Dean Ashton Talks Of Breaking Down
Dean Ashton has spoken of how he may never be able to run again following his retirement from football.
The Alex legend retired yesterday, three years after breaking his ankle during an England training session. Despite glimpses of hope Deano yesterday confirmed that he would not be returning to the football pitch as the injury has left him unable to even walk properly.
Ashton told The Sun that facing up to retirement at the age of 26 is a bitter pill to swallow but says his general health is more important than playing football again.
'I just want to be able to walk properly and, at the moment, I cannot.
'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.'
The 26 year old also spoke of the moment he realised his fitness was not going to improve enough for him to return to the game.
'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.
'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.'
Ashton, who's widely regarded as one of Crewe's greatest players, played 160 games for the Alex, scoring 61 goals. After five years as a professional at Gresty Road he signed for Norwich in a £3million before switching to West Ham 12 months later for £12million.