HomeLuton captain Lockyer would 'love' to return to football

Luton captain Lockyer would ‘love’ to return to football

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Luton Town captain Tom Lockyer would love to return to the pitch after suffering a cardiac arrest in December, but he is awaiting the results of tests before making a decision on his future.

Luton saw a Premier League fixture at Bournemouth abandoned in mid-December after Lockyer went down off the ball, and it was later confirmed the defender’s heart had stopped for two minutes.

Lockyer previously collapsed during last May’s Championship playoff final win against Coventry City, having suffered an atrial fibrillation – a condition related to an abnormal heartbeat.

The 29-year-old’s second collapse prompted an outpouring of support from across the football world, with Hatters boss Rob Edwards saying Luton and Bournemouth will share a “special bond” following the incident.

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Lockyer appeared as a guest pundit on Sky Sports’ coverage of Luton’s meeting with Manchester United on Sunday, and was asked before the game whether he planned to return to football.

“That’s out of my hands to a certain degree, we’re going to be dictated to by the medical staff,” he said. “But what I would say is, if there’s a chance I could play again, I would love to.

“Obviously I’m not going to do anything against the specialists’ recommendations, and there’s a lot more tests that need to happen in the background, but I wouldn’t write it off at the moment.”

 

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Reflecting on the incident, Lockyer added: “It was just a normal day, and that’s probably the most worrying thing for me. I’ve been looking for answers, searching for answers, but it was just another normal day at the office.

“I was running up to the halfway line and I went really light-headed. I woke up with paramedics everywhere. Obviously, it happened last May but I knew this time that it was different.

“Last time, I woke up almost from a dream. This time I woke up from nothingness. I could see straight away that there was a little bit more panic around.

“I was disorientated, I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t move, I was just trying to take in what had happened. I remember thinking; I could be dying here.

“That’s quite a surreal though to have, being unable to move or respond, with all that going on. I’m really fortunate that it happened where it happened.”

Lockyer also revealed he has been in contact with United midfielder Christian Eriksen – who also suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch at Euro 2020 – and other players affected by similar issues since the incident.

 

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“I’ve spoken to Christian, Daley Blind and Charlie Wyke, who’ve all had similar heart-related conditions,” Lockyer said. “The thing they all said was, ‘take your time to process what happened’.

“Maybe because as athletes we’re able to compartmentalise, I’ve been quite numb to the whole thing. My girlfriend’s pregnant and that’s where my focus is at the moment.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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