Injury forces Dozzell to quit
JASON Dozzell, the former Ipswich and England Under-21 midfield player who has been forced to quit playing at Colchester, has said: "I'm gutted but you have to put things in perspective.
By Dave Allard
JASON Dozzell, the former Ipswich and England Under-21 midfield player who has been forced to quit playing at Colchester, has said: "I'm gutted but you have to put things in perspective."
The 33-year-old sustained a toe injury playing for the U's against Millwall last year that has not recovered.
This Ipswich born and bred player, who still lives in the town, added: "It's not like I'm a 22-year-old who hasn't had a career. I've played a long time and enjoyed some great times playing alongside some great players. So it could have been a lot worse."Dozzell's debut for Ipswich was a historic one, coming on as a substitute for Bobby Ferguson's side against Coventry in February 1984 to hit the Blues' third goal in a 3-1 win at Portman Road in the old First Division.
At the age of 16 years and 57 days he became the youngest player ever to score in the top flight of English football.
He left for Tottenham in 1993 in a £1.9 million deal.
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Town boss George Burley, who brought Dozzell back to Portman Road in 1997 for a brief spell on a monthly contract, played in the side in which Dozzell made that historic debut.
Burley said: "He was a player who had tremendous ability. He had great vision, a very good first touch and scored goals from midfield. I wish him well for the future."
Another former team-mate, John Wark, said: "Jason has tremendous ability on the ball and was extremely unlucky not to play for the full England side.
"He was a very gifted player and was probably better than many of the midfielders who did manage to turn out for England during his career."
Colchester boss Steve Whitton was also a former team-mate of Dozzell's at Ipswich. He said: "We are very disappointed at losing Jason's quality. It is not going to be an easy gap to fill."