Muamba hails Tottenham fans after first return to White Hart Lane

Nearly seven months after the incident in which he nearly lost his life, the 24-year-old was welcomed back to White Hart Lane, with rapturous applause and ovation
Former Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba returned to the scene of his cardiac arrest for the first time on Thursday night as Tottenham played host to Maribor in the Europa League.

During half-time he was introduced to the White Hart Lane crowd, and went over to point at the exact spot where he so nearly lost his life in March.

"I can't express... All I can say is thanks to the Tottenham fans the way they reacted," he told the onlooking supporters.

"There are people out there who prayed for me. I want to thank the chairman, and to all the Spurs fans. I am grateful to them. They are awesome fans."

Since retiring from the game after the injury, Muamba has written an autobiography as well as campaigning to raise awareness for heart conditions like his.

"We just want to raise money so everyone has their heart checked," he added.

"Today I wanted to visit that place one more time for closure."

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas wrote in the program notes that he was pleased to see Muamba at White Hart Lane and that he wishes him the best for the future.

"I would like to extend a special welcome here this evening to Fabrice Muamba," Villas-Boas wrote in the programme notes.

"What happened to Fabrice at this stadium eight months ago has obviously changed his life forever.

"Everyone in the game and the wider footballing world was delighted to see him make a full recovery. We are thrilled to have him here tonight and I would like to wish him the very best for the future."