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Tom Lockyer suffers cardiac arrest on pitch during Premier League game

16 Dec 2023 4 minute read
Luton Town’s Tom Lockyer is taken from the field by medical staff after appearing to collapse on the field during the Premier League match at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth. Credit: Steven Paston/PA Wire

Luton captain Tom Lockyer is “stable” after suffering a cardiac arrest on the Vitality Stadium pitch during the Hatters’ abandoned Premier League match against Bournemouth.

A statement posted on Luton’s social media channels following the medical incident, which halted play in the second half, said the 29-year-old defender was “responsive” before he was taken to hospital.

An update later confirmed Lockyer will now be undergoing further tests.

It read: “Our medical staff have confirmed that the Hatters captain suffered cardiac arrest on the pitch, but was responsive by the time he was taken off on the stretcher.

“He received further treatment inside the stadium, for which we once again thank the medical teams from both sides. Tom was transferred to hospital, where we can reassure supporters that he is stable and currently undergoing further tests with his family at his bedside.

“We would like to thank everyone for their support, concern and loving messages for Locks.”

Paramedics and staff, including Hatters manager Rob Edwards, immediately sprinted out to the Welshman’s aid when he appeared to collapse near midfield in the second half of what had been a 1-1 draw.

Players were removed from the pitch as Lockyer was being treated, but returned to applaud the crowd after the Premier League announced the match had been abandoned with the clock paused in the 65th minute.

Luton Town and Bournemouth’s players applaud the fans as they make their way around the stadium after the game was abandoned following the collapse of Luton Town’s Tom Lockyer during the Premier League match at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth. Steven Paston/PA Wire

Luton said: “We all hope and pray for our leader and captain Tom Lockyer, who is thankfully responsive and has been taken to hospital.

“We don’t know the full extent of what happened and what the next steps are at this stage, but we thank Bournemouth and the medical staff on both sides for their immediate response, which was absolutely amazing.

“We are sorry to all supporters present that players from both sides were in no state of mind to continue with the game after seeing their much-loved team-mate and friend taken off like that, and staff could not carry on with managing the game in such circumstances having had to deal with the situation.

“We thank everyone for the wonderful applause and singing of Locks’ name inside the stadium at such a difficult time. Now is the time for all of our players, staff and supporters to come together as we always do and give our love and support to Tom and his family. Our thoughts are with him and them all.”

A statement posted to Bournemouth’s official account on X, formerly Twitter, read: “We’re relieved to hear Tom is responsive. Our thoughts will continue to be with Tom and his family at this time.

“We’d like to thank all the medical staff for their quick action as well as everyone inside the stadium for their support and unity during a difficult moment.”

Luton Town manager Rob Edwards shows his emotion as he makes his way around the stadium after the game was abandoned following the collapse of his player Tom Lockyer during the Premier League match at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth. Steven Paston/PA Wire

There was some time between the moment Lockyer was removed from the pitch and the announcement of the match’s abandonment, which came via a Premier League statement and over the stadium tannoy.

The Premier League statement read: “The Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Luton Town FC has been abandoned due to a player medical incident.”

Lockyer had surgery to correct an atrial fibrillation in June after collapsing during Luton’s Sky Bet Championship play-off final win against Coventry.

He returned to action for the start of the new season and had made 15 appearances so far in all competitions before Saturday’s match.

Wales posted on X: “Our thoughts are with Tom Lockyer.”

The afternoon had begun positively for the visitors, who took the lead inside three minutes through Elijah Adebayo’s header before it was cancelled out after the restart by Dominic Solanke.

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