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Wednesday 15 August 2012

'Devastated' Muamba retires from football

Bolton Wanderers midfielder forced to quit after taking medical advice

  • Fabrice Muamba became a crowd favourite during his time at Bolton Wanderers

  • Fabrice Muamba started his career in the youth team at Arsenal

  • Muamba initially joined Birmingham City on loan but made the deal permanent in 2007

Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba has announced his retirement from professional football.

The 24-year-old midfielder suffered a cardiac arrest during the FA Cup quarter-final tie against Tottenham Hotspur in March, with doctors revealing that his heart had stopped for 78 minutes.

He spent a month in the London Chest Hospital and made a remarkable recovery, being discharged on April 16th and making an emotional appearance on the pitch at the Reebok Stadium for the League match against Tottenham on May 2nd.

Muamba had hoped to continue playing at some point in the future but has decided to retire after taking medical advice.

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

"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 told Bolton's official website.

"As part of my ongoing 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 started his career at Arsenal before joining Birmingham City on loan in 2006, making the deal permanent in 2007. He made a total of 37 Barclays Premier League appearances for the Blues, scoring two goals.

He signed for Bolton in 2008, making a total of 128 appearances.

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

"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.

"The most important thing is that he is here, alive, today"
- Bolton manager Owen Coyle

"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 said the club would support the former England Under-21 international.

"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," said Coyle.

"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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Key Points

  • Fabrice Muamba forced to retire from football
  • Bolton midfielder suffered cardiff arrest in March
  • Muamba says football has "given me so many opportunities"