Ankle injury forces Martyn to retire


Former England goalkeeper Nigel Martyn has announced his immediate retirement after being told he needs an ankle operation. The 39-year-old, who had been set to agree new terms at Everton, had not played since January due to a stress fracture.

Martyn, whose contract was due to expire this month, underwent a scan yesterday and would have been offered a new deal if it proved positive. Specialists, however, have recommended surgery to pin the bone and Martyn has therefore decided to call time on his playing career.

Martyn joined Everton from Leeds in September 2003 and made 100 appearances for the club.
Martyn told the club's official website, "It was a decision based on being able to live a normal sort of life afterwards - that was the primary concern because it is a nasty bone to have a problem in."

Martyn began his career with Bristol Rovers before becoming the country's first £1million goalkeeper when he joined Crystal Palace in 1989. He moved on to Leeds for £2.25million in 1996 and helped the Elland Road club reach the Champions League semi-finals in 2001. He eventually left for Everton after losing his first-team place to current England number one Paul Robinson.

Martyn, who also won 23 England caps, added: "I have loved every minute of my time at Everton. I have a lot to be thankful to Everton for because I was languishing at Leeds at the time.

"I was out of favour at Elland Road because I would not go on a tour and so I will always be thankful to the manager (David Moyes) for putting his faith in me and giving me another chance. To be able to play two-and-a-half seasons was a big thing for me because it meant I could finish my career properly."