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Mr. Gayle

Heskey retires from England

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England striker Emile Heskey has announced his retirement from international football.

England striker Emile Heskey has announced his retirement from international football.

The 32-year-old was part of England manager Fabio Capello's much-criticised squad at the recent World Cup as they performed poorly in South Africa.

Heskey made his England debut against Hungary on 28 April, 1999 and earned 62 caps, scoring seven goals.

"I have enjoyed every moment of my England career and worn the shirt with pride when selected," he said.

"I would like to thank every manager I have played under, everyone at the FA 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."

More to follow.

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Lol @ him thinking he would kick another ball for England

Jumped before he was pushed

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Scored more goals than Rooney in World Cups

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lol

Heskey>>>>>

still getting the last laugh

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Since 2006, England have won 69% of their competitive games with Emile Heskey playing, compared to 61% without him. Retirement

Think sometimes he was just a scapegoat, but was his time to go.

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Couldnt he have done this before the world cup the bloody sh*t head c*nt.

7 goals snm.

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Spent his whole international career as a tactical ploy

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Scored more goals than Rooney in World Cups

Has he been given a medal for this incredible achievement?

If not I think you should start a petition.

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And f*ck Heskey

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Criminal how many caps this guy has for england.

Those inbred stepovers v algeria sum him up tbh.

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Durham going in on him now lol

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Time 4 K.Nolan 2 step up as the English meathead upfront. Heskey a fake nigga but he used 2 b a sick baller 1st yr at Scouse.

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So wait, Heskey is supposed to turn down caps?

I could be the shittest player in history, but if England call me up, I ain't turning sh*t down, if anything, I can't believe my luck.

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So wait, Heskey is supposed to turn down caps?

I could be the shittest player in history, but if England call me up, I ain't turning sh*t down, if anything, I can't believe my luck.

Swear noones even saying that bruv?

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So wait, Heskey is supposed to turn down caps?

I could be the shittest player in history, but if England call me up, I ain't turning sh*t down, if anything, I can't believe my luck.

Swear noones even saying that bruv?

People are having digs at Heskey.

I haven't seen Keegan, Sven or Capello mentioned. Those are the ones responsible for his international career.

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Criminal how many caps this guy has for england.

Those inbred stepovers v algeria sum him up tbh.

Haha remember saying to my dad 'Why the f*ck is this donkey doing stepovers?'

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Criminal how many caps this guy has for england.

Those inbred stepovers v algeria sum him up tbh.

Haha remember saying to my dad 'Why the f*ck is this donkey doing stepovers?'

Was in a pub in Cyprus when this happened, could feel them dudes getting ready to unleash the racial abuse

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Criminal how many caps this guy has for england.

Those inbred stepovers v algeria sum him up tbh.

Haha remember saying to my dad 'Why the f*ck is this donkey doing stepovers?'

Was in a pub in Cyprus when this happened, could feel them dudes getting ready to unleash the racial abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPKmqspkoXo

Defender was confused by the fact that he was attempting the step over :lol:

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to be fair to him it bobbled up

used to be a good left winger at liecester and early days of pool/england

obviously then he put on too much weight to play there again

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It can feel like a trick of the imagination now but I still remember the excitement of watching Emile Heskey for the first time. It was that feeling you get when you believe you are witnessing the start of something special and, back then, it felt exhilarating and real. We had heard about this guy, 17 years old, built like a nightclub bouncer. Football is littered with stories of promising teenagers but this felt different. It was the power of the shot, the burst of pace that took him away from his marker. It was one hell of a goal. I was a freelance journalist back then, covering Leicester City for the tabloids, and I am pretty sure my reports were filled with words such as "thunderbolt" and "screamer".

Heskey was regarded as special at Filbert Street. He was painfully shy sometimes – his brother, Santana, was the confident, streetwise member of the family – but anyone with an ounce of football knowledge could see he was sprinkled with stardust.

He had raw aggression, blistering pace and, when he got the ball, he would just drive towards goal. The player we see now – that serial toe-stubber, all hustle and bustle, trying to win the flick-ons and picked for the World Cup, it seems, purely to serve Wayne Rooney – represents a bewildering metamorphosis from the youngster who used to make his first manager, Mark McGhee, and later Martin O'Neill blow out their cheeks and shake their heads in starry admiration.

Fast-forward almost 15 years and there is an air of inevitability about his announcement today that he is withdrawing himself from contention for future England squads. Playing for your national team is supposed to be the pinnacle for a professional footballer but, for Heskey, it had become a joyless experience.

There is a bad vibe around the England camp – a "five-star prison," to quote Steven Gerrard – and it has become a rarity to see Heskey smile. It cannot be easy when the fans still mark that famous win in Germany in 2001 with the song "5-1 – even Heskey scored".

His statement says he has "enjoyed every moment" and, cynical or not, you have to wonder whether he wrote a word of it. It reeks of the aftershave of some PR flunky. How, possibly, could he have enjoyed every moment when he has been among the scapegoats for every bad England performance? Heskey has been the subject of lacerating attacks in the media. The fans have grown to distrust him. It has bordered on ridicule sometimes, pure abuse and vitriol on other occasions, and it has gone on longer than he will care to remember.

Even the accolades that came his way could feel patronising. Look at the work he does off the ball, we were told. Heskey's statistics tell the story of a man who managed fewer than one shot on target for every two international appearances. Team-mates would queue up to praise/defend him but the subtext always came back to one thing: Heskey, the non-scoring goal-scorer, seven goals in 11 years as England's centre-forward, incorporating two World Cups, two European Championships, 62 caps and, let's face it, a hundred or so moments when he has had a sight at goal and got his shot all wrong, often falling over in the process.

A cheap dig, perhaps. But this is what Heskey has become in England terms: the guy who made you roll your eyes or groan or swear. The internet can be a brutal place and there is one spoof website dedicated to his awfulness. It features a quote from Michael Owen: "Good riddance – he really is absolute bollocks."

Yet Heskey played under England's last four full-time managers and it is difficult to think they all misjudged what he could bring to the team. At his best Heskey was virtually unplayable. Tony Cottee describes him as the best strike partner he ever had. Owen – the real Owen – could well agree.

It is just that Heskey, somewhere along the line, forgot what he was really good at: terrorising defenders, burning them off, relying on his instincts.

He was a sprinter who stopped sprinting, a confidence player who no longer had anything to be confident about. There was a two-minute spell in that fist-eatingly awful match against Algeria at the World Cup when he whacked a 60-yard ball forward to Aaron Lennon (the smallest player on the pitch) to outjump two 6ft-plus centre-halves and then, when the ball next came to him, miscontrolled it and crossed for a goal‑kick.

A personal theory is that Heskey had all the gifts needed to be a genuine category-A footballer except the one that is difficult to teach: self-belief. He is an arm-round-the-shoulder guy and Fabio Capello, for one, is not an arm-round-the-shoulder manager.

One story from a few years back tells of England's players being given a day off to play golf. The television cameras were allowed to film the first tee shot: the odd shank, a few straight down the middle, all good fun. Heskey linked up with everyone at the 3rd because, with so many watching, he was too nervous.

Some will say he has jumped before he was pushed and there may be something in that. For now we can only guess whether Capello would have picked him again. What we can say is that Heskey has probably made the right decision, whatever the motives. He is 32 and has enough of a battle to get into the Aston Villa team. And, besides, the way things have been going, he was in danger of being booed if he had worn an England shirt again.

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Was a beast. Weight-gain f*cked him up.

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