Oxford United winger Mitchell Cole forced to retire
Cole has made five appearances for Oxford this season
Oxford winger Mitchell Cole has been forced to retire from football at the age of 25, due to a heart condition.
Cole has been advised by a leading cardiologist to stop playing competitive football to avoid the risk of a serious heart episode.
The winger, who joined the U's in June 2010 from Stevenage, has made five appearances for the club this season.
A club statement said: "We're relieved that his deterioration was identified prior to anything serious happening."
Cole, who was diagnosed with the condition at 17, passed his medical upon joining Oxford United, but started suffering from shortness of breath in November during training and matches.
Oxford United wishes Mitchell the best for the future and will support him fully through this transition
Oxford United club statement
It was initially thought to be a general fitness issue, however, when there was no improvement following further training, the club and Cole became concerned.
The former Stevenage winger was then sent for a series of medical tests, and the results of which have shown a significant deterioration of his heart condition.
Both Oxford and Cole have been working closely with the Professional Footballers' Association throughout the process and will come to an agreement in regard to the remainder of the contract in line with the FA guidelines.
A club statement added: "Oxford United wishes Mitchell the best for the future and will support him fully through this transition."
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