Heskey hangs up England shirt

Heskey hangs up England shirt

Aston Villa striker Emile Heskey today announced his international retirement.

The 32-year-old won 62 caps for England, scoring seven times, and was a part of Fabio Capello’s squad at the World Cup.

Heskey started the matches against the United States and Algeria in South Africa but was dropped for the final group game against Slovenia, which England won 1-0 thanks to a goal from his replacement Jermain Defoe.

While his contribution to the Three Lions cause was often questioned by supporters, he remained a popular choice for several England managers.

Heskey said today: “I have enjoyed every moment of my England career and worn the shirt with pride every time I have been fortunate enough to have been selected.

“I would like to thank every manager I have played under, everyone at The FA and the fans for all their support over the years.

“I wish the management team and the playing squad all the best for the future.”

Heskey was handed his international debut by Kevin Keegan when he came on for Kevin Phillips in the friendly against Hungary in Budapest on April 28, 1999.

He played in the European Championships of 2000 and 2004 and was an ever-present at the 2002 World Cup, scoring against Denmark in the first knockout round.

After a three-year break Steve McClaren brought him back into the England fold and he won his 50th cap against Belarus in Minsk in October 2008.

In addition to Villa, Heskey has also played club football for Leicester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Wigan.

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