Emile Heskey announces international retirement

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Aston Villa striker Emile Heskey has decided to call time on his spell with the England national side after collecting a measly seven goals in 62 games for his country.

The 32-year-old cut an unpopular figure with some supporters during his time with the Three Lions, but played in the European Championships of 2000 and 2004 and was an ever-present at the 2002 World Cup.

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

They all pointed to the fact that Heskey's presence brought the best out of more prolific strikers such as Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney.

Heskey was seen for almost a decade as the player who could get the best out of Owen, while statistics proved that Rooney was more productive alongside the 6ft 2in forward than any other striker.

"I've enjoyed every moment of my England career and worn the shirt with pride every time I've been fortunate enough to have been selected," Heskey said in an official statement released to the media.

"I'd like to thank every manager I've played under, everyone at the Football Association 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."

The former Liverpool hitman was given his first call-up to the England squad by Glenn Hoddle for the friendly against the Czech Republic in November 18, 1998.

He had to wait, however, until April 28, 1999 to make his debut against Hungary under Kevin Keegan.

His final display for his country came in the 4-1 second round humiliation at the hands of Germany at World Cup 2010, when he was sent on as a substitute in the 71st minute.

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