Brighton & Hove Albion

Enock Mwepu has been forced to end his playing career after being diagnosed with a hereditary heart condition.

The condition, which can worsen over time, would put Enock at extremely high risk of suffering a potentially fatal cardiac event if he were to continue playing competitive football.

Club 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 grateful he has come through that period, he has seen such a promising career cut short in so young an age.

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

Head coach Roberto De Zerbi added: “I’m so sorry for Enock. Before I arrived I looked at the whole 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.”

By Paul Hazlewood

Enock Mwepu played in Albion’s opening day win over Manchester United.

Head of Medicine and Performance, Adam Brett, explained: “It’s 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 leave the game , he loves.”

Enock fell ill while on a flight to join Zambia during the international break and, after a spell in hospital in Mali, returned to Brighton to undergo further heart tests and ongoing care.

These tests have concluded that his illness is due to an inherited heart condition that manifests itself later in life and was not previously apparent on routine heart screening. Unfortunately, this can be exacerbated by playing sport, so Enock has been advised that the only option, for his own safety, is for him to stop playing football.

Adam continued: “Obviously, as this is Enock’s career and a decision not to be taken lightly, we have taken the time to be as thorough as possible, completing advanced cardiac examinations and working with clinical experts to get the best second opinion for Enoch.

“We want to help him ensure that the condition is managed with the appropriate treatment so that he can otherwise live a long and healthy life.”

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