combatants helpfully suggested: " Maybe you'd be better off leaving a bit before the end in future") - hardly the " the football family comes together at times like this" love in that the likes of Phil McNulty and Henry Winter imagine from their free, cosy seats in the press boxes

  • Comment number 56.

    #54 I'd agree with you re: Diana but that was 15 years ago. I haven't seen any mass hysteria since. I just don't see England as a country that is ravaged by emotional hysteria. Are there more recent and frequent examples? I certainly haven't seen any emotional hysteria over FM. Sure, the media are hyping the whole thing to try and sell papers or generate traffic but hysteria from the population? I must have missed the whole thing.

  • Comment number 57.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 58.

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  • Comment number 59.

    Boo

  • Comment number 60.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 61.

    #57 What a pathetic cop out. I would seriously like to know how English society is ravaged by emotional hysteria or how the English wallow in grief culture. Soul patch is correct that the dead are eulogised often in cringeworthy over the top terms but to suggest this is an English disease is nonsense. Can you name a country that doesn't do this? I would like someone to point out just where all this hysteria over FM has been taking place because I haven't seen it. If you're so intellectually superior it should be pretty easy to explain. Also if you're going to claim to be intellectually superior it would be better if you could actually use correct english. It's "..I fear you're far too intellectually challenged..." The ironing is delicious.

  • Comment number 62.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 63.

    As a Bolton fan I thought people were just being nice and had genuine concern for the health of a father who happened to be one of our players. Thank you to the many contributors on here that have made me realise that there are also many out there who couldn't care less how sick an individual is. Maybe when they are poorly they'll be happy to receive the same lack of compassion. To those of you that genuinely wish Fab a speedy recovery thank you from all Bolton fans.

  • Comment number 64.

    I wish Muamba and his family well. I'm not involved in the club in any way but when I read this happening I was disturbed by it and with each refresh of my phone I hoped to see good news.

    However, I'm dismayed at some of the posts here today.

    The posters here denigrating the response to Muamba's condition, and more to the point belittling those who have expressed their support of him in their own way, seem to have forgotten that a man known many thousands, watched by millions, was technically dead and suffered an horrific episode.

    Not only did this happen but he is still very ill and he is potentially never going play the sport that he loves again, so his ordeal is not nearly over.

    However the primary reason for my dismay is that these posters have taken it upon themselves to criticise the people giving support to Muamba and his family because of how it supposedly represents a national failure or a love for grief.

    When someone in a family almost dies, or has a terrible event in their lives, the response of the family is often above what you'd normally see from someone who has no particular love or interest in that person; the support given is above and beyond what any stranger might offer to them, if they even know anything has happened at all.

    I see contrasts and comparisons being made with service-men who lost their lives and I see quite frankly pathetic posts from either "side" of that comparison either belittling the sacrifice of soldiers or using it as a stick to beat those who dare to support Muamba and his family at this time.

    That comparison is irrelevant; if a family member of mine almost dies and I offer them overwhelming support, it bears absolutely nothing on what I may think of what is happening to other issues in the world. The bottom line is I want to support someone in my family who is going through a hard time.

    Sometimes, we feel we're a part of a family even when we don't share the blood of those involved. Football is a family, quite a global one; it's not always displayed as such by its members but sometimes, when something like this happens, that family work together.

    Sometimes, that means people who have never even met a player like Muamba feel that a part of the football family needs their support and, often, that'll result in things being said that they'd probably never normally say about that person. Similarly, we might feel a part of a national family when we hear of soldiers dying in the line of service; subsequently expressing support of these people despite having absolutely nothing to do with them. This support will often be given regardless of facts, or regardless of any actual knowledge of what that person has done in their life.

    Some call them heroes without even knowing if they are one. And is this such a bad thing? Should we research their lives first before offering the support? No, it's because we feel moved that we give this support and there is NO negative to it at all.

    Some people wish to claim higher ground and look down upon this, going so far as to claim some kind of national failure, when the world of football, the global football family, have shown support of Muamba? If it makes you feel better about yourself to pass anonymous judgement on those offering support, or to pass judgement on that support itself, then I pity you.

  • Comment number 65.

    #62 That was not a debate as you were totally unable to make any rational arguments or back up any of your ludicrous statements.

  • Comment number 66.

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  • Comment number 67.

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  • Comment number 68.

    Massive result for Bolton but not sure if they have the quality players for them to survive and avoid relegation

  • Comment number 69.

    @ 68

    considering the style and type of football they have entertained us all with over the years relegation would be an apt reward along with a few others of course.

  • Comment number 70.

    HAHA - You claim to be intellectually superior yet, as soon as I asked you to justify your view that England is ravaged by emotional hysteria, you simply resorted to insults - not the usual response from an intellectual heavyweight. The obvious reason you didn't back up any of the points you claim to be "spot on" is that you are simply incapable of having a rational argument, so you just start hurling abuse instead to try and hide your glaring deficiencies. Also is it really a sign of intelligence to display such overt sexism?

    As for the blog - if you don't like the subject then don't read it.

  • Comment number 71.

    #56
    Is time a barrier when its been playing out in sections of the press (and their readers) ever since? English national hysteria? Generally anything involving royalty. immigrants and the EU in recent times.

  • Comment number 72.

    mrs svennis

    If you do not believe that Britain does not have a propensity for wallowing in reflected grief, then I would point you to the case of Wooton Bassett where the 'mourners' receiving returning soldiers increased tenfold after a bit of media attention.

  • Comment number 73.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 74.

    #71 Some hysteria in the Tory press hardly equates to society being ravaged by it. In my experience people are far from hysterical about immigration, royalty or the EU. Maybe that's just the people I know.

