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Wednesday, 24 January, 2001, 22:23 GMT
Nilis calls it a day
Luc Nilis
Nilis waves goodbye after announcing his retirement
Aston Villa striker Luc Nilis has announced his retirement from football after failing to recover from a horrific leg injury.

The Belgian international suffered a double fracture to his right leg against Ipswich Town in a collision with keeper Richard Wright in September.

The 33-year-old underwent immediate surgery to repair the double break and had been recovering in his native country.

Aston Villa have lost the services of a world-class striker and a well-liked member of our playing squad
  Villa chairman Doug Ellis

But the Belgian international has been forced to admit defeat in his fight to regain full fitness.

"For the short period I was employed by Aston Villa I enjoyed every minute and am bitterly disappointed I could not continue to score goals," he said on Wednesday.

"But having taken medical advice I will be unable to continue."

The striker joined Villa during the summer on a free transfer after Euro 2000 from Dutch club PSV Eindhoven, where he spent six successful years.

He played only four games for Villa.

Villa chairman Doug Ellis, who called the injury a "tragedy", paid tribute to Nilis' contribution during his short spell at the club.

"Whilst being covered by insurance, that cannot compensate him for not being able to play for Aston Villa.

"It is also hugely disappointing for Aston Villa, who have lost the services of a world-class striker.

"Luc has been a well-liked member of our playing squad and will always be welcome at Aston Villa."

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See also:

11 Sep 00 |  Aston Villa
Gregory's Nilis waiting game
15 Sep 00 |  Aston Villa
Nilis faces a year out
23 Sep 00 |  Aston Villa
Realist Nilis fears for future
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