Enock Mwepu: Tribute to former Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder who retired with a heart condition
The football fraternity around the world and especially Africa was plunged into sadness on Monday after Zambia and Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Enock Mwepu was forced to retire at the age of 24.
First it was the Seagulls who confirmed the news of the Chipolopolo captain calling it quits following the diagnosis of a hereditary heart condition.
Mwepu later released a statement of his own, to confirm the news and thanked those who helped him achieve his dream.
GOAL brings you everything you need to know.
Who is Enock Mwepu?
Born on January 1, 1998, Mwepu is a former professional footballer, who played as a midfielder. Mwepu's career began with Kafue Celtic in Lusaka before he moved to Power Dynamos for the 2015-16 season.
His stint with the Copperbelt outfit saw him limited to game time and he eventually signed for NAPSA Stars at the end of the 2016 season. In 2017, his door to Europe opened and he signed for Red Bull Salzburg, who later loaned him out to Salzburg's feeder club Liefering.
After one season with Liefering, who were taking part in the Austrian Football First League, he returned to Salzburg for the 2019-20 season.
He successfully impressed the coaches as he nailed a starting role in the squad and finally made his debut in the 4-2 Champions League defeat against Liverpool at Anfield.
Mwepu extended his contract with Salzburg until summer 2024 but on July 6 2021, he made his switch to Premier League side Brighton on a four-year contract.
His debut in the top-flight arrived on August 14, during the opening fixture of the 2021-22 campaign against Burnley when he came on as a substitute for Adam Lallana. He grabbed his first assist in the second round of the EFL Cup against Cardiff City where Albion won 2-0.
His first goal arrived on October 27 when he scored to make it 2-2 against Leicester City in the EFL Cup. Three days later, he grabbed his first league goal with a stunning strike from 25-yards out against Liverpool in a 2-2 draw at Anfield.
In 2022, he struggled for game time at Sussex owing to injury and illness but on April 9 after his recovery, he assisted and scored as Brighton defeated Arsenal 2-1 at the Emirates.
At the end of his debut season, Mwepu's effort against Liverpool was voted Goal of the Season.
What was Mwepu’s net worth?
According to Soccer Souls, Mwepu was said to have had an estimated net worth of $2 million.
The portal further reports, Mwepu, who is nicknamed Computer, made a supposed £4,300 a week during his time in Austria before he joined the Seagulls on a permanent deal in 2021 for a reported fee of 19.2 million pounds.
Does Mwepu have a partner?
In January 2021, Mwepu got married to his long-time girlfriend Matilda Mwepu in a colourful ceremony which was attended by close friends and relatives.
In September 2021, Mwepu took to his Instagram page to congratulate Matilda after graduating from university.
Mwepu wrote: "She is Special 😊♥️beautiful and strong 😁!She trusted the process and today we admire her resilience...So proud of you👏my wife of my youth ❤ Congratulations 🎊 @Enomalt ❤."
What was Mwepu’s Fifa 22 rating?
According to Fifa Index, his overall rating in Fifa 22 was 76 with a potential of 82. Mwepu has got a three-star skill moves rating. He prefers to shoot with his right foot and his work rates are High/High.
Mwepu's height is 184 cm and his weight is estimated at 76 kg. His best stats are: Stamina: 85, Sprint Speed: 85, Aggression: 78, Acceleration: 78, Shot Power: 78.
How did Mwepu perform for Zambia?
Mwepu started his journey with the national team from the U17 level and moved to U20 where he played at the 2017 U20 Africa Cup of Nations in Zambia.
He scored a goal and was among the best substitutes of the tournament before he graduated to the senior team in 2017.
Mwepu scored his first international goal for Zambia in the 3-1 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying victory against Algeria on September 2 at the National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
In total, Mwepu managed 24 caps for Zambia and scored six goals. By the time of his forced retirement on Monday, he was the captain of the team.