Rhys Bennett says prayers for Bolton team-mate Muamba

Rhys Bennett is on loan to Falkirk from Bolton
Rhys Bennett is on loan to Falkirk from Bolton

Falkirk defender Rhys Bennett hit the post on Tuesday night, but he was desperate to score in tribute to his friend Fabrice Muamba.

Bennett, on loan with the Bairns from Bolton, has told The Falkirk Herald of his horror at hearing the news about his Wanderers’ team-mate who collapsed during a game last weekend with a cardiac arrest.

Muamba’s heart stopped beating for more than an hour and Bolton’s match against Spurs at White Hart Lane, was abandoned.

Bennett had just completed 90 minutes against Ross County when he heard the news.

“I found out on the way back from Dingwall - which made that trip an even longer journey. It was on the radio, and I got a text, and then I tried to ring the guys back home, but I was in shock really, just shock.

“It’s terrible to think that could happen, but I’m so glad he’s still with us and getting better slowly but surely.”

Bennett wanted to hit the net against Morton and dedicate the strike to the English under-21 cap. But he rattled the post from close range after Mark Millar’s cross.

Instead, he’ll keep his friend in his thoughts and prayers and circulating the #prayformuamba message on Twitter.

“It would have been nice to score, to give him a little tribute and remind everyone I’m thinking of him - but I’ve been tweeting to get as much support and as many people praying for him as possible. I’m a religious person and I believe it works, and little by little I hope God can find a way where he can recover fully.

“No-one wants to see that happen to anyone, especially not someone involved and so close to your football club.

“The best thing I could do was do my best in my next game - which was Morton on Tuesday - and I wanted to score and get a message to Fab. In times like that you do the things that you love, and what Fab loves, and that’s playing football.”

Muamba’s situation was critical over the weekend, but reports yesterday from London said he was doing well and laughing and joking with friends and family and Bennett was relieved to hear of his progress.

“When you see someone every day and you see the smile on his face each day and train with him, you get close without even knowing it.

“Everyone has been brilliant, at times like this the football world unites - Cristiano Ronaldo sent a message playing for Real Madrid - and I’m grateful everyone is on his side and thinking and praying for him, because he is one of the nicest people in football.”