Bolton's Fabrice Muamba retires

August 15, 2012
By ESPN.com news services

Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba on Wednesday formally announced plans to retire from soccer following his March 17 on-field collapse during an FA Cup quarterfinal.

The Wanderers made the announcement Wednesday, posting a statement from Muamba on the team's website. Muamba, 24, said he had hoped to make a comeback, but had made the decision to retire from the professional game after taking medical advice.

"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," Muamba said in his statement.

"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."

Muamba collapsed during the 41st minute of an FA Cup quarterfinal at Tottenham on March 17.

He fell face-down to the field near the midfield line without any players near him.

Medics rushed onto the field with a defibrillator and treated the 23-year-old, pumping his chest for around six minutes of treatment before he was rushed to hospital.

"While the news is devastating, I have much to be thankful for," said Muamba.

"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."

"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," Bolton manager Owen Coyle said.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.