A charity chief has called for heart checks by football clubs at Academy level, as well as for senior pros.

Doctor Steven Cox says every 14-year-old should know about cardiac screening.

Cox's plea comes after routine screening by Albion identified an issue with defender Connor Goldson, who needs surgery and is out for the rest of the season.

The chief executive of national charity CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) told The Argus: "We want screening throughout grass roots, at Academy level. Some conditions can be countered, not all. Therefore, it's better to find out when they are 14 or 15, rather than when they are signing for a club.

"CRY wants every person from the age of 14 to know about cardiac screening. Sport can increase your risk if you have a condition you are unaware of."

Goldson has targeted a return to action for Albion following preventative surgery.

He tweeted: "Football has always been my life but at 24 this has put my life into perspective.

"I know I'm strong enough to recover and determined to be back on a football pitch where I'm happiest."

Heart defects forced former Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba and ex-England and Notts cricketer James Taylor to retire.

Muamba collapsed on the pitch during an FA Cup tie against Spurs in March 2012.


Cox has stressed the importance of regular screening.

He said: "One in three hundred people re-screened are identified with a potentially life-threatening condition.

"One in 100 are not life-threatening but could cause problems if not identified. Fabrice Muamba was screened on a number of occasions and nothing was identified."