John Robinson, the Charlton Athletic winger, has announced his retirement from international football, despite Mark Hughes' efforts to make him change his mind.
Robinson's name was missing yesterday from the squad named by the Wales manager to play Croatia in Varazdin in next Wednesday's friendly. Robinson, 32 later this month, made his debut in 1995 against Albania and has played 30 games for Wales since, scoring three goals.
Born in Rhodesia, he qualified for Wales only because he was a British passport holder – a qualification which would not be allowed under current rules – but made such an impact with his adopted country that he was named Wales' player of the year two seasons ago.
Robinson, whose club testimonial was at the weekend against Porto, has had considerable personal problems recently following the death of his father, and spending more time with his family has become a priority.
Hughes said: "I fully understand John's decision, but I did try to persuade him to change his mind. I talked to him on Thursday and asked him to consider his decision over the weekend, but when we spoke again on Sunday he was still determined to stick to his original plan.
"He has suffered some terrible family problems with the death of his father, and wanted to step down now before we start our European qualifying campaign rather than have to do it later and upset our preparations.
"The door is still open for him if he ever wants to return. He has been a fine team-mate and a great servant to Wales."
Hughes has left out the Newcastle pair Gary Speed and Craig Bellamy, who are both injured, but has named Ryan Giggs even though Manchester United play a league game with Chelsea two days after the game in Croatia.
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