Owen, who was born in the ‘Little Donegal’ area of Glasgow to Donegal parents and who is a frequent visitor to Gaoth Dobhair, accompanied Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba to hospital after he collapsed on the pitch during Wanderers’ FA Cup Sixth Round match at Tottenham Hotspur.
Muamba collapsed shortly before half-time, and medics treated him on the pitch for around 10 minutes. Medical staff administered mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and used a defibrillator, before the 23-year-old was moved on to a stretcher and taken to hospital.
At around 8.10pm, it was reported that a hospital source had revealed that Muamba was in a ‘stable condition’.
Bolton released a statement at 9.30pm saying that the 23-year-old was “critically ill in intensive care”.
Referee Howard Webb abandoned the match after consulting with managers Owen Coyle and Harry Redknapp.
Coyle and Bolton captain Kevin Davies are understood to have travelled to the London Chest Hospital in Bethnal Green, where Muamba is being treated.
Muamba was born in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) in 1988 and moved to England at the age of 11. He came through the ranks at Arsenal and was loaned to Birmingham in 2006 before making a permament move to St Andrews the following year.
When Birmingham were relegated in 2008, he moved to Bolton for a fee of £5m. He has made 130 appearances for the Trotters, scoring three goals. He was voted their player of the season during the 2009-10 season.
Muamba is a naturalised British citizen, and has represented England at every level from Under-15 to Under-21, making 33 appearances for Stuart Pearce’s side.
FA chairman David Bernstein has made a statement saying: “On behalf of The FA, I would like to send our thoughts and prayers to Fabrice Muamba and his family this evening.
“Fabrice has played 33 times for England Under-21s, captaining Stuart Pearce’s side during this time and is a player, and more importantly, a person we care greatly for.
“We are in contact with Bolton Wanderers over Fabrice’s condition and are awaiting updates.”
The thoughts and prayers of soccer fans here will be with him and Owen Coyle tonight.