Zambian and Brighton midfielder Enock Nwepu has been forced to retire from professional football after being diagnosed with a hereditary heart condition. Brighton FC revealed the information this morning on their official Facebook page. The 24 years old joined Brighton from Red Bull Salzburg in 2021 and has made over 20 appearances for the English outfit.
According to Brighton, The condition, which can worsen over time, would put Enock at an extremely high risk of suffering a potentially fatal cardiac arrest if he were to continue playing competitive football.
Club chairman Tony Bloom said, “We are all 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.”
Head coach Roberto De Zerbi added, “I am so sorry for Enock. Before I arrived, I looked at the squad, and he was a player I was so excited about and looking forward to working with. We will do everything we can to help him.”
Head of Medicine and Performance, Adam Brett explained, “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.”
Enock was taken ill while on a flight to join up with Zambia during the international break and after a period in a hospital in Mali, he returned to Brighton to undergo further cardiac tests and undergo care.
These tests have concluded that his illness is due to a hereditary cardiac condition, which manifests later in life and was not previously evident on regular cardiac screening. Sadly, this can be exacerbated by playing sports, so Enock has been advised that the only option, for his safety, is for him to stop playing football.
Adam continued, “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.’”