Updated: Monday, 20th November 2017 @ 5:34pm

Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba 'devastated' after retiring from football on medical advice

Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba 'devastated' after retiring from football on medical advice

By Dean Wilkins

Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba is devastated after being forced to retire from football on the advice of medical staff.

The 24-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest during an FA Cup tie against Tottenham in March and was hoping to make a full recovery after showing positive signs of health.

The Championship announced today that Muamba would not be returning to the game.

"While the news is devastating, I have much to be thankful for," said Muamba.

"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."

Muamba had made a remarkable recovery from his cardiac arrest – which left him ‘dead’ for 78 minutes – and despite his positive attitude towards his health, he will not be able to continue playing at a high level.

"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,” Muamba added.

"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.

"Football has been my life since I was a teenage boy and it has given me so many opportunities.

"Above all else, I love the game and count myself very lucky to have been able to play at the highest level.

"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’s club chairman Phil Gartside said: "To have Fabrice here and with us is truly amazing and we are all very thankful for that.

"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.

"The most important thing is that Fabrice and his family have the rest of their lives ahead of them."

Bolton manager Owen Coyle said: "We have spoken with Fab and he knows we will always support him in whatever he wants to do and that we will always be here for him.

"He is obviously massively disappointed that he won't be able to carry on his career, but everyone has seen what a fighter and strong person he is in mind and body.

"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."

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