Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba has announced his retirement from professional football following advice from cardiologists.
The 24 year old suffered a heart attack, during which his heart stopped for 78 minutes, during an FA Cup clash with Tottenham Hotspur last March but remained hopeful of returning to the pitch in the future.
“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,” the player said.
“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.
“While the news is devastating, I have much to be thankful for.”
Manager Owen Coyle said that Bolton would support Muamba whatever he chooses to do in retirement.
“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.”