Players and fans were horrified as attempts were made to resuscitate the midfielder [GETTY]

Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba  was "critically ill'' in a hospital's heart attack unit on Saturday night after collapsing during a match at Tottenham that was subsequently abandoned.

The England under-21 international fell face-down to the pitch near the halfway line without any players near him.

Medics rushed onto the pitch with a defibrillator and treated the 23-year-old Muamba, pumping his chest for around six minutes of treatment before he was rushed to hospital.

"Fabrice is critically ill. The next 24 hours are going to be absolutely crucial,'' said Bolton Manager Owen Coyle who accompanied Muamba to the hospital.

"We've obviously been inundated with people wishing him well and we hope that if everybody can pray strongly tonight that Fabrice is able to recover. It's very serious. There's not getting away from that. He's critically ill and God willing he makes it through."

Match abandoned

After Muamba was carried off on a stretcher with an oxygen mask and with his chest still being pumped, all the players also left the pitch before referee Howard Webb abandoned the quarter-final.

Fabrice Muamba represented England at the European Under-21 championships last year [GETTY]

Bolton manager Owen Coyle and striker Kevin Davies accompanied the player to hospital.

Bolton teammate Stuart Holden, who was watching the game on television, tweeted: "waiting anxiously for updates from teammates. Fab is a fighter!''

Fabrice Ndala Muamba was born in what was then called Zaire on April 6, 1988. His father left the country because of political turmoil and settled in England, and Muamba joined Arsenal's youth academy in 2002.

He made his debut at age 17 on October 25, 2005, in the League Cup at Sunderland, and was loaned to Birmingham in the League Championship the following season.

The loan was made permanent in May 2007, and he made his English Premier League debut for Birmingham in 2007-08.

He joined Bolton in June 2008.

Muamba has been part of England's youth team system and was a member of its team at last year's European Under-21 Championship, where he came on as a substitute against Ukraine and started against the Czech Republic.

Source: AP