VIDEO: Retired £7.25m former West Ham crock proves he's still got it

Dean Ashton would likely be an England international right now were it not for injury.

West Ham were defeated by Manchester United yesterday 2-0 in what was, in all fairness, a fairly uninspiring performance from a side who before the game many would have seen giving the Red Devils something to think about.

However that was not to be the case.

But the game reminded me of a former West Ham star - who once did this to United in a Premier League tie:

Dean Ashton cost The Hammers £7.25 million in 2006, moving to the club from Norwich City and quickly setting his sights on England selection.

Of course he got his wish - but in August 2006, when that call-up finally came, it was to be the end of him.

Ashton was injured in a tackle with Shaun Wright-Phillips whilst with the England team - breaking his ankle and ruling him out for the majority of the 2006-07 season.

After a comeback in 2007-08 - in which time he scored this wonderful goal against United - things started to go downhill fast for the player.

He sprained his ankle in 2008, and again the next year - and it became a running theme throughout the next season.

In December 2009 Ashton, England’s next Alan Shearer, retired - and football purists lost their last great centre forward hope for England.

The dream pairing of Ashton and Rooney was never to be.

Nowadays an occasional pundit and golfer the 30-year-old appeared on Sky Sports Soccer AM yesterday morning - and spoke about the future as well as his difficulties coming to terms with his early retirement:

"Norwich were brilliant - they let me come in and shadow some of the coaches. I enjoyed being back at the club, it was brilliant. But once I got out there I still felt like I should be playing … I will certainly keep myself within coaching and look at all of the things that are going on. I don't want to leave it and then come to it five years down the line and then think I'm well out of the loop."

"Football has always been my passion - it has just taken me a couple of years to get over finishing and to start enjoying football again. I love being involved in the game again.”

But for most Hammers fans they wanted to know one thing - has he still got it?

Judging by this evidence yes, he certainly does…

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