Banter this was not: Liam Stacey invited the wrath of the nation with his despicable sense of humour on a day when most feared Fabrice Muamba to be dead. (Image | ITV)

University of Swansea student Liam Stacey, who was jailed for his brainless and insensitive comments about Fabrice Muamba, yesterday apologised for his remarks on Twitter.

Stacey, speaking to BBC Wales’ “Week in Week Out” programme, said: “I heard the news [about Muamba] during the England-Ireland game [Six Nations]. I don’t know why I decided to tweet about it.”

Neither do we, Liam. The student elaborated on his actions, calling them a “stupid, massive, massive mistake”, adding: “I’ve paid a huge price for it.”

While the rest of the country, and indeed the footballing world was stunned and deeply saddened by the news of Muamba’s cardiac arrest during an FA Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur, Stacey decided to tweet the following from his account.

“LOL Fuck Muamba he’s dead !!! #Haha.” With this handful of hate, the 21-year-old secured himself a 56-day prison sentence for a racially aggravated public order offence, as he posted further comments on his account amounting to racist abuse.

Muamba’s team mates at Bolton Wanderers showed their support and respect for the stricken midfielder, whose recovery is as inspiring as it is unbelievable. (Image | The Guardian)

The 24-year-old Bolton Wanderers midfielder went on to make an astonishing recovery, particularly when news emerged that Muamba’s heart had stopped beating for 78 minutes.

His story has inspired observers across the world, and the Zaire-born footballer has since praised God for his miraculous return to life, as it genuinely was that close.

“I am walking proof of the power of prayer. For 78 minutes I was dead and even if I lived was expected to have suffered brain damage.

“But I’m very much alive. Someone up there was watching over me. On the morning of the game I prayed with my father and asked God to protect me — and he didn’t let me down.”

Muamba was quick to demonstrate his keen sense of humour, when during the final day of the Premier League, a day on which pulses were racing and hearts beating faster than at any other time, he tweeted the following.

“I think watching or hearing about football today is not good for my heart.”

As for Stacey, one can only hope he has learned his lesson, and also feels inspired by the story of Muamba, the man he so quickly and foolishly wrote off in a tweet that took a few seconds to post, but will be regretted for a lifetime.

Tweet the author | @chriskking

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