LONDON – Former Tottenham and England manager Glenn Hoddle admits he is a "lucky man" after surviving a cardiac arrest.
Hoddle collapsed at BT Sport studios in October while preparing to work as a pundit on a show with former Leicester star Robbie Savage.
A sound supervisor for the television channel was on hand to administer CPR and managed to stabilise Hoddle, who was then taken to hospital.
The 61-year-old had a quadruple heart bypass before returning home to recuperate and is now on the way to making a full recovery.
Hoddle, who confirmed he will return to punditry duties with BT Sport in March, admits he recalls very little of what happened that day.
But the former Tottenham and Monaco midfielder feels grateful to have been around so many people when it happened as they saved his life.
"I just thank god I was in the studio at that time with Simon (Daniels) there and a defibrillator there. I could have been on my own and I wouldn't be sitting here today," Hoddle said.
"I can't remember much, I can't remember the air ambulance – although what a job they do. Thankfully the doctors kept me going until they found out I needed a quadruple bypass.
"When you are in hospital and on medication I wasn't taking everything in but I knew I was a lucky man.
"Not just lucky with the synchronisation of the timing, there was something going on for quite some time.
"It could have happened any time and that hit me big time afterwards. I could have been with my grandchildren, could have been wherever. The hospital staff at St Bart's, they were quite incredible."
Hoddle, who also managed Chelsea and Southampton, has been out of football since leaving Wolves in 2006.
He is regarded as one of the finest English players of his generation, a reputation he jokingly claimed would have been enhanced even more if he had passed away.
"I'm doing alright, it's been three and a bit months. It's been tough but it has gone really well," Hoddle said.
"I walk a mile, maybe two miles every day now. I used to hate walking unless I was chasing that little white ball in golf.
"Now I have to keep the heart and lungs going and I enjoy it and my family have been great.
"Over the years I said you become a better player when you pack it in and even better when you pass away, I was close to that!"AFP