Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp thought the worst had happened when Bolton Wanderers' Fabrice Muamba collapsed during the pair's FA Cup tie on Saturday.
The 23-year-old suffered cardiac arrest and is currently in a serious condition in hospital with the football community rallying around to offer their best wishes.
Redknapp has since spoken for the first time about the incident, describing his feelings the moments following his collapse.
"When they were pumping his heart, we realised just how desperate it was. I feared the worst," he said. "None of us could believe what had happened. Everyone was shocked."
The 64-year-old knows all too well the health risks attached to elite sport, himself having heart surgery earlier this season, while Marc-Vivien Foe, a former player of Redknapp, died on the pitch after collapsing in 2003.
"Marc played for me at West Ham. That was horrendous, the lucky thing for Fabrice was that it was at a Prem ground," he said. "If it had been a Sunday morning footballer or non-league, I do not think he would have pulled through.
"It was obviously a problem that was there so it was lucky it happened where it did as the medical people were fantastic."
A decision as to whether Bolton will continue in the FA Cup is yet to made, while their league game with Aston Villa, due to be played on Tuesday night, has been postponed.
Both sets of players were visibly distraught immediately preceding the incident at White Hart Lane, and revisiting the scene could prove an emotional step too far for the pair of clubs.