Brighton star Mwepu forced to retire due to heart condition

Enock Mwepu

Brighton star Mwepu forced to retire due to heart condition

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

Brighton confirmed the shock news in a statement, revealing that the 24-year-old would be at an “extremely high risk of suffering a potentially fatal cardiac event” if he continued to play professionally.

Mwepu revealed that he was keen to remain in football despite having to hang up his boots.

He said: “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 lived his dream by reaching the Premier League.

“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.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that supported me in my football journey, including my wife and family, my agent 12MAN, the Zambian FA, all my previous clubs, team-mates and coaches and especially everyone at Brighton.”

Mwepu became ill while flying to link up with Zambia during the international break and undertook tests in Brighton after spending time at a hospital in Mali.

It was then that his condition, which manifests later in life and can worsen over time, was diagnosed.

Seagulls head of medicine 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.

“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.”

Chairman Tony Bloom added: “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.”

Mwepu played 27 times for Brighton after arriving from FC Salzburg in 2021 and managed six goals in 23 caps for Zambia.

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