Coyle watched as doctors switched off Fabrice Muamba’s ventilator at the London Chest Hospital, prompting the midfielder’s body to fight and live on after his shocking cardiac arrest during an away game against Tottenham Hotspur last Saturday.

Having been there throughout Muamba’s plight, Coyle has received an outpouring of emotion and support from the public and fellow managers.

“Kenny Dalglish actually rang me while I was in the police car, going at 120mph to the hospital. Kenny said I knew where he was if I needed anything.

“I’ve got a very good relationship with him anyway, but to show he cared straightaway sums up the man he is,” he said.

Talking to the Telegraph at Bolton’s Euxton base before training yesterday, Coyle related the events of a frightening week.

He said: “All the Premier League managers sent messages. Players like David Beckham sent goodwill messages. As soon as I was getting the messages, I was passing them on to Fabrice’s fiancee, Shauna, and his father Marcel.

They felt that energy and I have no doubt they transmitted that to Fabrice when they were able to go in to see him.

“On that Saturday night we were all there at the hospital, with Shauna, the chairman [Phil Gartside], the skipper [Kevin Davies] and the Bolton medical staff.

“There was a sense of it being surreal, a shock.

“Because of the procedure, there was going to be 24 hours of nothing, really, because they needed to ‘cool him down’ in the terminology, to stablise him.

“Shauna was the first to go in and see him and she came out as high as a kite. She said: ‘He opened his eyes.’

“The next time, he moved his arms and his legs, which was remarkable,” he said.

Coyle said that he knew Muamba was a fit young man and had to fight to earn everything in his life because of his upbringing, leaving Zaire and coming to another culture.

“He’s a battler. You only have to look at the number of times they tried to resuscitate him [15]. To come through that, you can see he is a natural born fighter,” Coyle added.

“For the length of time his heart stopped, 78 minutes, it’s incredible to see where he is just now. But he’s still continuing with that battle. He remains in intensive care.

“He’s seriously ill but I’ve no doubt the support showed to him has played a bit part in his improvement.

“The support has been incredible, overwhelming, very humbling.

The Telegraph reported that Mark Halsey, the Premier League referee who lives locally, travelled south to the London Chest Hospital on Wednesday. 

Muamba opened his eyes, saw Halsey and said: ‘Mark!’. Halsey reportedly burst into tears at confirmation that a player he knows well was alive.

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