December 23, 2023

When asked if he believed that captain Tom Lockyer would ever be able to continue playing, Luton manager Rob Edwards stated that his main goal is for Lockyer to fully recover from the cardiac attack he had at AFC Bournemouth last weekend.


Early in last weekend’s Premier League match at the Vitality Stadium, the 29-year-old slumped on the field, prompting paramedics and medical personnel to race to the scene to treat him. After Lockyer’s life was spared, he was brought to the hospital and given an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). Thankfully, on Thursday, he was given the all-clear to go back home and be with his family.


The Welsh international has collapsed on the field twice before; the first time was in the first half of the Championship play-off final against Coventry City in May. Following that, he had surgery to treat an atrial fibrillation. When asked if it was too soon to tell if Lockyer could consider playing again in the future, Edwards responded, “I think it’s important, it’s not the second time it’s happened to him. So in May it was an atrial fibrillation and he had the corrective procedure for that as well.” Lockyer was cleared to play for Luton in the Premier League and had made 14 appearances this year, scoring once in the 2-1 victory at Everton.



With Tom Lockyer, Luton manager Rob Edwards celebrated the Hatters’ victory at QPR last season. Photo courtesy of Warren Little/Getty Images.

With Tom Lockyer, Luton manager Rob Edwards celebrated the Hatters’ victory at QPR last season. Photo courtesy of Warren Little/Getty Images.

It’s too early to determine the cause of this cardiac arrest at this time, let alone what will happen next. Right now, his recovery is all that matters to me and both of us. Helping him through his current surgery and ICD fitting means that all that needs to happen now is healing. From there, we’ll see what that means moving ahead.


Right now, his health is all that matters to me. I told him that when I first saw him in the hospital, and then it was just a matter of getting better. That is all.


Right now, it’s all that matters; I haven’t thought of anything else. A lot has transpired, and I believe there is a lot to take in. He probably still has questions, which we should be able to address in the upcoming weeks, but for the time being, all he needs to worry about is relaxing and getting better.


The Hatters had defeated Crystal Palace, drawn a point against Liverpool, and narrowly defeated champions Manchester City 2-1 at Kenilworth Road thanks to Lockyer’s outstanding play of late. Additionally, he was playing at the peak of his abilities during the first forty-five minutes on the south coast last weekend, as Edwards lauded the manner in which The center half had developed into a premier league defender at Bristol Rovers after starting out as a young pro.




As he went on, the manager acknowledged that whoever steps in to replace him will face challenges, but he gave the team the support they need to handle it, saying, “His levels have been getting better and better and that goes with a lot of the players.” The more they adapt to the games and the league’s requirements, the more I’ve been happy with not only his performance but also that of the squad as a whole. We’ve played a lot of challenging games, and I’m happy with how the team has developed.


He’s a terrific football player and a big role model for us. He is someone who is able to maximize his potential in every area, at every moment, and consistently—I discussed this with the lads. He is all movement when it comes to training, and he has managed to push himself through the ranks to become a football player in the Premier League and to look the part.


Anyone would naturally miss him because that is all up to him. He is a leader and an example to us, but what it really provides is a chance for others. We have a fantastic squad, and I adore our bunch of players because it allows someone else to step in and show what they also stand for. I believe there is serious competition for us there.


Edwards was keeping the identity of Lockyer’s replacement under wraps, saying, “We can look at that,” given that Lockyer had been wearing the armband this term. We seem to have a number of leaders in the group, but I don’t want to reveal too much because that would reveal the team too. I’m not sure on that front because there are a lot of leaders within this group of players; some set an example, while others are more outspoken.

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