Ashton: I may never walk again
2009-12-12 - Added by
Retired former West Ham striker Dean Ashton has revealed that he may never walk again after admitting that he feels ‘bitter’ about being forced to quit the game he loves.
Ashton was forced to pull the curtain down on his footballing career this week after failing to overcome an ankle injury he first suffered while training with the England squad way back in August 2006.
The 26 year-old has not featured for the Hammers since September last year and missed the whole of the 2006/2007 campaign as he struggled with injuries.
In the wake of making such a harrowing decision, the former Norwich City ace insisted that his love for the game will not precede his health as he fears he may never even walk again.
"It's a rubbish situation. I just want to be able to walk properly and, at the moment, I cannot,” Ashton told the Sun.
"My health is obviously more important than football. I was told if I kept trying to play football, I might never walk again.
"I am going to hospital on Tuesday for a fifth operation.
"It's unlikely I will ever be able to jog again, but right now, I can't walk properly.
"My left ankle is still very sore. It will be a while before I feel okay and get over this disappointment.
"There is a bit of bitterness and I think 'Why me?' It's a sad part of football,” he added.
Ashton also extended a word of thanks to his former West Ham fans before recalling the moment when he found out his time as a professional player was up.
"In August of this year, I tried to join in with the first team. I went to do a jog around the pitch, but at the end of second lap, I was struggling. The noise coming from my joint was terrible,” he said dejectedly.
“(Midfielder) Kieran Dyer thought it was my boots making the noise. I went to the side and was crying on the floor. This was the second time I'd broken down in tears.
"I knew this was it. Definitely. My last chance had gone. I was finished. The lads were all shocked and saddened to see me like that.
"Generally, I don't show a lot of emotion so it was probably strange to see a big lad like me crying. But I knew that was it."