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Tom Lockyer to meet medical staff who saved his life as Luton face Bournemouth

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 12 Mar 2024

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Tom Lockyer will return to the scene of his terrifying on-pitch cardiac arrest when Luton face Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Wednesday night.

Lockyer, 29, was hospitalised for five days after his heart stopped for two minutes and 40 seconds in the Hatters’ abandoned Premier League game against Bournemouth on December 16.

The 29-year-old Welshman, subsequently fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, has since admitted it is “out of his hands” if he will ever play again.

But, 88 days on from the incident which rocked the game, Lockyer is due to meet with the medical team who saved his life before being presented to the crowd at half-time of Wednesday’s re-arranged Premier League fixture.

“It will be emotional going back and reliving that experience but we know we have to do it,” said Luton manager Rob Edwards.

“Locks will meet the people who helped saved his life and see their supporters, who were unbelievable on the day.

“It will be nice to be able to close that part of the story up and concentrate on moving forward.

“It was a really difficult experience that we all went through. The main thing now is that Locks is okay and the silver lining is that some good will have come from it with more awareness on CPR and the importance of knowing what to do in those emergency situations.”

A Bournemouth supporters’ trust has raised more than £2,000 to put on four coaches for Luton fans to make the 240-mile round-trip from Bedfordshire to the south coast.

There are also plans for a minute’s applause in tribute to the medics who saved Lockyer.

“They are the true heroes,” added Edwards. “It is only football and there are more important things.

“What those guys did in the most pressurised moment was incredible and they deserve all the attention and affection that they are going to get.”

Lockyer, whose girlfriend gave birth to their first child, a daughter, at the end of last month also suffered a collapse during May’s Championship play-off victory against Coventry and it remains uncertain if he will return to the pitch.

“It is day-by-day at the moment, said Edwards. “He will enter into a period of rehabilitation but that can take a long time, months, so it is one step at a time at the moment.

“He will be coming down tomorrow which is great. He has got bigger things on his mind with a new baby and he is in a position where that is his main focus right now.

“We would love to have him here on a weekly basis and for him to be around more and lean on his experiences and he will help us.

“It will be really nice for him to meet those heroes and the supporters and he will get a brilliant reception. That will be really nice for him but it will be emotional, too.”

The Hatters, three points adrift of safety, will be looking to build on Cauley Woodrow’s late goal at Crystal Palace last weekend which salvaged a draw and ended a run of four consecutive league defeats.

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