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Page last updated at 11:50 GMT, Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Young retires from England scene

By Frank Keogh

Luke Young
Young had compassionate leave after the death of his brother

England defender Luke Young has retired from international football, according to the Aston Villa player's agent.

It is understood the decision was made last season but had not been made public for personal reasons.

Young, 30, has started only once for his club since his 17-year-old brother Andre died in Crete in August.

His agent Andy Evans said Young, who has seven caps, rejected the chance to replace Glen Johnson in England's squad for Saturday's friendly with Brazil.

Aston Villa would not comment, but it is thought the club is unhappy about the approach to Young.

Former Tottenham and Charlton defender Young has not played for England since the match against Argentina in 2005.

It is believed Young said he no longer wanted to be considered for selection in a letter to the Football Association around the time of the friendly with Spain in February.

Young had been a peripheral figure on the international stage for about four years and wanted to concentrate on club football.

He was in the original squad for the defeat in Seville but did not travel after picking up a toe injury.

It was announced on Tuesday evening that Liverpool defender Johnson had pulled out of the England squad to face Brazil in Qatar because of a slight injury.

Johnson's absence left manager Fabio Capello with only Wes Brown as cover at right-back.

It is understood an inquiry was made about Young's availability but the opportunity was declined.

An FA spokesman said: "The England management were aware of Luke Young's position (regarding international availability) but on Tuesday sought to clarify this was still the case."

Following the accidental death of his younger brother in August, Young said he was "devastated" and was granted compassionate leave by manager Martin O'Neill.

The body of Andre, from Saffron Walden, Essex, was discovered on a building site near his holiday hotel in Malia. He had suffered serious head injuries.

In a statement at the time, the footballer said: "He was a tremendous and talented person and a diligent student and this is such a waste of a promising life."

Young only returned to first-team action on 4 November when coming on as a substitute in the 2-1 loss at West Ham before starting the 5-1 home defeat of Bolton on Saturday.

He has told of his pleasure that fellow Aston Villa full-back Stephen Warnock was called up by England.

"I spoke to him before the squad was announced and I told him I thought he had a great chance of being involved," Young told AVTV.

"This is one of the last couple of squads before the team is announced for South Africa so I hope he impresses."

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see also
Brazil 1-0 England
14 Nov 09 |  Internationals
England face Brazil in friendly
23 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Footballer's brother found dead
13 Aug 09 |  Essex
Young given compassionate leave
19 Aug 09 |  Aston Villa

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