Archbishop hails Muamba well-wishers

Muamba is said to be making "strong and steady improvements" Credit: PA

The leader of the Roman Catholic church in England and Wales has hailedthe well-wishes former Birmingham City player Fabrice Muamba has received.

Muamba collapsed on the pitch in the first half of Bolton's FA Cupquarter-final at Tottenham on March 17, with the game subsequently beingabandoned. He had suffered a cardiac arrest.

The Archbishop of Westminster, The Most Rev Vincent Nichols, was giving the homily at the Easter Vigil, at Westminster Cathedral yesterday, when he focussed on illness and trauma in society.

The Archbishop told the vigil: "We hear of the agonies of personal illness and trauma. Yet in response we know that there is a great wave of prayer, seen with unusual publicity in the case of the young footballer Fabrice Muamba.

"This prayer, our prayer, can always support and transform personal distress. It is a true sign of the light of the Risen Christ in our lives. The archbishop went on to talk about the problems in the Middle East and "the seemingly intractable difficulties in the Holy Land".

The Archbishop continued, "Tonight we also recall those who work persistently, quietly, for deeper mutual understanding, for step-by-step economic progress, for justice and peace for all."

Muamba is said to be making "strong and steady improvements" in his recovery from a cardiac arrest as he celebrated his 24th birthday on Good Friday.