Emile Heskey announces his retirement from international football.
England forward Emile Heskey has announced his retirement from international football.
The 32-year-old was capped 62 times for the Three Lions, appearing in two World Cups, two European Championships and scoring seven goals during his international career.
"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 the Aston Villa frontman.
"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."
After working his way through the England development teams – including 19 appearances for the Under-21s – Heskey made his senior debut in the 1-1 friendly against Hungary in 1999, coming on as a replacement for Kevin Phillips.
He opened his account for the national side in June 2000, scoring the winning goal as England defeated Malta 2-1 in Valletta – their final preparation game before Euro 2000.
Under the management of Kevin Keegan, Heskey went on to make two appearances at the Championship in Belgium and the Netherlands and had established himself as a regular squad member when Sven Goran Eriksson took over the reins in 2001.
It was during that year that Heskey enjoyed one of his finest moments in an England shirt, completing the Three Lions’ 5-1 rout of Germany in the 2002 World Cup Qualifier in Munich. It was a performance that helped England reach the World Cup finals, where Heskey would gain his first taste of World Cup football.
Alongside Michael Owen, Heskey started every game in Japan and Korea, scoring against Denmark in England’s 3-0 victory at the first knockout stage before the side were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Brazil.
A solitary substitute appearance at Euro 2004 was followed by a three-year break from the international scene, until Steve McClaren brought him back into the fold during the unsuccessful Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.
The powerful forward was retained by Fabio Capello after his appointment as England Manager and scored his last international goal against Kazakhstan during qualification for the 2010 World Cup.
He played in all four of England’s games in South Africa, coming on as a substitute in their Round of 16 defeat to Germany in what was to be his last game for the Three Lions.