Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba has spoken of his devastation at being forced to retire from football due to the heart attack he suffered in March.
The npower Championship club announced on Wednesday that the 24-year-old - who had hoped to make a comeback - had made the decision to retire from the professional game after taking medical advice.
"While the news is devastating, I have much to be thankful for," said Muamba. "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."
Muamba collapsed while playing for Bolton against Tottenham at White Hart Lane in an FA Cup match on March 17.
He received lengthy attention on the pitch and it later emerged that his heart had stopped for 78 minutes.
Remarkably he made a stunning recovery and left hospital a month later.
Muamba told Bolton's official website: "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
"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