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Tom Lockyer: Luton captain says he has been given the all-clear after collapsing in Championship play-off final

Sky Sports exclusive: Luton Town captain Tom Lockyer confirms he has been "given the all-clear" after his collapse in the Championship play-off final; 28-year-old midfielder experienced an atrial flutter and has since undergone a procedure to treat it

Luton's Tom Lockyer says he has been "given the all-clear" after collapsing in the Championship play-off final

Luton captain Tom Lockyer has confirmed he has been "given the all-clear" after his collapse in the Sky Bet Championship play-off final last week.

Lockyer fell to the ground untouched while backpedalling early in the game against Coventry at Wembley - which the Hatters won 6-5 on penalties - and then appeared to pass out as he tried to get back up.

The defender received medical attention for several minutes before being carried off on a stretcher and taken to hospital.

Speaking to Sky Sports in his first interview since the final, the Welshman revealed what caused his collapse and what happened in the immediate aftermath.

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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship play-off final between Coventry and Luton

He said: "I'm doing well. It's been a mad week or so. I had the all-clear yesterday [Monday] and I'm all good moving forward.

"I was quite lucky. They knew straight away what it was and it wasn't life-threatening. It was an atrial flutter, which is an irregular heartbeat, so my heart wasn't responding as it should in those situations.

"It's probably the least severe heart condition you could have and I had a little procedure on Wednesday [May 31] to correct that and it should never happen again.

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Image: The Welshman was carried off with less than 10 minutes gone at Wembley

"It's quite funny, really - I didn't feel anything at all. I had a great chance with the header and got a little bit excited from that, thinking I'd scored at Wembley!

"Then I was just running backwards, went really light-headed and my legs went really weak straightaway. I remember stumbling backwards.

"I was told I was coming off as I'd collapsed and I was like 'no, no I'm fine!' I wondered why I was on the floor, so that's when I realised and the emotions all went. When I went off on the stretcher, Rob [Edwards] came to me and said 'don't worry, we'll win it for you' and I was bawling my eyes out so couldn't respond."

Lockyer was initially assessed in the medical centre within Wembley, where he admits he cried again when Jordan Clark gave the Hatters the lead, before being transferred to hospital for further tests.

He admits that he "never felt in any danger" and that his priority was trying to watch the remainder of the game.

"The club secretary came down with my phone and I started watching the game on SkyGo!" he said.

"I was thinking 'this is no good for my heart!' I watched the full game back afterwards and we were unbelievable in the first half, Coventry came in the second and it was a bit of a nothing extra time before 11 unbelievable penalties.

"If you score five penalties in a shootout you expect to win it, so for both teams to score five was amazing. When that last one got missed, it was sheer delight.

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Rob Edwards said he was incredibly proud of his Luton team getting promoted to the Premier League, but says he couldn't celebrate until he was updated that his captain Tom Lockyer was okay after being taken to hospital

"My old man took a photo, posted it and it went viral. Once my family saw I was fine and cracking jokes and whatnot, that put them at ease and, if anyone had concerns, hopefully that put it to rest."

Hatters striker Carlton Morris was spotted on the phone to Lockyer shortly after promotion was confirmed.

"I didn't realise, but when he was ringing me, they didn't really know what had gone on or why I'd gone off.

"It was probably for the best they didn't know exactly what had happened because I want them to concentrate on the game, but Carlton was overly concerned.

"It was nice to tell him I was fine and that he could go and enjoy the celebrations. I didn't want him worrying about me, I just wanted him to enjoy it because it's not every day you get promoted to the Premier League. The last thing I wanted was for the boys to not enjoy that moment.

"Everyone at the club has been amazing. The manager has built a family-first ethos and you can see that. Luton Town is a family now."

While unbridled elation followed the photo and Luton's historic promotion to the Premier League for the first time, there were moments where Lockyer himself, naturally, began to question whether he would ever play again.

"It was a long five days in hospital and it would have felt like even longer if we didn't win, of course," he said.

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Victorious Luton Town players chant their captain Tommy Lockyer's name after his serious injury resulted with him being taken to hospital during the Championship play-off final

"When you've got that time in the hospital bed on your own, you're thinking 'Will I be able to play again? Will I be able to be the same player? I'm out of contract in the summer, will I be able to get a new contract?' All these sorts of things run through your head.

"Initially, once they said it was going to be OK, there was some doubt, but I've had some follow-up tests and I've had the all-clear now, so I move onto a monitoring phase and they are going to watch me a little bit closer than they would normally.

"I can't thank Sanjay Sharma - the head cardiologist at the FA - enough. He looked after my case and was amazing throughout and has reassured me that my dream is still alive to carry on playing football because once I realised it wasn't life threatening, that's what it turned to: will I play football again?

"That's all that mattered to me and you can see from my smile that I'm delighted."

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Luton Town lift the Championship play-off winners' trophy after beating Coventry on penalties to seal promotion to the Premier League

That said, Lockyer has not been able to play any part in the promotion celebrations and has been forced to sit out a squad trip to Las Vegas, too.

But he know it was a small price to pay to get the news he was free to continue playing football.

"For me, it hasn't sunk in yet what the lads have achieved. We had the dream to get promoted and it still doesn't feel real. It's amazing we have been able to do that and when it sinks in, maybe there will be a few more tears.

"I can't sit here and lie - it was hard to watch (the celebrations). To go through the gruelling season we'd just had to then miss out on the one big game and the celebrations at the end. "It was hard, it is hard, but you have to look at it from a health point of view. I would have missed a lot more to get that all-clear news.

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Luton manager Rob Edwards has encouraged his players to try and enjoy the promotion parade as much as possible before the hard work in the Premier League starts

"Looking back now, I know I didn't, but I felt like I'd let the team down, let the boys down, so I couldn't stop crying coming off that pitch, but I think it was a lot worse for everyone else watching. I've watched it back and it's not a nice watch for myself.

"To be honest, I felt as though I could have walked off the pitch, but the medics did their jobs and I can't thank them enough."

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