Dean Thomas Ashton (born 16th May 1981) is a retired professional footballer who played as a striker. A product of the Leeds United youth academy, Ashton went on to play for Liverpool and West Ham, before prematurely retiring in 2010 at the age of 29.
After retiring, Ashton became a regular pundit on the ESPN UK show Talk of the Terrace, which ran from 2010 until the end of the 2012/13 season. In July 2013, the show was discontinued after ESPN UK was purchased by BT, but was continued on rival channel Sky Sports, from 13th August 2013. Ashton is also a pundit on Super Sunday for Sky, as well as Monday Night Football.
As a player, Ashton was regarded as a very promising striker in his youth at Leeds United, before signing for Liverpool for a figure of £8.25million in 2002. He spent three seasons at Anfield, winning the 2003/04 League Cup, the 2003/04 UEFA Cup and the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League, before signing for London club West Ham United for £6million in 2005. In his first two seasons at Upton Park, Ashton was topscorer, leading the club to an FA Cup final in 2006, and scoring the first goal against his former club, Liverpool.
In his latter career, ankle and knee injuries forced Ashton to make less appearances for West Ham, but he returned from a serious knee injury in September 2009, after eighteen months on the sidelines. He played a further ten games for West Ham, scoring twice, before he was injured with England at their Andorran training camp. The ankle injury was serious and ruled Ashton out for six months. On return from his injury in April 2010, Ashton played in a reserve team game against Aston Villa, but could only manage eight minutes on the field as his ankle was hurting too much. He subsequently retired from professional football on 15th May 2010, and donated the rest of his contract (which ran until June 2012), to charity.
|Leeds United||1997/98||7 apps, 1 goal||4 apps, 0 goals||N/A||11 apps, 1 goal|
|Leeds United||1998/99||14 apps, 3 goals||5 apps, 3 goals||0 apps, 0 goals||19 apps, 6 goals|
|Leeds United||1999/00||19 apps, 9 goals||3 apps, 2 goals||4 apps, 1 goal||26 apps, 12 goals|
|Leeds United||2000/01||31 apps, 17 goals||5 apps, 1 goal||7 apps, 3 goals||43 apps, 21 goals|
|Leeds United||2001/02||37 apps, 20 goals||8 apps, 6 goals||10 apps, 4 goals||55 apps, 30 goals|
|Liverpool||2002/03||24 apps, 11 goals||0 apps, 0 goals||9 apps, 2 goals||33 apps, 13 goals|
|Liverpool||2003/04||35 apps, 18 goals||11 apps, 5 goals||7 apps, 3 goals||53 apps, 26 goals|
|Liverpool||2004/05||30 apps, 12 goals||6 apps, 2 goals||9 apps, 3 goals||45 apps, 17 goals|
|West Ham||2005/06||34 apps, 21 goals||7 apps, 5 goals||N/A||41 apps, 26 goals|
|West Ham||2006/07||31 apps, 18 goals||3 apps, 1 goal||N/A||34 apps, 19 goals|
|West Ham||2007/08||27 apps, 10 goals||5 apps, 0 goals||N/A||32 apps, 10 goals|
|West Ham||2008/09||15 apps, 5 goals||2 apps, 3 goals||N/A||17 apps, 8 goals|
|West Ham||2009/10||10 apps, 2 goals||1 app*, 0 goals||N/A||11 apps, 2 goals|