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Rob Edwards gives emotional interview as he opens up on Tom Lockyer’s collapse

Luton Town manager Rob Edwards gives an emotional interview as he opens up on Tom Lockyer’s collapse during the game at Bournemouth.

The Hatters boss, still left shaken by what he saw that day at Bournemouth, has spoken about Tom Lockyer.

He also described what was going through his mind as the situation unfolded in front of him at the Vitality Stadium.

Interviewer: Rob, we’ve had positive update about Tom today. How relieved are you about that? And also, how much have you been in touch with him since the weekend?

Rob Edwards: Obviously, I’m very relieved about that. Yeah, I’ve been in touch a lot, every day. Spoken mostly by a text with Tom because I’ve not wanted to bother him. He’s obviously been gone through a lot, been speaking to his dad, Steve a lot, and check in with the family. Everyone’s been really, really supportive. They’ve gone through a heck of a lot as a family and in any way we can, we’ll just try and support them.

Interviewer: When I told people I was coming here today, people who didn’t realise I was going to be speaking to you, find out how know, ask. Ask how Rob is. So how are you? I think people saw those powerful images of you coming onto the pitch and it’s all very well asking how Tom is, but how are you doing?

Rob Edwards: Yeah, I’m fine, thanks. It was really scary moment. The scariest moment I think I’ve ever had. Never mind in football. It was different at Wembley. I knew it then and we certainly know it now, after all the tests and everything that’s gone on this week. Yeah, I think we get on with it. And the main focus then is Tom and his family, like I said. And we’ll all probably be affected in slightly different ways and we’ll deal with it in different ways as well. We’re all individuals, we’re all different and we’ll cope and deal with it differently as well. But I feel good. I’ve had loads of support. Everyone’s been asking how I am as well, which I find difficult as well, because I’m not the one going through it. I’m fine. And I was emotional on Saturday. It scared me. But everyone rallied. The medical guys were incredible in such. Again, a scary, pressurised situation with the world watching them as well. They made every decision bang on. I’m so proud of them. And, yeah, they saved him. Our medical guys, Bournemouth’s, the paramedics that were there, they’re real heroes.

Interviewer: What kind of support has been made available or perhaps what kind of support have you brought in this week for yourself, for the rest of the players, for club staff? Everybody connected to Luton this week.

Rob Edwards: We’ve had a lot of people reaching out and I’m really thankful for that. Loads of people offering support. But then professional bodies who. This is what they do. So Sporting Chance have been great. Linked up with Kevin Dearden and Jen from HR as well, who have come together to really look after all of us, staff and players as well. So when Sporting Chance come in on Tuesday, we all had a couple of days off, that was planned and we stuck to that plan after the game, maybe to just digest things a little bit, let things settle down, make sure Tom was okay. In these sorts of situations again, everyone will react differently, so you can’t just force something on people. You’ve got to talk about it, because everyone reacts differently. So the option is there. There’s a 24 hours helpline. The players all know Colin came in and spoke really well. Not for too long. A bit of a light touch around talking about how people can cope with it differently and, yeah, the players know there’s a lot of support around them and people that they can speak to and the staff as well.

Interviewer: Do you see, like a step change in, you know I think a number of years ago, football might have tried to take on this sort of macho, let’s just keep our head down, crack on type approach. Do you see an incident like this? Of course, nobody would have wanted this to happen, but do you see a change in the way, maybe footballers respond to something like this?

Rob Edwards: Yeah, I always talk about these footballers of people first. They’re human beings first in a way. Don’t like the phrase footballers. People from the outside see our footballers and this, that and the other, but we’re all human beings. And when you see a situation like that happen, the footballer tag’s gone, it’s just the person. And that’s all I see. And I think now, yeah, people are being encouraged to talk more. I think that’s the wider society and not just football, but, yeah, I think in the past, where football has been guilty of putting on a bravado and stiff upper lip, and just deal with it and get on with it. Those times, I think, are gone and people know now that there is someone they can lean on and someone they can talk to if they want to. It’s not we forced upon anyone, but help Is there.

Interviewer: Just one last question about how last weekend might affect things in the next couple of weeks, maybe months? What have you said to the players this week, today, to try and sort of use what they’ve gone through to make something positive come out of that?

Rob Edwards: Yeah. Tuesday was more about letting the expert talk and I was just sort of… I know the lads would know because a lot of them would be in touch with Locks, but it was about sort of just bringing them up to speed with the situation at the moment. Today was more around the situation and the latest and where Tom is at, and then also about how we move forward from this as well, without going into too much detail. It’s not about using it, and I’ve been really careful not to, not for anything to seem like we’re using it. It’s about what would Locks want? I think that’s the important thing now. And what do these group of people want? We’re a really tight knit group of a family, and we’ve got to look after each other now. And now it’s about really coming together and even more than we already are. And yeah, we do. And I said 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. I’ve been really keen to stress that.

