Emile Heskey hangs up England shirt





Emile Heskey, who today announced his retirement from international football, could only manage seven goals in 62 appearances but successive England managers valued him as a target man.







The 32-year-old Aston Villa striker was seen as the player who could get the best out of first Michael Owen and then Wayne Rooney.



It was the combination of the powerful frontman with a quicker, more clinical strike partner which saw Germany torn apart 5-1 during a memorable World Cup qualifier in Munich during September 2001, a night when Heskey also got on the scoresheet.



Heskey also scored at the 2002 finals, against Denmark, but his poor strike rate in an England shirt gave his critics plenty of ammunition.



First called up to the England squad by Glenn Hoddle during 1998, Heskey - who started his career at Leicester before spells at Liverpool, Birmingham and Wigan ahead of a switch to Villa in January 2009 - had to wait until April 1999 to make his debut, against Hungary in Budapest and now under the watchful eye of Kevin Keegan.



Heskey would go on to play at the European Championships of 2000 and again four years later; he was an ever-present at the 2002 World Cup in the Far East where Sven-Goran Eriksson's men reached the quarter-finals.



However, it would be three years before the new man in charge, Steve McClaren, recalled Heskey from the international wilderness to win a 50th cap against Belarus in Minsk.



Despite playing a key role in England's impressive qualifying campaign for the 2010 World Cup under Fabio Capello, Heskey's international career was to end in disappointment following a poor showing by the whole squad in South Africa.



Heskey had started the matches against the United States and Algeria, but was dropped for the final group game against Slovenia, which England won 1-0 thanks to a goal from his replacement Jermain Defoe.



What would prove to be his final international appearance as a late substitute came during the 4-1 defeat by Germany in the last 16.



"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," said Heskey.



"I would like to thank every manager I have 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."



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 West Ham's Carlton Cole can offer the manager a player of similar style and stature to that provided by Heskey.

Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
News
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before