Emile Heskey retires from international football
Aston Villa and England striker Emile Heskey has announced his retirement from international football at the age of 32.
Heskey, who has scored seven goals for England, was heavily criticised along with much of the team for his performances in South Africa, while many fans were bemused to see the striker get the nod ahead of Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch.
The former Leicester, Liverpool and Wigan man has played 62 times for England after making his debut against Hungary in 1999.
“I would like to thank every manager I have played under, everyone at the FA and the fans for their support over the years,” Heskey said.
“I wish the management team and playing squad all the best for the future.”
Heskey played in every game of the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan, scoring his only goal at World Cup finals against Denmark in the second round. He made just one substitute appearance during Euro 2004.
He was left out of the international side until the unsuccessful Steve McLaren era in Euro 2008 qualifying, and Fabio Capello kept faith in the striker once he was appointed.
Many felt Crouch or Defoe should be partnering Wayne Rooney in South Africa despite Heskey setting up Steven Gerrard against the USA in the opening game.
He started again against Algeria, and came off the bench in the final group game against Slovenia and the second round game against Germany.
Heskey, who scored the fifth goal in England’s thrilling 5-1 win over Germany in 2001, added: “I have enjoyed every moment of my England career and have worn the shirt with pride.”