Lockyer: I remember thinking 'I could be dying here'

By Layton Ryan-Parson 1 Mar 2024
Tom Lockyer, Luton

Luton captain opens up about the moment his life was saved on the pitch against Bournemouth

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Luton Town captain Tom Lockyer has detailed his experience of suffering a heart attack on the pitch during December's Premier League match against AFC Bournemouth, recalling the thought: "I could be dying here."

Lockyer, who also collapsed during the Championship playoff final against Coventry City at Wembley Stadium last May, has told his incredible story in an interview with Luton's club website.

The match was postponed in December and was rearranged, being played this evening on Wednesday 13 March, with Lockyer returning to Vitality Stadium to thank the medics who saved his life.

"At Wembley I woke up from a dream and I was fine straight away and I wanted to get up and walk off and carry on playing. This time I woke up from a nothing," says Lockyer in the video above.

"I could see and hear and feel everything going on but I couldn't speak and I couldn't move, so instantly I knew it was different."  

Thanks to Luton's medical staff and the paramedics on hand, Lockyer was revived on the pitch, after his heart stopped for two minutes 40 seconds.

"I've spoken to a lot of the medical [staff] since and the hardest thing for them was knowing me as a person," he said. "They said it's so much easier when you don't know someone and you don't know the life that's at risk.

"For them, knowing me and being friends was a lot harder for them, so for them to then manage under the pressure and the whole situation as well as they did, I’ll be forever indebted to them.

"Incredible people, amazing, I can’t speak highly enough of them and I'm so incredibly lucky that without them I might not be here today."

He added: "Please go and learn how to do CPR because it really does save lives."

What's next for Lockyer?

Lockyer revealed that he burst into tears when he thought his football career was over. But there is still hope that the incident at the Vitality Stadium may be not the end.

When asked about his plans for the future, he replied: "TBC. This isn’t something you can rush.

"Obviously there’s inspirations out there - [Christian] Eriksen and Daley Blind, etc - but first and foremost health is the No 1 priority. It’ll all be down to what the doctors say and they’re not in a position to say that at the minute."

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