Date: 11th December 2009 at 10:11am
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West Ham have confirmed that former City striker Dean Ashton has been forced to retire.

The 26-year-old has failed to fully recover from an ankle injury originally picked up in a clash with Shaun Wright-Phillips whilst on England duty in 2006.

According to reports last night Ashton is investigating whether he can take legal action against Wright-Phillips and Chelsea (his club at the time), but may struggle with that one considering he returned to playing several times since then.

Speaking to the Hammer’s official website, chief executive Scott Duxbury said:

‘This is a sad day and our thoughts are with Dean. I would like to place on record our thanks to him for all his efforts and wish him the very best.

‘I would also like to thank the fans for their patience and understanding during what has been a difficult time.’

Ashton scored 18 times in 46 appearances for the Canaries before joining West Ham for an initial £7m in January 2006.

City were in line to receive 15% of any profit made by the Hammers should they ever sell the one-time Crewe trainee.

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