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  1. ITV Report

Watford academy analyst will not be held back by epilepsy

Daniel Bedeau works for Premier League club Watford's academy. Credit: ITV News

Epilepsy has not stopped Daniel Bedeau becoming a key part of Watford's academy backroom staff.

The once promising footballer was diagnosed with the condition aged seven and eventually had to give up playing as the sport was exacerbating the problem.

Daniel is in the minority, as statistics show that two-thirds of people with epilepsy are a not in full-time employment.

Epilepsy Action, a support group, is helping to close the game as only 75,000 of the 220,000 people in the UK aged between 16 and 64 who cite epilepsy as their main disability are employed.

"I felt really down, really sad," Bedeau says of the moment he needed to give up playing.

"It felt like it was taking candy away from a baby because football is what I wanted to do, it's what I had passion for, so to be told to stop something you really enjoy doing led to stuff like anger problems, frustration and stuff like that.

"I was angry at epilepsy rather than the actual situation. When I got older, I learned how to control it, learned what my triggers were for epilepsy."

Bedeau works as an analyst. Credit: PA

Bedeau had to change his goals, studying sports science and coaching at university, which eventually resulted in him getting a job at Premier League club Watford where he is now an performance analyst.

As a child, Bedeau suffered up to seven seizures a day but now carefully manages the condition and has a understanding employer who have put a care plan in place.

If Bedeau has a seizure he is given a taxi home, has to take a couple of days off work and is checked over by the club's medical staff.

"They [Watford] were very proactive. When I first told them about the epilepsy they were alright with it, it didn't seem like it bothered them and they seemed to work with it.

"They put in a care plan; I had one seizure in the office and we had a meeting, sat down, as it was an incident at work and then they had a care plan which was put forward."

It is hoped that others with epilepsy can follow Bedeau's example and earn employment.

Epilepsy Action believe many with the condition do not get a job due to a variety of reasons including a lack of understanding of the condition.

The organisation hope that with training they can help employers becoming more open to employing people with epilepsy.