Bolton Wanderers midfielder Muamba grateful for "terrific support from fans" 



By Adam Higgins
Chief Football Editor 



Muamba (pictured) made an emotional return to the Reebok Stadium after returning for the first time since being discharged from hospital


Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba has returned to the Reebok Stadium for the first time since being discharged from hospital after his cardiac arrest.

The 24 year old former England Under-21 international attended his side's 4-1 home defeat to Tottenham Hotspur, shedding a tear as he was warmly greeted by both sets of supporters when taking to the pitch minutes before kick-off. The match was also the first time he had watched the team live since the ordeal while he also conducted a first television interview since leaving hospital last month. He paid a special tribute to fans in particular of Bolton and Tottenham for their support during this difficult time for him. "Thank you from the bottom of my heart, thank you for your support. Not just the Bolton fans or Tottenham fans, the whole country. I'm grateful I can walk again and do things normally again. My message is thank you.

He added: "I'm happy to be back, I'm happy to see the fans outside and for the support I got. I'm happy to be able to speak to people again and walk freely. The support has been overwhelming, I'm very grateful for it. The support helps me every single day - I've still got six or seven boxes of well-wishes to go through. The support stays in my mind every single day, keeps me going every single day."

Muamba collapsed on the pitch during a match against Spurs in an FA Cup quarter-final at White Hart Lane on 17th March and was technically "dead" for 78 minutes. He was tended on the pitch by medical staff which included the use of a defribillator before being stretchered from the field of play and taken to the nearby London Chest Hospital. The game was abandoned by referee Howard Webb after 41 minutes with players and fans visibly shaken. He recovered well from life-threatening surgery while posting pictures of himself in the hospital bed on social networking site Twitter a week later and was able to eat and watch his team-mates in action on Match of the Day.  

It remains unclear if or when the ex Arsenal and Birmingham City player can return to professional football despite initial reports when he was released from the "Heart Attack" ward that he may be able to play again within six months.

The defeat for Muamba's Bolton meant they remain in the relegation zone sitting in 18th place with 34 points while only two matches remain. Although, they trail QPR in 17th by goal difference only and face West Bromwich Albion at home and away to Stoke City on the final day of the season.

Click here for the full interview with Fabrice Muamba- courtesy of Sky Sports

Click here to see the emotional greeting of chants and cheers for Muamba at the Spurs match

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