Former Premier League footballer Fabrice Muamba has offered his thoughts for Quinton Barham, the 13-year-old Trowbridge boy who suffered a cardiac arrest while playing in a youth football match on Sunday.

The Clarendon College pupil, of Hyde Road, is in a stable but critical condition in Bristol Royal Infirmary since he collapsed after scoring a hat-trick with for Bradford Town Youth in their Mid Wilts Youth and Minor League under 14 cup match at Bromham.

His father, Paul Barham, 48, has been by his side since Sunday and grateful for all the support the family and Quinton had received, he confirmed yesterday that Muamba had retweeted a message of support.

Last March, the Bolton midfielder suffered a cardiac arrest during a televised FA Cup match against Tottenham Hotspur, from which he recovered despite his heart having stopped for more than an hour.Following medical advice, he announced his retirement from professional football in August.

Mr Barham said: "The support and comments have reached so far out. Fabrice Muamba has been in touch on Twitter to say he was praying for us and sending his support.

"Clarendon College rang this morning to express their concerns and said they were praying for Quinton. His friends have rallied round and visited him, although it has been tough on them."

Quinton is currently on a life support machine while doctors decide if he needs emergency surgery.

Mr Barham added: “The doctors have eased off the muscle relaxants and we are hoping he comes off them soon to see how he reacts. This is a critical stage for us."