Dean Ashton Retires At The Age Of 26
Crewe Alexandra legend Dean Ashton has retired from football at the age of just 26 follow an injury to his ankle.
Crewe fans will certainly feel it more than most and I for one am gutted to be having to write this. Sure, there's been no death and it's not the end of the world, but it's never nice to see such a young talent fall out of the game - especially not one of our own.
From his debut as a 16 year old to 'that goal' against Gillingham to him guiding us to the top half of the Championship, Ashton was simply a class act. He had his bad games but when he was on it you just enjoyed every minute of watching him play. He was sometimes worth the entrance fee alone.
The footballing public won't appreciate how big a loss to the game Ashton will be, they never saw enough of him. For me he should have gone on to be a England regular, on the plane to South Africa this summer and probably at a top 4 club in the Premiership.
You can't imagine how Deano himself will be feeling at the moment. In summer 2006 he had the world at his feet and the day before what would have been his England debut a accidental tackle by Shaun Wright-Phillips at the England training ground broke his ankle ultimately ended his career early.
Hopefully we'll see Deano back at Gresty Road soon enough so we can show our appreciation and if it's a route Deano wants to go down hopefully Dario will leave the door open for him to take up a coaching job.
Arguably the best player to have ever pulled on the red and white, it's a sad day.
Here, from YouTube, are the best of his many Crewe Alexandra goals.