    #72 I would hardly call paying respects to dead soldiers as wallowing in grief. Do you really think we are the only country to do this? I would say England is on the whole far less likely to wallow. For example after the recent killings at the Jewish school in Tolouse the French announced a day of mourning. When was the last time we had one in the UK? Not even after the 7/7 bombings.

  • Comment number 75.

    #73

    You are out of order!

  • Comment number 76.

    Also, Newcastle looked really impressive today. Their trio up front looked on fire.

  • Comment number 77.

    #74

    Nothing wrong with paying dignified respects by those townsfolk until the media got hold of it and the grief tourists arrived.

  • Comment number 78.

    Lots is being argued about soldier heroes but when there were soldiers not wanting to go to wars for the interest of multinationals, everyone in media was saying it was their job. I don't like to take part in arguments, as poor people who take the "soldier profession" to beat the dole are getting killed and this is just a football blog.

    Still, we should put things under perspective.

  • Comment number 79.

    66. At 19:52 25th Mar 2012, HAHA CharadeYouAre wrote:
    @ 64

    do shut up you p...
    _______________________

    Stopped reading there.

  • Comment number 80.

    @75

    why?

  • Comment number 81.

    Jockey Wilson died today ! another fat useless pillock who's contribution as a whole, to society was what ?
    ---------------------------------------

    Its Jocky

    He wasn't out to contribute to society but the guy got off the dole played darts and had some success.

    Get a grip

  • Comment number 82.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 83.

    #78

    Yes they did, might still chase down Chelsea or even Spurs...

  • Comment number 84.

    @75


    the mods assisted you to come to terms with your obvious grief..

    jeeze and to think england was once a nation of men and winners, now we are left with ?

    blogs about people suffering natural cardiac arrests

    Facebook and Twitter >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

  • Comment number 85.

    #82

    Log off!!!

  • Comment number 86.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 87.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 88.

    #87

    Ok since you obviously had an adult start up your computer, I would suggest you go and ask them to shut it down for you before you get yourself banned from this site forever.

  • Comment number 89.

    HAHA With every post you are showing your intellectual level more and more - down in the gutter. You think sexism, racism and homophobia are acceptable - that says everything any intelligent person needs to know.

  • Comment number 90.

    87. At 21:04 25th Mar 2012, HAHA CharadeYouAre wrote:
    @85

    i assume you are picking up on the correlation between blacks and bananas as well.

    as i say

    its turned into a very sad hypersensitive reactionary world.

    you vocal minorities have sure made a real mess of things.





    Oh, I see...you think you're a fearless champion of 'politically incorrect' liberal-baiting free-speech. And there was silly old me thinking you were just being tedious,pathetic and juvenile!

  • Comment number 91.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 92.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 93.

    43. At 14:55 25th Mar 2012, mrs svennis wrote:

    So everyone else's sympathy is fake but yours is completely genuine?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    What?! Behave yourself.

    Like I said, I have sympathy for Fabrice, because I've seen him play in many a dreary EPL game over the last few years, and on a more personal, humane level, because we're talking about a 23-year-old bloke with a fiancée, young son and parents who care about him.

    I expect that many Bolton fans, Spurs fans who were at the ground, fans of his former clubs, and those who knew him personally would be deeply affected by his collapse. However, those of us who don't fall into that category should not be unreasonably touched by his misfortune.

    As for the rest of your bizarre and hysterical diatribe: Infantile? No. Narcissistic? No. Troll? No. Footballing aficionado with an expert and knowledgeable view of the beautiful game and beyond? Yes.

  • Comment number 94.

    53. At 17:49 25th Mar 2012, mrs svennis wrote:

    Can you also demonstrate how England has a grief culture?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Oh, behave yourself!

    The aftermath of the unfortunate passing of Princess Diana should help you on your way to enlightenment on this subject. :rollseyes:

  • Comment number 95.

    The_soul_patch_of_David_Villa

    You seem very immature, are you a lonely person, do mummy and daddy not show you enough love. Do the big boys and girls at school make fun of you?
    I’ve notice you have a number of accounts in various names, is this so you can have a conversation with yourself to try to make you look slightly intelligent and witty.

    Oh and feel free to have this one removed as you seem to like complaining when someone directs a post at you.

  • Comment number 96.

    76. At 20:39 25th Mar 2012, Mind the gap wrote:

    Also, Newcastle looked really impressive today. Their trio up front looked on fire.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Demba ''goal a game'' Ba and Papiss ''scores for fun in the EasyPL'' Cissé are certainly filling their boots against the ''Frog and Ferret'' and ''The Crown Inn'' in the EPL.

    But these players weren't as prolific in the free-scoring Bundesliga.

  • Comment number 97.

    to reflect upon the sadness which is now typical in the english " grief culture "

    i give you;

    child dies whilst playing rugby, que an army of counsellors , school closes for a week, while all recover from the shock and trama thus caused. burial to take place at some cathedral with elton john on piano ( heavens above ) paul mcartney leads the tributes in some posh english/scouse accent.

    lawyers busy shifting through law books to see who was negligent,and who's to be the next millionaire via a generous compensation package followed by, public enquiry into safety at schools where children used to undertake sports of all kinds,sell of the playing field to some Bodge It and Fix IT Builder ( funded by the Work for Welfare program ) children now reduced to getting exercise from the WI at home after having consumed the family tea, of either a Chuck it and Puke from some grotty indian/chinease takeaway, or a microwaved Burger and Chips.

  • Comment number 98.

    96. The_soul_patch_of_David_Villa

    After the recent history of this thread I was almost happy to see you back from your recent sojourn. However the novelty soon wears.

  • Comment number 99.

    98. At 21:59 25th Mar 2012, cashforhonours wrote:
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    That's nice for you. :scratcheshead:

  • Comment number 100.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

 

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