Date:Thursday July 5 2007
Former Blackburn Rovers striker Chris Sutton has been forced into an early retirement due to the problem he has been having with blurred vision.
Sutton had been troubled for most of last season, and didn't play another match for Aston Villa after December. It was unclear what his future would have been with them, but his agent believes he would have got another year had he recovered.
Sutton started his career at Norwich City, with his goals as a teenager eventually brining him to the attentions of Rovers, and after signing he was part of the SAS partnership with Alan Shearer. This was one England's most feared partnerships in the mid 1990's, and arguably one of the best English pairings of all time?!?! After Shearer's World Record move to Newcastle United he was never quite the same player, with many people believing (rightly or wrongly) that he had a major role to play in the clubs relegation?!?!
Sutton twice broke the British transfer record, the first time when he signed for Rovers in 1994 for £5 million, and the second when he left Ewood Park for Stamford Bridge after being signed in 1999 by Chelsea for £10 million. He didn't have a good time with Chelsea and soon moved onto Celtic where he everything on offer domestically before returning to England to play for Birmingham City. When they were relegated he made the switch to their rivals Aston Villa last summer.
It is sad to see his career ended out of his own hands, but he has had a long and distinguished career so I doubt he can have too many complaints, especially as he is now 34-years-old (so it is not as if he is only just starting out.) If he has any regrets, and could maybe change anything I would guess that he might change the way he handled his England "B" call-up (when he felt he was above this, and he was really!!!) His refusal to play cost him ever playing for his country again.
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Date:Thursday July 5 2007
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