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Tootle's 'slug' goal celebration

The Toe Poke
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By ESPN Staff

Injury forces Aston Villa's Delaney to retire

Aston Villa defender Mark Delaney has announced his retirement after admitting defeat in his battle with injury.

The 31-year-old has been dogged by injury problems in recent seasons and last played a competitive game 11 months ago in Wales' Euro 2008 qualifying defeat to the Czech Republic, where he won the last of his 36 international caps.

Delaney, who made 193 appearances during his eight-and-a-half year stay at Villa Park, now plans to pursue a career in coaching after calling time on his career.

He told the club's website: 'This is a very sad day for me and this is not a decision I have taken lightly. But, having taken everything into consideration, I feel this is the right decision for myself and my family.'

Villa boss Martin O'Neill added: 'Mark has tried absolutely everything. He's put everything into getting back. He's been dedicated, coming in here every single day.

'Everything he's been asked to do, he's done. He's gone to the very best people and he's tried everything. I'm sure he has a future in the game and I wish him all the very best in whatever he does.'