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Page last updated at 12:01 GMT, Monday, 8 September 2008 13:01 UK

Parry in shock Wales retirement

RUSSIA v WALES
Venue: Lokomotiv Stadium, Moscow Date: Wednesday, 10 September Kick-off: 1600 BST Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Wales, Radio Cymru & online plus extended highlights on BBC One Wales at 2245 BST


Paul Parry
Paul Parry won 12 caps during a disrupted Wales career

Paul Parry has stunned Wales two days before a vital World Cup qualifier by retiring from international football.

BBC Sport Wales understands that the Cardiff City attacker was unhappy at being left on the bench during the 1-0 win over Azerbaijan on Saturday.

The 28-year-old was told by Wales boss John Toshack that he would start the match away to Russia on Wednesday.

But despite that Parry left the squad on Sunday night, ending a 12-cap career in which he scored one goal for Wales.

Parry had only recently returned to the Wales squad following an 18-month self-imposed absence, playing in the 2-1 friendly loss to Georgia in Swansea last month.

He withdrew from Wales' Euro 2008 qualifying mid-campaign citing personal reasons, his last competitive international appearance coming as a substitute in the 3-0 win over San Marino in March 2007.

606: DEBATE

Parry joined Cardiff from then non-League side Hereford in January 2004 for 75,000 and rapidly progressed to international level, making his debut in February 2004 in a 4-0 friendly win over Scotland.

He made his name as a winger, but an eye for goal saw Parry used more and more by first Cardiff and then Wales as a striking option.

However, despite a good goals-to-games ratio at club level Parry found the net for Wales just once, his header earning a win in a warm-up match against Canada in may 2004.

With injuries to captain Craig Bellamy and fellow striker Freddy Eastwood, Wales manager Toshack is in need of any striker he can get his hands on for the Group Four campaign.

It's a trend these days, players retire themselves, but it's not the way I was brought up, and I don't agree with it

Kevin Ratcliffe
Rob Earnshaw's ineffectiveness against Azerbaijan, in the lone striker role that Toshack favours, had opened the door for Parry to take centre stage in Moscow on Wednesday.

But after Parry's decision the Wales boss must now seemingly put his faith in rookie Under-21 pair Ched Evans and Sam Vokes, the latter coming off the bench to earn Wales their win over Azeris on Saturday.

Parry's surprise move was savaged by former Wales captain Kevin Ratcliffe.

"It's a trend these days, players retire themselves, but it's not the way I was brought up, and I don't agree with it," said Ratcliffe in his BBC Sport Wales column.

"The big difference with players these days is money, that situation has changed everything in the game.

"He could have been an important squad member, but he has no reason to feel aggrieved at his treatment by Wales and John Toshack will not be losing any sleep about it."


see also
BBC Sport Wales coverage
23 Mar 08 |  Wales
Kevin Ratcliffe's column
08 Sep 08 |  Internationals
Koumas ruled out of Russia trip
08 Sep 08 |  Internationals
Strikers fail to convince Toshack
21 Aug 08 |  Internationals
Parry aiming for Wales comeback
13 May 08 |  Cardiff
Parry's Wales pull-out criticised
30 Aug 07 |  Internationals
Parry pulls out of Wales' squad
29 Aug 07 |  Internationals
Gunter's warning to new Spurs pal
07 Sep 08 |  Internationals
Wales 1-0 Azerbaijan
06 Sep 08 |  Internationals
Pick your Wales XI
05 Feb 07 |  Internationals
International tables
26 Nov 07 |  Tables
Wales' international fixtures
22 Aug 07 |  Internationals
Wales' results archive
10 Oct 05 |  Internationals


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