Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba has announced hisretirement from professional football, five months after suffering a cardiacarrest during an FA Cup tie at Tottenham. The 24 year old said he hoped to return to professionalfootball, but following further surgery in Belgium last week doctors haveinformed the former England Under-21 international that he should not playagain.
Muamba said: "Since suffering my heart attack and beingdischarged from hospital, I have remained utterly positive in the belief Icould one day resume my playing career and play for Bolton Wanderers onceagain.
"As part of my on-going recovery, last week I travelled toBelgium to seek further medical advice from a leading cardiologist. But thenews I received was obviously not what I had hoped it would be and it means Iam now announcing my retirement from professional football.
"Football has been my life since I was a teenage boy and ithas given me so many opportunities. Above all else, I love the game and countmyself very lucky to have been able to play at the highest level.
"While the news is devastating, I have much to be thankfulfor. I thank God that I am alive and I pay tribute once again to the members ofthe medical team who never gave up on me. I would also like to thank everyonewho has supported me throughout my career, and the Bolton fans who have beenincredible. I am blessed to have the support of my family and friends at thistime."
Trotters boss Owen Coyle said: "We have spoken with Fab andhe knows we will always support him in whatever he wants to do and that we willalways be here for him.
"He is obviously massively disappointed that he won't beable to carry on his career, but everyone has seen what a fighter and strongperson he is in mind and body.
"We know that he will go on to achieve great things andwithin all this disappointment, the most important thing is that he is here,alive, today."