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Former Tottenham captain Gary Mabbutt to undergo heart surgery

Former Tottenham captain Gary Mabbutt is in hospital to undergo heart surgery.

Spurs said the 55-year-old, who is diabetic, was admitted on Monday morning after experiencing chest pains and breathing problems.

"Gary Mabbutt was admitted to hospital this morning where he will undergo heart surgery later after suffering chest pains and breathlessness," the club announced via their official Twitter account.

"Everyone at the club wishes our legendary former captain a speedy recovery. Get well soon, Mabbsy!"

Mabbutt spent 16 years at Tottenham after joining from Bristol Rovers in 1982.

A hugely popular figure at White Hart Lane - and in the game as a whole - the defender played more than 600 games for Spurs to lie second in their all-time appearances list. He also earned 16 caps for England.

Mabbutt was part of the side which won the UEFA Cup in 1984, and he captained Spurs to victory in the the FA Cup final against Nottingham Forest in 1991.

He is also fondly remembered by fans of Coventry for the own-goal which secured a 3-2 victory for the Sky Blues in the 1987 FA Cup final.

Coventry wrote on their Twitter account: "Our best wishes to Gary Mabbutt - get well soon!"

Rovers, for whom he made 147 appearances, wrote: "Our thoughts go out to former player Gary Mabbutt, who was admitted to hospital this morning. We wish Gary a speedy recovery."

Mabbutt, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes as a teenager, was awarded an MBE for his services to the game in 1993.

In 2013 he needed an operation to replace the main artery in his left leg.

Two years later he told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I can no longer do any sport or go running, and my life is now a lot more sedentary.

"It is frustrating that I cannot kick a ball ever again, but I still have my leg, which is the most important thing."

Named a Tottenham ambassador in 2010, Mabbutt was among a host of former players applauded onto the pitch as Spurs marked their final game at White Hart Lane last month.

He was also a guest at a barbecue hosted by the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust in Tottenham last weekend.

The THST tweeted: "Wishing Gary Mabbutt a speedy recovery from all at the Trust. We hugely enjoyed welcoming him to our recent BBQ. Total gent, and legend."

The Professional Footballers' Association also sent its best wishes, tweeting: "Everyone at the PFA wishes Gary a speedy recovery. Get well soon."

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