Midfielder retires after suffering cardiac arrest.
Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba has announced his retirement from football following medial advice.
The 24-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch during last season’s FA Cup quarter-final with Tottenham on 17 March.
Despite his heart stopping for over an hour, the former England under-21 international made a miraculous recovery and was given a standing ovation on the pitch when he returned to the Reebok Stadium six weeks later.
In a statement on the club’s official website, Muamba admitted he was retiring reluctantly after being advised to hang up his boots by medical professionals.
“Since suffering my heart attack and being discharged from hospital, I have remained utterly positive in the belief I could one day resume my playing career and play for Bolton Wanderers once again.
“As part of my on-going recovery, last week I travelled to Belgium to seek further medical advice from a leading cardiologist. But the news I received was obviously not what I had hoped it would be and it means I am now announcing my retirement from professional football.”
Muamba said he was lucky to be alive and paid tribute to the Bolton supporters.
“Football has been my life since I was a teenage boy and it has given me so many opportunities,” he continued.
“Above all else, I love the game and count myself very lucky to have been able to play at the highest level. While the news is devastating, I have much to be thankful for. I thank God that I am alive and I pay tribute once again to the members of the medical team who never gave up on me.
“I would also like to thank everyone who has supported me throughout my career, and the Bolton fans who have been incredible. I am blessed to have the support of my family and friends at this time.”
Bolton manager Owen Coyle backed Muambu for a prosperous career, saying: “We know that he will go on to achieve great things and within all this disappointment, the most important thing is that he is here, alive, today.”
Chairman Phil Gartside added: “We are all hugely disappointed that Fabrice will be unable to return to his playing career but we have to be guided by the medical recommendations and the best interests of Fabrice.”
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