Dean Ashton was once hailed as one of the most promising prospects of English football in his generation as he worked his way up through the junior ranks of football. Playing for Crewe Alexandra, Norwich and West Ham he seemed destined for stardom at full international level and made his England debut as a striker against Trinidad & Tobago on 1st June 2008.
Having spent 5 seasons at Crewe Alexandra amassing 158 appearances before gaining a lot of interest from a number of club’s due to his fine performances. In 2005, a move to Norwich which broke the clubs record transfer fee at £3million was the next step of Ashton’s career. His time with Norwich yielded many impressive individual performances totalling crucial 18 goals during his stay with the club. With Norwich being relegated Ashton was seeking a new challenge, one which presented itself at West Ham United.
In a move that matched his ambitions and wishes to play in the Premier League, the highest level in English football, Ashton immediately made an impact and quickly became popular among fans. One of his most notable performances came in the FA Cup final, coming into the game carrying an injury he sustained in a league game and having not trained in the lead up to the match, Dean Ashton produced one of the most impressive displays in his short time at West Ham sparking a dramatic comeback from 3-1 down to 3-3 starting with his spectacular goal. Despite Ashton’s supreme individual efforts, West Ham agonisingly lost on penalties to Liverpool in the final.
Ashton’s continued form and impressive performances brought more attention from other clubs notably Newcastle United however West Ham United were adamant that Ashton was not going anywhere. Dean was consistently an integral part of the team and a leading figure within the club. He offered the club leadership, skill and performance of the highest quality, an example of this came through an incredible overhead kick goal against Manchester United, one of 11 goals he scored that season.
Dean’s impressive performances for his club were noticed by International selectors and management, after being involved in squads on numerous occasions Ashton did finally get his International cap. Unfortunately, a persistent ankle problem took its toll and Dean was unable to add to his solitary cap. He played the last game of his career later that year aged 26 before tragically having to call time on his career. As one of few players in this generation available as a sports speaker, Dean describes his extensive battles with injury in an intimate way we can all relate to.
Having been forced into retirement at such an early age Dean was forced to re-evaluate the direction of his life and now has a growing reputation as football speaker and event host. Dean offers a unique insight into the mentality of the modern footballer and as an after-dinner speaker he has a compelling and moving backstory.
With regular spots as a TV presenter on Sky Sports and BT Sport, Ashton draws on the experience that brought him 111 goals at the top level and is building a solid career as a football speaker. Dean’s popularity as an after-dinner speaker is also ever increasing, his ability to combine humour and humility means he is never short of an anecdote to lift the cover on the beautiful game and he is not shy about overturning those common misconceptions about modern players.
If you’re looking for an intelligent football speaker with a deep knowledge of 21st century football and with a keen appreciation of how to turn adversity into advantage, look no further than Dean Ashton. A truly captivating story about a career filled with promise and footballing excellence yet curtailed due to agonising injury along with the emotional stigma and heartbreak associated with the journey through the hardship and pain, Ashton has a remarkable story to tell as a football speaker at your event.