Luton manager Rob Edwards said he will have a special bond with Bournemouth after their staff and supporters’ reaction to Tom Lockyer’s cardiac arrest.
Hatters skipper Lockyer collapsed at the Vitality Stadium last week and has since been discharged from hospital following a successful procedure to fit an implantable cardioverter defibrillator.
Edwards lauded the medical staff from both clubs and the ambulance service who were on hand to give Lockyer treatment.
Speaking ahead of Luton’s home Premier League clash with Newcastle on Saturday, Edwards said: “The supporters showed respect.
We are thankful to report that our captain Tom Lockyer has now begun a period of rehabilitation from the comfort of his own home after he was discharged from hospital on Wednesday.
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— Luton Town FC (@LutonTown) December 21, 2023
“I will have a special bond with that football club (Bournemouth) going forward now. The way they were singing Tom’s name as well, that will last with me for a long time. It was emotional.
“I’m so proud of our medical staff, Bournemouth’s medics and the paramedics there as well. They saved him and made every decision bang on. They did an incredible job, they’re heroes.
“I want to say thank you to everyone at Bournemouth football club. The players, the staff and those who were there. A special mention to Philip Billing who reacted especially quickly and David Brooks who comforted Tom at the hospital.”
Lockyer also collapsed during the Championship play-off final against Coventry in May.
Edwards said that the “inspirational” defender is taking “baby steps” in his recovery and did not offer an answer regarding the player’s future in the sport.
He added: “We’ve been in regular contact. He’s recovering, it’s baby steps now. Anyone will miss him. He’s a leader, he’s an inspirational figure for all of us.
“It’s been difficult and I won’t be able to articulate all the feelings I had at the time. The initial feeling is that I sensed something was different to May.
“It’s too early to tell (on Lockyer’s playing career). Going forward it’s about Tom recovering. He’s had an operation and then we’ll see going forward what that means.”
Saturday’s opponents Newcastle conceded late on at Chelsea in the Carabao Cup before they crashed out on penalties.
And Edwards sympathises with Eddie Howe and offered a reminder on Newcastle’s quality ahead of their clash at Kenilworth Road.
Edwards said: “Of course I can sympathise with them. It’s horrible to concede late on and they will be disappointed.
“They bring energy, quality, a real clear way of playing and I have huge respect for Howe. What he’s done at Newcastle is really impressive and I like the way he handles himself.”