Howard Webb: Crowd were amazing after Muamba collapsed
Published 22:30 20/03/12 By David McDonnell
Spurs vs Bolton match referee Howard Webb has spoken of the staggering reaction of 35,000 fans willing Fabrice Muamba to pull through at White Hart Lane.
The 40-year-old World Cup Final ref has attracted praise for the way he handled himself by keeping his head as medics battled to save the Bolton midfielder during Saturday evening's FA Cup game.
But he deflected the attention back on to the fans, and said the spectators' behaviour was one of the most astonishing things he has ever known.
Webb said: “My overriding memory is of the crowd reaction to it all when, suddenly, they all realised the seriousness of the situation.
“Firstly, they went very quiet. It was as if they all knew it was really serious. Then I could almost sense them encouraging him, and then willing someone to get a doctor.
“When the doctor arrived and started working on Fabrice, the crowd reaction was amazing, it was as if they were almost pushing with the doctor and willing him to get Fabrice’s heart going.
“Certainly, I felt for the doctor, and I think everybody did. Here he was in front of what, 35,000 people, trying to save someone’s life. I think we all felt for him doing that in that situation.
“The crowd really were pushing for him, they were chanting Fabrice’s name - I’ve never known anything like it, because the crowd reaction to that, and afterwards, was amazing.
“I just caught the back end of the collapse and didn’t know what had happened and saw Luka Modric looking as bemused as I was.
“Some players nearby were distraught whilst Fabrice was being worked on - Jermain Defoe knows him well.
"I decided to get everyone off then we could all gather our thoughts
"The decision to abandon the game was the only right and proper one to take.”