Reo-Coker reveals Muamba flashbacks on Bolton's emotional return to White Hart Lane
21:29 GMT, 28 March 2012
Nigel Reo-Coker has spoken of the haunting experience of returning to White Hart Lane for the first time since Fabrice Muamba's horrific collapse.
The Bolton midfielder has revealed he suffered flashbacks of Muamba's cardiac arrest on his return to Tottenham; that he made the conscious decision to return to the exact spot where his team-mate collapsed and that he fears it could take years for his team-mates to overcome the demons of their teammate's near-death experience
Muamba continues to make steady improvement at the London Chest Hospital as he recovers from the incident that so nearly took his life.
Bolton crashed out of the FA Cup with a 3-1 defeat against Tottenham on Tuesday night – the club's first trip to the White Hart Lane since Muamba's sudden collapse.
Emotional: Reo-Coker (left) returned to White Hart Lane
Reo-Coker was one of the closest players to Muamba as he received life-saving treatment from medical staff on that fateful day.
And the Wanderers skipper admits returning to the scene of the most harrowing experience of his career was deeply emotional.
Reo-Coker said: 'As I arrived at the ground, I did have a tingle down my spine. When I came on the pitch before the game, I had to walk over to the area where the incident occurred, just for my own benefit.
'All those bad memories came flooding back – you could call it flashbacks. That's why I had to walk over to the spot before the game to get it out of my system.
'Speaking to the club doctor, even he said he felt weird. It was a day of very mixed emotions and I will never in my life be able to sum up in words the emotions I went through.
Support: Reo-Coker and Jermain Defoe prior to kick-off
'I can't tell you how long it will take for people to totally get over their reaction to what happened. It might take years for people to get over it.'
With their FA Cup journey over for another season, Bolton must now focus all their attention on staying in the Barclays Premier League.
And Reo-Coker feels their quick return to White Hart Lane will help their fight against relegation.
'Going back so quickly definitely helped, we had to get it out of the way sooner or later – in a way we had to face our fears,' added Reo Coker.
'The last 10 days have felt like years to us. It's felt like such a long period of time. But from where we were last Saturday, to where we and Fabrice are now – all we can do is thank God.
'The fighting spirit he's shown is something we've got to take on ourselves for the rest of the season.'