Brighton midfielder Enock Mwepu forced to retire aged 24 due to heart condition
Posted by  badge Boss on Oct 10, 2022 - 10:25PM
Brighton midfielder Enock Mwepu has ended his playing career aged 24 (Getty)

Brighton midfielder Enock Mwepu has been forced to end his playing career aged just 24 due to a hereditary heart condition.

The Zambia international was signed from Red Bull Salzburg last year in an £18 million deal and has made six Premier League appearances this season.

Mwepu was taken ill during a flight to join up with Zambia’s national team during the recent international break and after spending time in hospital in Mali he returned to Brighton to undergo further cardiac tests.

The tests subsequently confirmed that Mwepu’s illness is due to a hereditary cardiac condition, which was not previously seen during his cardiac screenings.

In their statement on Monday, Brighton claim that the condition would put Mwepu ‘at an extremely high risk of suffering a potentially fatal cardiac event’ if he were to continue his playing career.

‘A boy from a small Zambian township called Chambishi has some news to share. He stood strong to follow his dream of playing football at the highest level, and by the grace of God he lives his dream by reaching the Premier League,’ Mwepu said in a statement.

‘Some dreams, however, come to an end, so it is with sadness that I announce the need to hang up my boots because of the medical advice I have received. This is, however, not the end of my involvement with football, I plan to stay involved in some capacity.

‘would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that supported me in my football journey, including my wide, and family, my agent 12MAN, the Zambian FA, all my previous clubs, teammates and coaches, and specially everyone at Brighton & Hove Albion.’

Brighton signed Enock Mwepu in an £18m deal from Red Bull Salzburg last year (Getty)

Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi said: ‘I am so sorry for Enock. Before I arrived I looked at all the squad, and he was a player I was so excited and looking forward to working with. We will do everything we can to help him.’

Adam Brett, Brighton’s head of medicine and performance, said: ‘It is a terrible blow for Enock, but he has to put his health and his family first and this is the right choice, however difficult it is to quit the game he loves.

‘Of course, given this is Enock’s career and a decision which can’t be taken lightly we have taken our time to be as thorough as possible, completed advanced cardiac investigations and collaborated with clinical experts to gain the best second opinions for Enock.

‘We will be helping him make sure the condition is managed with the appropriate treatment for him to otherwise live a long and healthy life.’

Brighton chairman Tony Bloom said: ‘We are all absolutely devastated for Enock.

‘He and his family have had a traumatic few weeks and while we are just thankful he has come through that period, he has seen such a promising career cut short at such a young age.

‘As a club we will give him all the love, help and support we possibly can to make a full recovery, and then as he decides on the next steps in his life.’


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