ENGLAND striker Emile Heskey has retired from international duty at the age of 32.
Heskey was never prolific for his country, scoring just seven times in 62 appearances, but endured a particularly disappointing World Cup.
“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 forward.
“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.”
England boss Fabio Capello is expected to cull some older players for the Euro 2012 qualifiers, and Heskey was strongly tipped to be among those to be axed for the friendly against Hungary on 11 August.
The former Liverpool, Birmingham, Leicester and Wigan frontman made his international debut in 1999 under Kevin Keegan and went on to play in two European Championships and the 2002 World Cup before falling out of favour. Heskey was recalled in October 2008 by Steve McClaren after three years in international wilderness and became a regular starter under Capello.
KEY STATS | HESKEY FOR ENGLAND
Heskey got just 27 shots on target in 62 internationals – less than 0.5 per game
Since 2006 England have won 69 per cent of competitive games when Heskey has played, and 61 per cent when he hasn’t