Goldson news was a big shock - Stockdale

Albion goalkeeper David Stockdale. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Albion goalkeeper David Stockdale. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

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Albion goalkeeper David Stockdale said the squad were shocked when they heard the news central defender Connor Goldson would miss the rest of the season with a heart issue.

News broke on Saturday that Goldson had been ruled out for the remainder of the campaign after a routine cardiac screening discovered "a possible risk factor" and the defender will now have preventative surgery.

The 24-year-old joined Brighton from Shrewsbury in August, 2015, and has since played 35 games, including a pivotal part as the Seagulls only just missed out on promotion last season.

Speaking after yesterday's 3-3 draw at Brentford, Stockdale said: "It was a big shock. It's sad because Connor is a vital and valuable member of the squad, on and off the pitch.

"What we've said to him, every single one of us, is if you're going to have children with you're partner, they'd rather have a father than a football player.

"We hope, fingers crossed, he'll get 100 per cent better and if he can come back after this season, it will be brilliant.

"But you can't put a timescale on it. It's a heart problem and the heart is not to be messed with."

Stockdale revealed all of the squad had been in contact with Goldson, who was in the changing room at the end of the Brentford game.

He said: "We exchanged texts and calls. He spoke to a lot of the lads because we're a close group but it was amazing how he came out of it positively. He thinks like that and is a strong guy.

"You wouldn't expect it to happen to someone like him - this guy has more six packs than anyone I've seen.

"But it's life and I'd quit football for him if it meant him staying alive and I think everybody would do. I'd do it for anyone because you don't want to see people in that situation.

"He's a top member of our team, he's a friend and it's a gutting thing but how strong he's been has made us strong.

"Maybe we could have won for him today but there's a bigger picture than that and he's going to be part of it moving forward."

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