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Fabrice Muamba still 'far away' from football return as he receives doctorate

Fabrice Muamba poses for photographs after receiving an Honorary Degree from Bolton University. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Fabrice Muamba admitted he is still "far away" from returning to a football pitch but remains hopeful he will be able to resume his career with Bolton.

The midfielder was at the town's Victoria Hall to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Bolton at their graduation ceremony.

Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba is fitted with robes before receiving an Honorary Degree. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Muamba was presented with the award to honour both him and the doctors who saved his life when he collapsed with a cardiac arrest during an FA Cup tie against Tottenham in March.

Muamba was rushed to the London Chest Hospital and doctors took 78 minutes to restart his heart, with his eventual recovery described as a miracle.

The Bolton midfielder dedicated his doctorate to "everybody who helped me". Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Speaking at the ceremony, Muamba said:

I'm getting stronger every day. I'm far away from being back on the football pitch.

I really, really hope, by the grace of God, that I'll be back on the pitch but I'm just grateful to the university for this doctorate and I receive it on behalf of everybody who helped me to survive the cardiac arrest.

Muamba arrived in London aged 11 after he and his family fled war in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Muamba said he was "far away" from returning to a football field but remained hopeful. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

Despite being unable to speak English when he arrived in the capital, Muamba went on to achieve 10 GCSEs and three A levels.

He joined Arsenal FC's youth academy in 2002 before moving to Birmingham and then Bolton in 2008.