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Newport County defender who played for Derby County and Luton Town forced to retire

Newport County’s Mark O’Brien has been forced to retire at 27-years-old due to a heart condition as confirmed by BBC Sport.

O’Brien, who was capped twice by the Republic of Ireland U17s, started his career in his native Ireland at Cherry Orchard. He would then sign for Derby County and come through their youth system. Following a loan spell with Scottish side Motherwell, he would make more than 30 appearances for the Rams before moving on in 2015.

He would sign for Luton then but that move didn’t work out as he only made six appearances for the Hatters in his two years at the club. Instead, O’Brien headed out to Merseyside to play for Southport in two separate loan spells. His time at Luton ended in 2017 and this is when he would head to Wales to sign for Newport.

He has made a home for himself at Newport and it has been the best part of his career. O’Brien has made over 100 appearances for them since signing for them and helped them to qualify for the Sky Bet League Two play-offs last season. He was even named as club captain at the start of this season.

But unfortunately, his career will be cut short far too soon. O’Brien will have to undergo heart surgery which will prevent him from playing competitive football again. He had heart surgery while at Derby but this operation will stop him from competing.

Newport have stated they will do anything to help O’Brien following his retirement.

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