UK & World News
Tearful Fabrice Muamba Returns To Bolton
Bolton footballer Fabrice Muamba has wiped away tears as fans welcomed him back to the club just weeks after suffering a cardiac arrest which nearly killed him.
The recovering midfielder was given a standing ovation as he walked on to the pitch at the Reebok Stadium, ahead of his side's Premier League game against Tottenham.
Muamba said he wished he was playing rather than sitting in the stands.
It was the first time he had been to a game since collapsing in the near-fatal incident in an FA Cup tie against the same opposition at White Hart Lane on March 17.
Muamba arrived at Bolton's stadium about an hour before kick-off and spoke to TV reporters.
He told Sky Sports: "I wish I was playing today, obviously my circumstances are not helping at the moment but I'm sure the boys will go out and give their best today."
Muamba added: "This is a special place, the support has been overwhelming and I am just grateful for that.
"I am okay, I am getting stronger every day. I am happy to be back. I am just happy to be able to speak to people again and walk freely.
"I am very happy and very excited for today's game and I am happy that I came today."
Asked about the support he has received since his cardiac arrest, Muamba added: "It helps me every single day.
"I still have six or seven boxes of cards to go through and I am grateful for that. It stays in my mind every single day.
"Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for your support... the whole country... The support has been overwhelming and I am grateful I can walk again and do things normally again."
Muamba's heart stopped beating for 78 minutes following his collapse and he spent a month at the London Chest Hospital before being discharged on April 16.
The speed of his recovery has amazed medical professionals.
He started talking two days after his collapse and began walking just over a fortnight later, although it is not yet known if he will play professional football again.