Fabrice Muamba Retires Following Cardiac Arrest In March

BOLTON, ENGLAND - MAY 02: Fabrice Muamba of Bolton Wanderers waves to the crowd prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Bolton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur at the Reebok Stadium on May 2, 2012 in Bolton, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Bolton midfielder, Fabrice Muamba, has decided to retire from football after suffering a cardiac arrest in March.

Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba has announced his retirement from football.

Muamba has been recovering since he suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed on the pitch at White Hart Lane during an FA Cup game against Tottenham Hotspur in March, where his heart stopped for 78 minutes. Medical staff from both sides and a heart specialist present in the crowd had to rush to save the young midfielder's life, who managed to make an incredible recovery after spending a month in hospital.

The former England Under-21 star had undergone heart surgery in Belgium last month as he hoped to continue playing, but has decided to put his health first and call it quits on his football career after doctors warned him that continuing to play would put his heart at risk. Muamba had tweeted before the announcement, simply saying "KEEP SMILING PEOPLE."

In a statement on the club's official website, Muamba declared: "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 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."

Bolton boss Owen Coyle stated: ": "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.

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."

Muamba arrived in the UK at a young age from the Democratic Republic of Congo, later joining Arsenal's youth academy before moving to Birmingham and Bolton Wanderers.

Read the reaction from our Bolton blog, Lion of Vienna Suite.

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