In what has left football enthusiasts worldwide devasted, 24-year-old Enock Mwepu has been forced to retire from the sport after heart issue.
Enock Mwepu : Heart condition | Why retire | Stats
Mwepu’s career began with Kafue Celtic in Lusaka before being identified with the 2013 Airtel Rising Stars.
During the 2015–16 season, Mwepu had little game time with Power Dynamos football club of Copperbelt; this precipitated into a move to NAPSA Stars at the end of the 2016 season.
In June 2017, Mwepu joined Red Bull Salzburg and was loaned out to Salzburg’s feeder club Liefering who play in Austrian Football First League.
During the 2019–20 season, Mwepu established himself amongst Salzburg’s starting eleven. He made his debut in the UEFA Champions League during a 4–3 loss to Liverpool at Anfield.
On 18 December 2019, Mwepu extended his contract with Salzburg until summer 2024.
Brighton midfielder Enock Mwepu has been forced to retire at the age of just 24 after he was diagnosed with a hereditary heart condition, the Premier League club announced on Monday.
The condition, which can worsen over time, would put him at an “extremely high risk of suffering a potentially fatal cardiac event if he were to continue playing competitive football”, the club said.
Enock was unwell during a flight to join up with Zambia during the international break last month and after a period in hospital in Mali he returned to Brighton to undergo further cardiac examinations.
“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,” the club said in a statement.
Mwepu, who scored three goals in 27 appearances for the club, said on Twitter he had “lived his dream by reaching the Premier League”.
He added: “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.
Enock Mwepu Why retire
Brighton midfielder Enock Mwepu has retired from soccer at the age of 24 because of a hereditary heart condition, the Premier League club said Monday.
Mwepu became ill last month on a flight to join the Zambia national team squad in Mali and was treated in a hospital there. He had further medical tests in England.
‘The condition, which can worsen over time, would put Enock at an extremely high risk of suffering a potentially fatal cardiac event, if he were to continue playing competitive football,’ Brighton said in a statement.
The Premier League club said the health problem was not seen on previous cardiac screening tests, which top-level soccer players routinely undergo each season.
‘We are all absolutely devastated for Enock,’ Brighton chairman Tony Bloom said. ‘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.’
In 2014 Mwepu was part of the Zambia national under-17 team that represented the country at the 2015 African U-17 Championship, where Zambia played Niger, Nigeria and Guinea from group A.
Mwepu is known for his versatility in the field of play as demonstrated at the 2017 Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations in Zambia, where he scored a goal and was among the best substitutes of the tournament.
|Red Bull Salzburg
|→ Liefering (loan)
|Brighton & Hove Albion
Mwepu scored his first international goal for Zambia in an AFCON Qualifier against Algeria on 2 September 2017 at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka, a match which Zambia won 3–1.
On 6 July 2021, he joined Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion on a four-year contract, for an undisclosed fee. He scored in a 3–1 pre-season friendly win at Luton Town on 31 July.
He made his competitive Albion debut on 14 August in the opening game of the 2021–22 season away at Burnley where he was replaced by Adam Lallana at half time of the eventual 2–1 victory at Turf Moor.