Heskey hangs up England shirt

ASTON VILLA striker Emile Heskey has announced his retirement from international football.

The forward, who won 62 caps but scored just seven goals during his England career, has decided to call time on his spell with the Three Lions following their miserable World Cup campaign.

Heskey – who started his career at Leicester before spells at Liverpool, Birmingham and Wigan ahead of a switch to Villa in January 2009 – started the first match against the USA in South Africa and made a dream start, setting up Steven Gerrard’s early opener.

The 31-year-old was again selected by Fabio Capello for the dismal goalless draw with Algeria, before being replaced by Jermain Defoe for the victory over Slovenia and 4-1 thrashing by Germany, coming on as a substitute in both games.

Heskey said: “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.’’

A new generation will now forge the next England attack when Capello plans for the future ahead of the 2012 European Championships, and it has been suggested that West Ham’s Carlton Cole can offer the manager a player of similar style and stature to that provided by Heskey.


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