An emotional Fabrice Muamba said he would rather be playing than sitting in the stands watching Bolton Wanderers host Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League, after receiving a rapturous ovation before kickoff on Wednesday.
Muamba wiped away tears and waved to fans clapping and chanting his name, 46 days after making a remarkable recovery, after suffering a cardiac arrest in a match on March 17.
The 24-year-old Bolton midfielder collapsed in an FA Cup quarter-final against Spurs in London and his heart stopped working on its own for 78 minutes. He came out of hospital just over two weeks ago.
“I wish I was playing today,” Muamba told Sky Sports.
“I’m getting stronger every day, happy to be back, I’m happy to sit with the fans. This is a special place if you play here you know how special it is.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support. It helped me every single day. I’ve got six or seven boxes of well-wishing cards to get through.
“The support has been overwhelming. I’m grateful that I can walk again, to be able to do things normally again.”