(CNN) -- England striker Dean Ashton has announced his retirement from professional football after concerns that an ankle injury, picked up while training for his national side in 2006, could have hampered the player's mobility in later life if he continued to play.
The 26-year-old's club, English Premier League side West Ham announced the forward's decision on their official Web site.
The side's 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.
Ashton joined the London-based side for a club-record fee of $11.8 million in 2006, going on to score 19 goals in 43 appearances.
After spending the entire 2006/07 season sidelined by his injury, Ashton regained his place in the side and played 35 times in the following campaign but broke down again in what became his last game in September 2008.
Elsewhere, Venezuela midfielder Tomas Rincon has completed a four-and-a-half year deal with German side Hamburg.
The Bundesliga side announced on its official Web site they had signed the 21-year-old for $2.2 million, after the player had impressed during a loan from Venezuelan first division club Deportivo Tachira.