Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen has marked his 30th birthday with a first appearance since his cardiac arrest in June last year.
He registered one assist in Brentford’s 3-2 friendly win over English fifth-tier club Southend United.
Eriksen, who joined Brentford as a free agent in January, played for about an hour in a friendly match behind closed doors, nearly eight months after suffering a cardiac arrest on the pitch during a European Championship match.
Lining up in central midfield, Eriksen was twice denied by goalkeeper Collin Andeng Ndi but left the pitch having contributed an assist by setting up Josh Dasilva for the first goal of his hat-trick.
???? Happy birthday @ChrisEriksen8
— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) February 14, 2022
The Dane joined the Bees until the end of the season as a free agent on transfer deadline day.
He had been training with former club Ajax after leaving Inter Milan by mutual consent as the rules in Italy would not allow him to play after having a heart starter device – an implantable cardioverter defibrillator – fitted.
Eriksen revealed last month he had “died for five minutes” after collapsing during Denmark’s Euro 2020 clash with Finland.
He was treated on the pitch as his shocked teammates formed a barrier around him before being taken to hospital.
The former Tottenham star was given a rapturous welcome when he was presented to the crowd ahead of Brentford’s 0-0 Premier League draw with Crystal Palace on Saturday.
He will now hope for a debut either at Arsenal this weekend or when Newcastle head for London a week later.
Eriksen said last week he is determined to prove he is still the same player he used to be before the incident and was not afraid to play with the implanted device.
— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) February 12, 2022
Things you love to see ????
Christian Eriksen played his first minutes for Brentford in a friendly, and of course he got an assist too ????
— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) February 14, 2022
Christian Eriksen didn't believe he'd play football again after his cardiac arrest ???? pic.twitter.com/ZT80jqmEya
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) February 11, 2022