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Ashton to announce West Ham retirement this week

According to reports, West Ham are set to announce Dean Ashton's retirement this week, after the striker finally admitted defeat in his battle to recover from an ankle injury. The England striker, who last played a senior match 14 months ago, has never fully recovered from a knock he suffered on international duty in August 2006.

Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola had refused to write off Ashton but the former Crewe and Norwich forward cannot play on due to chronic degeneration in the ankle.

The club will now instigate a £7million insurance claim against the Football Association, according to the London Evening Standard.

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