SEE MORE: Luton Town release statement on Tom Lockyer with player now beginning rehabilitation

Rob Edwards also spoke to talkSPORT, saying: “I’d never been around that before. I suppose you don’t know how you’re going to cope or how you’re going to be in those situations.

“But it doesn’t really matter how I was, or how I coped in that situation. What mattered was the medics and they were unbelievable.

“I’m so proud of them, our guys, the Bournemouth medical department, the emergency crew who got every single decision right – and under that pressure, everyone was watching.

“I ran on, you’re told to make sure the medical guys can do their thing and to give them space, so I’m trying to run on and clear the space and let them do the work.

“Then you’re thinking, I think it was Ryan Christie that said ‘should we not try and cover [him]?’ I didn’t know what the right thing was in that moment. But I suppose that doesn’t matter, what does matter is that they did their thing – and they were incredible.”

When he was questioned what was going through him mind when the incident happened, Edwards said he wouldn’t have been able to return to the dug out to carry on managing the rest of the game.

“I don’t know, you fear… Loads of things go through your mind at that time. So many things,” he said. “A game of football is the last thing, I know that.

“All you can think is ‘please, he’s got to be alright, he’s got to be OK, that’s it’. Trying to make sure there’s people around, Taylor [his wife], looking after her and Steve, Tom’s dad, and making sure people were there and supporting.

“I was emotional. The staff were amazing, everyone was around. Especially once Tom had come inside. There was a lot of conversation going on. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t capable of carrying out another 30 minutes of football. I’d have just sat there.

“I don’t think I’d have been able to do anything. Other people might have taken over the game for me, that’s just how… everyone reacts differently.”

“I’ve got to thank you to Andoni [Iraola], to his staff, the players. I know Philip Billing has had a lot of praise and thanks to him,” he said. “David Brooks was amazing. Afterwards, Brooksy and Tom know each other. Him and Brooksy’s partner looked after Taylor and Lockyer’s family as well.

“They were at the hospital afterwards, I went to go see Lockes in hospital and they were there at the hospital as well. Bournemouth were amazing. Their supporters.

“I’d like to think there will be a special bond between the two clubs now going forward so I’ve got to say thank you to them. Simon Hooper and the officials were great. I can’t ask anymore of the support we had on the day and since as well, that’s certainly helped.”

He was then asked what the future looks like Lockyer, with the manager saying: “There’s not loads we can go into right now.

“Now he needs time. Now he needs time to recover. Going forward, I actually don’t care, as long as he’s alright. His partner is seven months pregnant, you know.

“He’s around then for his new born baby, that’s all that matters at the moment. We will take things a baby step at a time and we’ll support him and his family. That’s all the matters.

“There will be more tests and more checks in the coming weeks to determine exactly what we can do to help and why this happened. But that’s not for right now. The main thing is he takes as much time as he needs and we’re here to help and support in any way we can.”

Rob Edwards received a heartfelt reaction after he gives an emotional interview as he opens up on Tom Lockyer’s collapse…

@BedfordHatter: The most likeable man in football and the best manager a club could have 🧡

@SelkirkIan: Such a humble, honest person.

@HelenSnowflake: Seems like a really nice guy and someone who cares for the welfare of his staff. My Dad had a life changing MI at 43, being a teenager at the time it was difficult to process so for it to happen to someone as young as Tom it’s great the support is there. xxx

@niz_83: Give him the Manager of the Year award already.

@PamMelbourne: Such a powerful interview

@platter11: He is a very decent man.

@JayseThfc: Great guy 👏

@JL_Hoops: Don’t like Luton but this guy is a class act. I still wonder if Beale had taken the Wolves job, if he would’ve ended up at QPR after being sacked by Watford….

@Andysbrett: If you can be anything in in life, then be as humble, honest and thoughtful as this human being. Everytime he speaks I just love him a little bit more 👏

@Liam_AFCB: What a man. So honest and humble. What a manager you have #COYH

@emmaaitkenF1: He is just an absolute diamond of a human being. It’s so good to hear how Lockyer is healing. 🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡

@W_Adkins27: How someone can dislike this man is beyond me! 🙏🏻

@LTFC_Talk: He’s a special special man

@KrobertsonKaren: 🧡🧡🧡🧡🧡 Love this guy. Let’s do it for Locks tomorrow

@ConnorLTFC: I know I’m just repeating what everyone else has said a hundred times over, but my god, RE really is an incredible character

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