December 23, 2023

Luton manager Rob Edwards has called for Town supporters to rejoice defender Tom Lockyer’s recovery from his cardiac arrest at AFC Bournemouth last Saturday, knowing full well that there will be an emotional environment at Kenilworth Road this afternoon.


The 29-year-old club captain fainted on the field at the Vitality Stadium, and the medical personnel and paramedics, whom the Hatters chief called “heroes,” saved his life. This Premier League match is the team’s first since then. He was brought to the hospital almost away and had an implanted cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) fitted earlier this week. On Thursday, he was released from the hospital and went back to his family’s house to start recovering.


Since the event, supportive messages have been sent from all throughout the football community, and Edwards is aware that when Newcastle United visits Luton today at 3pm, the Luton supporters will be anxious to show the Welsh international how much he means to them.


defender for Luton Last Saturday, Tom Lockyer went into cardiac arrest against AFC Bournemouth. Photo by Liam Smith

defender for Luton Last Saturday, Tom Lockyer went into cardiac arrest against AFC Bournemouth. Photo by Liam Smith

“I think we have the best fans in the world, and I know they’ll react in the right way,” he stated, admitting that he was biased. They will be moved by it because our fans consider Tom to be very important, which is why they sing his name each week. We’ll attempt to make sure there’s a performance there so they can sing about, but I know they’ll be doing that and that they have stuff planned. They’ll also probably bring the noise.


“Though the incident was horrifying, we should be grateful that Tom is still with us and acknowledge the incredible work that all of you did on Saturday. That’s what matters most.” Emotionally charged, in my opinion, is a good description. As usual, our followers show up and make a lot of noise, which, in my opinion, makes it a very memorable occasion to celebrate Tom and the fact that he’s doing well and getting better, but also to help the guys because this is a big game.


Edwards thinks it’s a fantastic idea for Luton’s supporters to organize a minute of applause at the four-minute mark, which is the number on Lockyer’s shirt. “Yes, it will be, an opportunity for them again to show what he means to the club, so that will be nice,” Edwards said.


Having made 117 appearances for the Hatters since coming from Charlton Athletic in September 2020, Lockyer is an essential member of the team. The players have also had a particularly tough week as they have awaited word on their well-liked captain’s recuperation.


In addition to what he will tell them before kickoff, Edwards wants the chosen performers to channel the emotion of their performance. He said, “It will be an emotional day for everyone involved and we want to go and do him proud.”


It presents a difficulty since I have to watch what I say. It is a totally different scenario, but when the year was coming to a finish, I like it when players showed emotion and played with their hearts on their sleeve in big, important games. I want them to express that emotion. As long as it can keep 11 players on the field,it can bring out the best in us then great, we’ve got to try and harness that, but it can be a real fine balance without sending people over the edge.


“Our final message will always be very similar, we want to be brave. I think we can embody what Locks is. I think he is brave, he’s determined and we do want to go and do it for him. But we’re always very, very motivated for every game in the Premier League, and I think the players have shown that so far this season, so that will be the message.”

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