Chelsea star Conor Gallagher overcame worrying heart problem which left him 'dizzy' and threatened his career | The Sun

CONOR GALLAGHER overcame a heart problem to become a Chelsea and England star.

The midfielder begun his journey to stardom at local side Epsom Eagles before the Blues snapped him up aged eight.

Gallagher impressed in the club's academy and eventually earned a call-up to the England Under-17s.

He was part of the side that sealed World Cup glory for the Young Lions in 2017 alongside Phil Foden, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Morgan Gibbs-White and Jadon Sancho.

Gallagher was rising through the ranks and pushing to make his first senior appearance when his career was nearly taken away from him.

In the summer of 2018, while in pre-season training with Chelsea, the then 18-year-old felt his heart beating strangely fast.



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Gallagher then fell ill in the subsequent days and went for checks amid concern something was seriously wrong, having suffered similar problems while with England.

He explained to The Guardian in 2020: "It was quite a tough one-v-one session and it was too much for me.

"I felt a bit dizzy and had to pull out of training and that’s when I got the checks, scans, and when they saw something was wrong."

It was revealed that Gallagher would require minor heart surgery to solve his irregular heartbeat.

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Gallagher dates Irish model Aine MayCredit: Instagram @ainemaykennedy
Gallagher was in England's 2022 World Cup squadCredit: Sunday Times

He had to be put under general anaesthetic for 45 minutes and there was a three per cent chance the problem would not be solved, potentially endangering his footballing career.

Gallagher said: "I just thought: ‘That can’t happen.’ 

"I was a bit nervous but in my head I knew I would be fine and push on from that."

The heart issue was fortunately fixed and with added motivation to make the most of his career after almost losing it, he set about trying to force his way into the Chelsea XI.

Gallagher explained: "I think it was good for me, because sometimes when you’re injured it gives you time to reflect and makes you even hungrier to come back and do well.

"I remember saying to my mum before the surgery: ‘I just want to get it done so I can work as hard as I can again.'

"Ever since then I think that’s when I really started to push on. I think it made me not take anything for granted.

"I got physically stronger and quicker and my all-round game has improved since I came back from that.”

Gallagher missed all of pre-season in 2018, needing two months to recover from the surgery.

Chelsea showed their support by handing him a new contract after he recovered.

And he rewarded their faith as he won the academy player of the year award that campaign and even picked up a Europa League winners medal after being named on the bench for the victory over Arsenal in the final.

Gallagher went out on loan to Championship sides Charlton and Swansea for the 2019/20 season.

He then got a chance to shine in the Premier League with West Brom and Crystal Palace.

His good performances saw him earn a senior England call-up and he was in the squad for the 2022 World Cup.

He finally returned to Chelsea and played 45 matches in a turbulent 2022/23 campaign under managers Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter and Frank Lampard.

Gallagher has also been trusted by boss Mauricio Pochettino, who handed him the captain's armband for the first time in a Carabao Cup win over AFC Wimbledon in August 2023.

Away from the pitch, he has found love in stunning girlfriend Aine May Kennedy.

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