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Ashton set to retire?

Filed: Monday, 9th November 2009
By: Yet Another Staff Writer

Dean Ashton is set to announce his retirement from football after losing his battle to a long-standing ankle injury, according to a report in today's Daily Telegraph.

Ashton, 26, who has not played for the Hammers since September 2008, has endured a woeful injury record since joining from Norwich City in January 2006 and adds yet another blow to West Ham's struggling 2009-10 season so far.

After an explosive start to his Upton Park career under Alan Pardew's management, Ashton finished his first half-season scoring in the FA Cup Final defeat to Liverpool in May 2006. This good start saw Ashton called up by then England manager, Steve McClaren, for Three Lions duty in August 2006.

However, rather than the mark a fairytale beginning, this call-up began an injury nightmare for Ashton as the number nine broke his ankle is training after an apparently innocuous challenge by Shaun Wright-Phillips which led to Ashton missing the rest of the 2006-2007 season.

Although Ashton returned in August 2007 and managed 11 goals in 35 appearances - earning the striker a new 5-year, 50,000 per week contract, as well a recall to the England squad by Fabio Capello in the process - Ashton broke down again in last season's 3-2 defeat to West Brom at The Hawthorns and has not kicked a ball since.

The Telegraph now reports West Ham are set mount an insurance claim against the F.A for 7m, as well as speculating Ashton may also launch a direct claim against Wright-Phillips for his part in his original ankle injury.

Dutch surgeon Niek Van Dyke ,who handled Ashton's rehabilitation, is reported to have diagnosed the player as suffering from 'chronic degeneration' to his ankle, meaning although the player can run, he can not twist or take any impact to the joint and is in constant discomfort. Van Dyke is deemed to have ruled Ashton's hopes of a comeback an impossibility.

The paper suggests should West Ham be successful in their claim against the F.A that the funds would be available for Zola to strengthen the squad, although due to this size of club's current debt, that is likely to represent speculation at best.

News of the apparently impending announcement represents unwelcome news for manager Gianfranco Zola, whose side are heavily reliant on Carlton Cole, whose absence from the side against Everton was all-too-evident as chance after chance went beginning leading to a 2-1 defeat and the Hammers slipping back into the relegation zone.

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by Dazza Robinson
01:44PM 17th Nov 2009
''Firstly, its a shame for him and us so lets wish him well. Various sources at West Ham and Ashton's own medical team said to me that he was coming back but I never believed them thinking that there was a clear monetary reason for keeping everyone in the dark for so long.

I think Ashton could have been honest about his recovery sooner but hey, his whole liveihood is about to go so good luck with the insurance claim and remember if you want to sue Wright-Phillips, 3 year limitation (I know a great PI Lawyer!).''

by Grath
12:33AM 11th Nov 2009
''That's heartbreaking, and I can only imagine how gutted he must be. There's no way a holding company would allow an insurance payout to go towards a player purchase. This will knock down some debt, which (for now) is the only thing that can be done.''

by Richard
10:23PM 10th Nov 2009
''@Sean Scott: An Awesome striker? for somthink like 20 games in four seasons, They might as well as employed me as a striker!''

by sean scott
08:45PM 9th Nov 2009
''@m gutted by this news. If it is true, then West Ham and football has lost an awesome striker. It's a real shame this has happened but I cant say im completely suprised. I hope and pray this turns to be false and wish him a speedy recovery.''

by raymond lucas
05:41PM 9th Nov 2009
''I am not surprised to hear Ashton is to retire, it's been a long time so it seems obvious that his injury was serious. Hopefully we can claim the insurance and buy some proper full backs or at least a decent right back and cover for left back.''

by Tell it how it is Charley
04:31PM 9th Nov 2009
''As I said on Preview Percy's page: surely before signing a 50k five-year contract, surely the club should have undertaken a strict medical with Ashton? A medical surely would have highlighted serious problems with the ankle. It does make you wonder what goes on at clubs some times.''

by Bora
04:31PM 9th Nov 2009
''Noooooo :(''

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