Edwards backs Lockyer to be a success at whatever he tries if the Luton defender has to give up playing

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Town chief believes Welsh international could make it as a manager, coach or pundit

Recovering Town defender Tom Lockyer will be a success no matter what he turns his hand to if he is forced to give up playing due to the cardiac arrest that he suffered against AFC Bournemouth back in December, according to Luton manager Rob Edwards.

The 29-year-old will await expert medical advice as to whether he is allowed to kick a ball again, a decision he has already stated he is ‘at peace’ with whatever the outcome due to becoming a dad in recent months. Since the harrowing event on the south coast, Lockyer has been back at the Brache to see his team-mates, while also doing plenty of punditry work for Sky and BBC, and is now trying to raise awareness for Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training, which saved his life at the Vitality Stadium.

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Asked what Lockyer, who also suffered an atrial fibrillation during the early stages of the Championship play-off final victory over Coventry City in May last year, could do with his future, Edwards said: “Locks can do anything he wants. I know it’s important for him to still have the opportunity to play, we shall see on that. It’s kind of out of our hands and in the hands of experts how that goes, but he’s got the capacity to go and do whatever he wants.

Tom Lockyer helped out with the Luton warm-ups ahead of the 1-1 draw with Everton - pic: Liam SmithTom Lockyer helped out with the Luton warm-ups ahead of the 1-1 draw with Everton - pic: Liam Smith
Tom Lockyer helped out with the Luton warm-ups ahead of the 1-1 draw with Everton - pic: Liam Smith

"He’s spoken really well in the media, he’s very confident addressing players, he’s intelligent, so I’ve got no doubt he could be a manager if he wanted, a top coach if he wanted, or a brilliant pundit. It might be something else, it might be something completely away from it, I’m not sure, I don’t know. I think when you’re a good person, you’re good at what you do, you work hard, you can achieve anything. I think if he doesn’t end up playing football, whatever he wants to go down, he’ll be a success at.”

Although not anywhere near seeing if he can return to training, Lockyer has been involved with the Hatters squad on a slightly more regular basis in recent weeks, starting when he travelled to Wolverhampton Wanderers late last month. Taking to the field before the contest to help the players with some elements of their warm-up drills, Lockyer was then back out again with the squad ahead of Friday night’s 1-1 draw with Everton.

Edwards continued: “It was good to have him back, he’s got a lot going on Locks. There’s the campaign work that he’s doing at the moment which has been really well received and I heard on the news that there’s been a five hundred percent rise in people enquiring about learning about CPR which is brilliant, that’s really important to him at the moment.

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"Then his family and his rehab as well, which will be taking place away from here at the moment, so we’re not seeing him as much. I’d love to have him around every day, I want him sat next to me in the office, but we haven’t got that. It was brilliant to have him on Saturday (against Wolves), he spoke to the players before the game, he was around the warm up, a really influential person.”

Lockyer received two tremendous ovations from the Hatters supporters at Molineux and Kenilworth Road, as Edwards said: “They love him and rightly so. That bond will be there forever, so it’s great when we see him about."

On being out there to help, the Welsh international himself added: “The last few times I’ve been back its been more of a spectator, it’s been nice but Rob has said to me, whatever you feel comfortable doing you’re more than welcome to do. I feel like I want to be a little bit more involved now. If I can help the lads in any sort of way then that’s the aim obviously. But just being out there feels amazing.”

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