NEWPORT County AFC defender Fraser Franks has been forced to retire due to a heart issue.

Franks joined County from Stevenage last summer and has made 34 appearances this season, scoring three goals.

His last match for the club was at Notts County on February 19 (below), when he scored in a 4-1 win.

The 28-year-old missed training later that week due to an irregular heartbeat and spent more than a week in hospital.

And a statement released by the club today reveals that Franks has been advised to hang up his boots with immediate effect.

South Wales Argus:

The statement says the centre-back “has been forced to end his playing career on medical advice due to a heart issue”.

It concludes: “The club is doing everything it can to support Fraser and his family at this difficult time and there will be further announcements in the coming weeks.

Franks, who has made more than 300 appearances for AFC Wimbledon, Welling United, Luton Town, Stevenage and County, made the following statement on Twitter.

— Fraser Franks (@Fraserfranks) 21 March 2019 ">http://