Fabrice Muamba's 2012 In Pictures

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HuffPost UK Sport launched on Thursday 15 March this year, the day after Chelsea's exceptional Champions League comeback against Napoli. If that felt slightly hectic, the quandary how to manage our first weekend of sport, including the maiden 2012 Formula One Grand Prix in Australia, the final weekend of the Six Nations and FA Cup football was a baptism of fire. But the fire was stoked and the flames bellowed to such an overwhelming degree when on Saturday 17 March Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba collapsed at Tottenham.

Watching the game, the cameras had not picked up Muamba's fall and neither had any of the photographers inside the stadium. Tottenham had gone haring off towards the visitors' goal when suddenly the game, like broadcaster ESPN's cameraman, froze as all everyone could see was goalkeeper Ádám Bogdán clutching the ball.

It soon became apparent Muamba needed treatment. The assumption was he had twisted his knee or his ankle perhaps, which explained why he was lying prostrate on the turf. Rewind. Pause. Anything? No. Multiple viewings could not shed light on what had happened.

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Then the gravity of the situation dawned. Doctors were giving Muamba cardiopulmonary resuscitation, more widely known as CPR. He had had a heart attack. Acting instinctively, pictures from various agencies were already dropping online, one of which caught a glimpse of Muamba's face, oblivious to the efforts being made to keep him alive.

Fabrice Muamba's 2012
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Supporters at White Hart Lane didn't know how to react. Some urged the paramedics on, others called for silence in fear that it may affect the medical staff's concentration. Surreal and sad, like the television camera people froze whether they were watching on at the ground, in the pub or in their lounge. That a footballer at the peak of his fitness and 20 days short of his 24th birthday could have a cardiac arrest was genuinely scary.

The Twittersphere's reaction and around the country was hysterical. Because it had happened live on television the tremors were profound as the hashtag #prayforMuamba started trending and wreaths and shirts with messages were laid outside Bolton's ground. The mourning sickness had become so contagious people reacted as if Muamba had died. The non-religious became religious and preached others to pray as the hypocritical reaction masked the nationwide hope the Congo-born midfielder would survive. Some call it 'Dianafication'.

Muamba's heart stopped beating independently for 78 minutes but less than a month after he was admitted he was discharged from the London Chest Hospital. He had survived.

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