Brighton and Hove Albion have announced the shock retirement of Enock Mwepu at the age of 24 after the midfielder was diagnosed with a hereditary heart condition.
In a statement, the club said the condition ‘would put Enock at an extremely high risk of suffering a potentially fatal cardiac event if he were to continue playing competitive football’.
The Zambian international, who made 27 appearances for Brighton after arriving at the club from Red Bull Salzburg for around £18m in July 2021, was taken ill while on a flight to join up with his country during the international break.
After spending time in hospital in Mali, Mwepu returned to Brighton to undergo further tests, which picked up the heart condition.
Brighton said Mwepu ‘has been advised that the only option, for the sake of his own safety, is for him to stop playing football’.
Mwepu said he hoped to continue his involvement in the sport after receiving the devastating news.
Mwepu has played six Premier League games for Brighton this season, with his most recent appearance coming in the 5-2 victory over Leicester on September 4.
— Enock Mwepu (@EnockMwepu45) October 10, 2022
The 24-year-old has been missing from the squad for all of the Seagulls’ last four matches since the recent international break.
Mwepu has a wife, Matilda, who he married in January 2021. His younger brother Francisco is also a professional footballer for Austrian side Sturm Graz.