Luton Town have said Tom Lockyer is “responsive” in hospital and praised the “amazing” response of medical staff after the defender collapsed on the pitch during their Premier League match at Bournemouth, with Saturday’s game at the Vitality Stadium abandoned.
Both sets of players returned to their dressing rooms as centreback Lockyer, 29, received medical treatment midway through the second half of the game at Vitality Stadium.
Lockyer was taken off on a stretcher after several minutes of attention, with widespread initial reports quoting Bournemouth’s staff doctor as saying the Wales international was “alert and responsive” in the tunnel.
The former Charlton Athletic player collapsed during the Hatters’ Championship playoff final win against Coventry City in May but was given the all-clear to return to playing in June.
The fixture between AFC Bournemouth and Luton Town has been suspended.
All our thoughts are with Tom Lockyer at this time. 🧡 pic.twitter.com/cBQhMC5EHu
— Luton Town FC (@LutonTown) December 16, 2023
Tom Lockyer: What the Premier League and Luton have said
In a statement issued after the match was called off, Town 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 teammate 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.”
Announcing the abandonment of the fixture with the scoreline at 1-1, the Premier League’s Twitter account said: “Our thoughts are with Tom Lockyer and all players involved in today’s match.”
Bournemouth tweeted: “Our thoughts are with Tom Lockyer and everyone at Luton Town.”
What happened to Tom Lockyer against Coventry?
Lockyer collapsed on the pitch and was immediately taken to hospital during the first half of Luton’s match against Coventry, which his teammates dedicated to him after earning promotion to the Premier League.
The footballing world was relieved when Lockyer issued an update later that day celebrating victory in his hospital bed.
“I would just like to say a massive thank you to the amazing physios and doctors at Luton and Wembley for the swift and thorough response,” he said at the time. “A much scarier moment for everyone else than myself I am sure.”
What caused Tom Lockyer to collapse in the playoff final?
Lockyer had an atrial fibrillation, which the UK National Health Service describes as causing “an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate”.
“I’ve had the operation to fix it and it shouldn’t happen again,” he told Town’s official website in June following several days of tests. “There’s not really any reason to say why that happened. I’ve been given the all-clear – it is what it is and I just want to draw a line under it now and move on.
“I’ve had my full heart checked and double-checked with all the scans and tests they can do on a heart, and they’ve all come back positive.”
Asked for his recollections of the moment he collapsed, Lockyer called the situation “a weird one”. “I remember running backwards and then I went really light-headed and my legs went really weak straight away, as I was running back.
“I remember stumbling back and then all I remember was [physiotherapist] Chris Phillips over the top of me, and he was saying ‘Locks, you’re coming off’.
“I was like ‘no mate, no mate, I’m fine’, but he was saying ‘no, it’s serious Locks, you’ve collapsed. You’re coming off’. Then it dawned on me that I was on the floor and this is actually serious.
“I just got really emotional. I couldn’t stop crying on the floor. It was probably a lot worse for everyone else watching than it was for me because as soon as I came back around, I was fine. I never really felt in any danger and it definitely wasn’t as bad as it looked.”
Lockyer has been a mainstay for Luton in their first top-flight season since 1992, making 14 league appearances and one in the Carabao Cup.