Retirement finally confirmed for Ashton
By Tom Dowsett
Friday 11 Dec 2009 10:29:00
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After months of speculation it has finally been confirmed today that West Ham United striker Dean Ashton has been forced to retire.

Ashton Joined the Hammers from Norwich City in January 2006 for a then club record £7.25m fee. The then 22 year old went on to score 6 goals in 16 league and cup appearances, including 2 in the FA Cup Quarter final against Manchester City and one in "that memorable" final against Liverpool in 2006.

Ashton missed the entire 2006/07 season, due to a broken ankle sustained while training with England the day before he was due to make his Debut against Greece at Old Trafford in August.

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The striker made a return in the 2007/08 season, scoring 11 goals in 35 appearances and made his England debut in June 2008 against Trinidad & Tobago. The pain in his ankle, however, never completely went away.

After beginning the 2008/09 pre-season programme in prolific form, he went on to score a brace in the opening day home victory over Wigan Athletic. Ashton was again forced to the sidelines just four matches into the season against West Bromwich Albion after a reoccurence of the original ankle injury.

This was unfortunately to be his last appearance on a football Pitch, as the Injury finally forced him to cut short what was, and looked to be, a promising career for the 26 year old.


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