Fabrice Muamba forced to retire on medical advice

Muamba has been told by doctors he should retire from football at the age of 24 Credit: PA

Bolton Wanderers have confirmed that Fabrice Muamba has been forced to retire from football on medical advice.

The 24-year-old collapsed during an FA Cup at Tottenham Hotspur in March and was clinically dead for around eighty minutes. Millions of television viewers watched as the medics attempted to revive the midfielder in the middle of the pitch.

His recovery stunned doctors and fans alike. Wtihin days he was talking again, and within weeks was back at the Reebok Stadium watching Wanderers play in a crucial Premier League game.

In a statement on their website the club have confirmed that the decision has been made on the recommendation of his medical team, and following extensive consultations with leading cardiologists both in the UK and Europe.

Muamba said: “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.

“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.

"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.

“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.”

Chairman Phil Gartside said: “To have Fabrice here and with us is truly amazing and we are all very thankful for that.

“We are all hugely disappointed that Fabrice will be unable to return to his playing career but we have to be guided by the medical recommendations and the best interests of Fabrice.“The most important thing is that Fabrice and his family have the rest of their lives ahead of them.”

Manager Owen Coyle said: “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.”