Brighton & Hove Albion’s young star Enock Mwepu has been forced to retire football at 24-years-old.
The 24-year-old has been diagnosed with a hereditary heart condition, which put Mwepu at at an extremely high risk of suffering a potentially fatal cardiac event. Mwepu had made six Premier League appearances this season, registering one assist before his retirement
Mwepu was taken ill over the international break when he linked up with the Zambian national side. And Mwepu returned to Brighton – where he underwent further cardiac tests, which revealed the previously undetected condition.
Brighton’s owner 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.”
While new boss Roberto De Zerbi added: “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.”
Brighton’s head of medical and performance Adam Brett 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.
“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.”
The condition manifests later in life, but it can be worsened by playing sport.