A heart condition forced Newport County defender Fraser Franks into sudden early retirement.
Franks, in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports News, that an unexpected series of events since the game against Leicester City eventually led to the retirement after the diagnosis. Franks described his outing against the Premier League side as 'the proudest moment career.'
"It seems like a long time ago that we were playing in that game. I've been fortunate enough to win some promotions during my career but as a day, as an occasion, that's probably one of the proudest I have had in football. Since then, about a month ago, we played against Manchester City, two days later I played against Notts County - I came off with about 10 minutes to go feeling lethargic." Franks said.
"The day after I came down with a little bit of illness, some viral symptoms. In bed, sweating with a temperature, stuff like that. I left it until three in the morning and then tapped my wife and said 'look, my chest is racing a little bit here, something doesn't feel right' and luckily enough she took me straight to the hospital. They took my blood pressure and heart rate. Soon as they saw my heart rate they know something wasn't quite right. They treated me for an infection in and around the heart, the heart rate gave them an area to focus on," he explained.
Franks explained that he thought he was suffering from flu but later had to be taken to the hospital and is thankful that that rare visit to the doctor might save his life for the long term.
"It felt like flu symptoms at first, I was fit and healthy and did not think anything of it. It's just when I started to get that racing chest feeling. I don't usually take myself to the hospital so it must have taken something for me to do that. It's maybe saved my life in a way in the long-term. Without that infection that I caught, doctors may not have found the problem that they have." the defender added.
"I have reached out and spoken to people. I was thinking too far ahead but now I have come to terms to it. I understand it's going to be a hard transition to make but it's one I have come to terms with. I can see it in a positive light. I am going to be healthy, that's the main thing." Franks concluded.