Filed: Monday, 15th February 2010
By: Staff Writer
Dean Ashton has revealed that he bears no ill feeling towards Shaun Wright-Phillips, the player who effectively ended his playing career.
Manchester City winger Wright-Phillips, then at Chelsea, was responsible for the challenge that left Ashton with a shattered ankle during an England training session in the summer of 2006 - an injury from which he failed to fully recover.
However Ashton, speaking on Five Live tonight, revealed that he refused to blame Wright-Phillips for forcing him to prematurely call time on his career, at the age of just 26.
"There's no point thinking about that at all, there just isn't," said Ashton. "I'm pretty sure he didn't want to break my leg. Whether it was a bad tackle or not, I'm sure he didn't think that.
"That was three years ago and there's no point dwelling on that. It could have happened to anybody. It might not have been me, it might have been someone else - but it just so happened to be me. There's no point keep going on thinking about it."
The former Irons number nine, who officially announced his retirement back in December - despite admitting that he knew he would have to retire as early as February 2009, some nine months earlier - also revealed that he was unlikely to receive any compensation in relation to his injury - all because he tried to make a comeback.
"Those things are still going on," he said. "Obviously there's also West Ham who want compensating for losing a player who they paid a lot of money for. There's a lot of things going on that we can't talk about, but that is going on behind the scenes. In terms of compensation my insurance is void, I don't get any insurance money so it's for the best that I've saved well.
"There's a lot of things in your insurance that they don't have to pay you out [for]. Generally if you get injured and don't retire with that injury within two years - and obviously if you get back playing for a season. If you're injured when you renew it they can exclude your ankle."
Although Ashton's injury problems were clear to all, it was with some surprise that the striker was offered a new five-year contract by the club in the summer of 2008. It is a sentiment with which Ashton agees.
"At the time five years seemed like a lot," he admitted, "but to me I felt like I'd got back and played really well - and I was in the team every week. So I felt like I deserved a new contract. How many years wasn't up to me but I felt like I'd played well enough and earned my place back in the team.
"I'm sure in hindsight they were tearing their hair out that they did. But like I said, at the time I felt like I wasn't going to have any more problems until I was 30-odd, and I felt like I'd got back to somewhere near my best. Obviously they thought that as well and at the time I guess West Ham didn't want to lose a striker."
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03:36AM 19th Feb 2010
''Why should Deano have any hard feelings? SWP did him a solid. He's set for life and never has to kick another football or go out in the rain if he doesn't want to. Nice work if you can get it.''