Brighton’s Enock Mwepu forced to retire due to hereditary heart condition | Brighton & Hove Albion

Brighton have confirmed that Enock Mwepu has been forced to end his playing career following a diagnosis of an inherited heart condition. The Zambia international, 24, who joined Brighton for around £20m from Red Bull Salzburg July last year, was taken ill while on a flight to join his national side during the international break. Mwepu was hospitalized for four days in Mali before returning to Brighton for further heart tests and continued care.

According to a declaration from Brighton, the tests concluded that his illness is due to an inherited heart condition which appears later in life and was not previously apparent on regular 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.”

“A boy from a small Zambian township called Chambishi has news to share,” Mwepu wrote in a message on Twitter. “He was determined to follow his dreams of playing football at the highest level and by God’s grace he lived out his dream by reaching the Premier League.

“However, some dreams come to an end, so it is with sadness that I announce the need to hang up my boots due to the medical advice I received. This is but not the end of my involvement in football, I intend to remain involved to some extent. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supported me in my football journey, including my wife and family, my agent 12MAN, the Zambia Football Association, all my former teammates and coaches, especially everyone at Brighton & Hove Albion.”

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 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.”

The 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.”

Mwepu – who was known as “The Computer” in his homeland for his ability to read the game – started Brighton’s 5-2 win over Leicester last month in what turned out to be his final game for the club. He played 27 games in total for Brighton, scoring three goals and winning 23 caps for Zambia.

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