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15/08/2012 - 15:30 BST

Fabrice Muamba Announces Retirement At the Age of 24

Wednesday, 15th August, 2012

Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba has decided to call time on his career as a football player after cardiology experts advised him to stay away from the game following a cardiac arrest in March this year.

The 24-year-old had suffered the heart attack during an FA Cup match against Tottenham Hotspur, when he collapsed in the middle of the pitch. His heart remained dysfunctional for an hour and he was close to death before doctors had finally succeeded in restarting his heart-beat.

The former Arsenal man announced his retirement insisting that he wanted to continue, but his medical simply does not allow him to do so.

"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", said the 24-year-old.

“As part of my ongoing 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”, he added.

However, the Bolton defensive midfielder insisted that he is thankful to God for being alive while also thanking the club and the fans for their support.

“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”, said the midfielder.

“I would also like to thank everyone who has supported me throughout my career, and the Bolton fans who have been incredible”, he added.

The Trotters manager Owen Coyle said the club stood by the player’s decision and stressed that the thing which matters most is the life of the former Birmingham midfielder.

“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", said Coyle while talking to Bolton’s official website.

"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.”

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