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Muamba makes emotional return to the pitch after heart attack

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Emotional return ... Bolton's Fabrice Muamba waves to the crowd.

Emotional return ... Bolton's Fabrice Muamba waves to the crowd. Photo: Reuters

Fabrice Muamba waved to supporters as he returned to the Reebok Stadium for the first time since his cardiac arrest.

The Bolton midfielder entered the field to a standing ovation as he was introduced ahead of Wanderers' Barclays Premier League game against Tottenham.

I am just happy to be able to speak to people again and walk freely. 

The 24-year-old has made a remarkable recovery since collapsing during the FA Cup tie between the same two teams at White Hart Lane on March 17.

The former England Under-21 international was followed by a TV camera as he acknowledged the applause of fans while his fiancee Shauna Magunda took photographs. Muamba arrived at the ground about an hour before kick-off and stopped to speak to TV reporters.

He told Sky Sports: "I wish I was playing, obviously my circumstances are not helping at the moment but I'm sure the boys will go out and give their best."

Muamba then went to take a seat to watch what was a vital match for Bolton in their battle against relegation.

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.

Muamba added on Sky Sports: "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."

PA

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