Five months after collapsing on a soccer field yet suriving a cardiac arrest, Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba has announced his retirement. "While the news is devastating, I have
much to be thankful for," Muamba said. ''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."
Muamba, 24, had been advised to retire by doctors and cardiologists in England and other European countries. He collapsed on the field during an FA Cup match March 17 and his heart stopped beating on its own for 78 minutes. Andrew Deaner, a cardiologist who was in the stands, rushed on to the field to help, and after arriving at the London Chest Hospital Muamba heart re-started. He was discharged April 16.
"Football has been my life since I was a teenage boy and it has given me so many opportunities," Muamba said. "Above all else, I love the game and count myself very lucky to have been able to play at the highest level. I would also like to thank everyone who has supported me throughout my career, and the Bolton fans who have been incredible."
Muamba played 211 games in all competitions during his professional career, scoring six goals. He began his career at Arsenal before joining Birmingham in 2007, and signed with Bolton the following year.