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Luton captain Tom Lockyer opens up on scary moment he suffered a cardiac arrest against Bournemouth, realising ‘I could be dying here’… and admits he may never play football again


Luton captain Tom Lockyer has opened up on suffering a cardiac arrest in a Premier League game earlier this season.

The Hatters’ game against Bournemouth in December was brought to a sickening halt when the defender collapsed on the pitch for the second time in a matter of months.

After suffering an atrial fibrillation at Wembley in the Championship play-off final in May, Lockyer returned to football to captain his side in their first-ever season in the Premier League.

The football world stood still however when he fell to the ground at Bournemouth’s Vitality Stadium, with the game effectively cancelled and re-arranged for mid-March.

Speaking as a guest on Sky Sports prior to his side’s game against Manchester United on Sunday, Lockyer discussed the events, including his memories of what happened and how he’s doing now.

WARNING – Disturbing images below 

Luton captain Tom Lockyer (above) has admitted he thought he could have been dying when he suffered a cardiac arrest during the Hatters' clash with Bournemouth in December

Luton captain Tom Lockyer (above) has admitted he thought he could have been dying when he suffered a cardiac arrest during the Hatters’ clash with Bournemouth in December

The Bournemouth scare was the second time Lockyer had collapsed in a matter of months

The Bournemouth scare was the second time Lockyer had collapsed in a matter of months 

The Hatters defender has admitted he is 'doing well' and 'incredibly lucky to be stood here'

The Hatters defender has admitted he is ‘doing well’ and ‘incredibly lucky to be stood here’

‘I am doing well, I really am,’ he said. ‘I’m incredibly lucky to be stood here and in such good spirits but I am really well.

‘It’s not something that happens every day, is it? It’s nice to be able to say I am doing well everyone deserves to know that and see me doing well. Tough couple months but I am well.

‘I was running up to the halfway line and went really light-headed, thinking would be OK in a second. I wasn’t and woke up with paramedics everywhere. It happened in May but knew instantly this time was different, last time I woke up almost like from a dream and this time woke up from a nothingness. 

‘I could see straightaway, paramedics, physios, club doctors, there was more panic, I couldn’t speak, couldn’t move, trying to work out what was happening. While that was going on I remember thinking, “I could be dying here”. It’s a surreal thought to have  been thinking that and not being able to move or respond, and you could see panic going on. I could feel them putting drip in my arm

‘Once I came round it was a relief I am alive and fortunate it happened where it happened, I was living it and my family almost have it worse than I have. After what happened in May I have a recording device, and 2mins 40s I was out for, and had to have a defib to shock me back and massive thank you to paramedics, club doctors and everyone involved, as without them I wouldn’t be standing here.

He admitted that he was 'fortunate' that he collapsed where he did with medical staff around

He admitted that he was ‘fortunate’ that he collapsed where he did with medical staff around

Fans were left emotional as the game was cancelled, with the match re-arranged in March

Fans were left emotional as the game was cancelled, with the match re-arranged in March

Despite the event happening nearly two months ago, there is still not clear reason why it did, much to Lockyer’s despair.

But he has taken solace in speaking to other players who have suffered heart conditions, including Christian Eriksen, who had a heart attack on the pitch during Denmark’s European Championship match against Finland.

‘I wish I could tell you [why] because since I have looked back thinking could it be this or that but was just a normal day and that’s most worrying thing about it is I felt completely fine. Like I said, I have been looking and searching for answers. It was another day at the office and all going well until what happened happened.

‘I spoke to Eriksen, Daly Blind and Charlie Wyke who all had similar heart conditions and one thing similar with all was take your time to process what has happened. I don’t know if I have processed but maybe because us as athletes we are able to deal with things differently and compartmentalise.

‘I know I literally died but I’ve been quite numb to whole thing since. Common thing with them was take your time with thing sand do what is right with you and family, the baby is due soon and that’s my priority.’

Lockyer revealed he has spoken to the likes of Christian Eriksen (left), who suffered an on-field heart attack in 2021 while representing Denmark at the European Championships

Lockyer revealed he has spoken to the likes of Christian Eriksen (left), who suffered an on-field heart attack in 2021 while representing Denmark at the European Championships

He's returned to Luton since but revealed he may have to retire on the back of what happened

He’s returned to Luton since but revealed he may have to retire on the back of what happened

The 29-year-old was pressed on the chances of him returning to playing, and refused to rule it out, despite acknowledging that the moment is still some way away. 

‘My hands to certain degree are dictated to by medical staff and specialists. What I would say is if there is chance I could play again – I won’t do anything against specialist recommendations – then I would love to. 

‘It’s far too early to say at this time, a lot more tests need to happen in background, but I wouldn’t write it off at minute. But my priority is my baby. 



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