FABRICE Muamba thanked the doctors who saved his life as he was honoured by the University of Bolton.

The Bolton Wanderers star told The Bolton News that receiving the honour was a “precious moment”.

Resplendent in his cap and gown, Muamba was awarded an honorary doctorate in a ceremony at Victoria Hall, alongside other graduating students.

Muamba was presented with the award to honour both him and the doctors who saved his life when he collapsed following a cardiac arrest during Wanderers’ FA Cup quarter final tie against Tottenham in March.

Speaking exclusively to The Bolton News, the midfielder said: “I am so grateful for the opportunity to come here, it is wonderful.

”What has happened to me makes this a precious moment for my family and for me to be able to thank those who helped me.”

Accepting the award, Muamba said he remains hopeful he will be able to resume his career with Bolton.

Speaking at the ceremony, he said: “I’m getting stronger every day.

I’m far away from being back on the football pitch.

“I really, really hope, by the grace of God, that I’ll be back on the pitch but I’m just grateful to the university for this doctorate and I receive it on behalf of everybody who helped me to survive the cardiac arrest.”

He said: “This is an unbelievable opportunity for me to thank the doctors who helped me.

“Every day is a blessing to be here.

“I thank the University of Bolton for this doctorate and I receive it on behalf of every person who helped me to be here.”

Muamba’s fiancee Shauna watched him receive the honorary doctorate, along with other family members and friends.

She said: “It is a real honour, and I am proud of him. I want to thank the University of Bolton for this opportunity to thank the doctors.”

Muamba was rushed to the London Chest Hospital and doctors took 78 minutes to restart his heart, with his eventual recovery described as a miracle.

After the ceremony the footballer toured the stateof- the art clinical simulation suite at Bolton One where students are able to train as clinicians using the latest equipment.

Muamba was shown what his heart rhythm would have looked like when he went into cardiac arrest, and he asked about cardiac conditions.

Student Wayne Swan, aged 23, who is on the advanced level clinical examination skills course, said: “This is a unique primary care teaching hospital and to have Fabrice here is inspiring, given his own experience.”

Chancellor Baroness Trish Morris said: “What happened to him touched people around the world and is an inspiration to students.

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