Luton boss Rob Edwards has vowed his team are ready “to do it for Locks” as they prepare for their first match since captain Tom Lockyer’s on-pitch cardiac arrest at Bournemouth last week.
The 29-year-old Wales international has been discharged from hospital after having an implantable cardioverter defibrillator fitted — a small device used to treat people with dangerously abnormal heart rhythms.
The defender previously had surgery to correct an atrial fibrillation after collapsing during Luton’s Championship play-off final win against Coventry in May, which the club said was an unrelated issue.
The Premier League said this week that the Bournemouth match, which was abandoned with the score at 1-1, would be replayed in full at a later date, while Luton are now preparing to host Newcastle on Saturday.
Edwards, who was in tears as he applauded fans following what he called his “scariest moment” in football last Saturday, said he felt cautious about what approach to take.
In a video posted on Luton’s official social media channels on Friday, Edwards said: “I’ve been really careful not for anything to seem like we’re using it. It’s about ‘what would Locks want?’
“I think that’s the most important thing now, and what does this group of people want? We’re a really tight-knit group, a family, and we’ve got to look after each other now.
“It’s about really coming together even more than we already are. And I do, and we do, want to do it for Locks, but that’s coming from the right place as well. It can’t be selfish, and I’ve been really keen to stress that.”
The Luton boss immediately rushed to Lockyer’s aid alongside paramedics and other medical staff, who treated the defender on the pitch before he was carried off on a stretcher.
“It was a really scary moment, the scariest moment I think I’ve ever had in football,” said Edwards.
“I was emotional on Saturday. It scared me, but everyone rallied. The medical guys were incredible, in such a scary, pressurised situation with the world watching them as well.
“They made every decision bang on. I’m so proud of them. They saved him. They’re real heroes.”