FORMER Grays Athletic star, Mitchell Cole has died of a heart attack.
The 27-year-old former footballer had retired from football due to a heart condition.
Cole played thirty five times for the Blues in their 2004-05 season when they gained promotion from the Conference South and won the FA Trophy.
His career spanned a number of clubs including Oxford, Southend and Stevenage.
In February 2011, Cole’s career ended prematurely when Oxford United announced that he had been forced to retire due to a serious heart condition.
His condition is known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an irregular thickness of the heart in certain areas.
During his time at West Ham, at the age of 17, Cole discovered he had a heart condition, but continued to play as his condition gradually improved.
However, in November 2010, Cole began to suffer from shortness of breath during training and matches, and was subsequently advised by a leading cardiologist to stop playing competitive football to avoid the risk of a serious heart episode.
On retiring, Mitchell said “It’s like being hit by a ton of bricks because football is all I’ve ever known. I’ve managed to get eight years out of the professional game which I am extremely happy with”.
Mitchell spoke on his condition after Bolton Wanderer’s player Fabrice Muamba suffered a heart attack on the pitch at Tottenham earlier this year.
In a short statement on their website, a spokesperson for Grays Athletic said: “The club are sorry to hear that former player Mitchell Cole has passed away from a heart attack.
“Our thoughts are with his family.”