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Northampton player forced to retire at 32 due to heart condition

Former Luton Town, West Bromwich Albion, Norwich City, Wigan Athletic and Bury defender Leon Barnett has been advised to retire from football because of a heart condition.

Barnett, who is currently at Northampton Town, has been told that it is ‘unsafe for him to continue training and playing’.

Manager Keith Curle said, to the club website: “We are all devastated for Leon.

“Leon had been having some issues but after a reaction in the Bury game we knew something wasn’t right, so we sent him for further testing. The medical team made the correct decision to stop all activity, and after testing and second and third opinions, for his own health and safety, Leon has been advised to retire.

“It is very sad news. Leon is not just a good player, but an important figure off the pitch too.

“However, far more importantly for Leon and his family, is that this has been diagnosed now and he is fit and well.

“He has enjoyed a fantastic career as a player, playing at all levels of the game to play over 350 senior games across the four divisions.

“As a club, we offer our full support to Leon and his family, we will honour his contract and we will help them however we possibly can. We know Leon is looking to gain coaching experience, and we have offered him the opportunity to undertake some coaching duties across all levels of the club, at both first team and academy level, over the rest of the season.”

 

A huge amount of football fans and clubs have reacted to the sad news as well as wished him well for the future – take a look at those tweets on the next page.

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