Fabrice Muamba has announced his retirement from football on medical advice, after suffering a cardiac arrest five month ago.
The 24-year-old former Bolton Wanderers midfielder collapsed in the 41st minute of the club's FA Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on 17 March and his heart stopped working independently for 78 minutes.
Muamba was discharged from the London Chest Hospital a month later as he regained his health, however his heart condition has prevented him from recommencing his football career.
“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.
“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.
“Football has been my life since I was a teenage boy and it has given me so many opportunities.
"Above all else, I love the game and count myself very lucky to have been able to play at the highest level.
“While the news is devastating, I have much to be thankful for.
“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.
“I would also like to thank everyone who has supported me throughout my career, and the Bolton fans who have been incredible.
“I am blessed to have the support of my family and friends at this time.”
Less than two weeks ago the former Arsenal youth team graduate told of how he had taken part in a kick about with fellow professionals Jordan Henderson and Kieran Richardson while on holiday in Dubai.
It was revealed he would be flying to Belgium doctors the following week to establish whether he could play professional football again but the Congo-born player has been forced to call time on a brief career.
Bolton manager Owen Coyle commented Muamba was "massively disappointed" but hailed "what a fighter and strong person he is in mind and body". Chairman Phil Gartside added the "most important thing is that Fabrice and his family have the rest of their lives ahead of them".
Muamba played was signed by Birmingham City in 2007 for a fee of £4m after starring for Steve Bruce's side during a successful loan spell in which the Blues were promoted back up to the Premier League.
The following year he transferred to Bolton for £5m after the Blues were relegated and also featured in England's Under-21 European Championship campaign in 2011.
AN ENDEARING MUAMBA MOMENT