Jamie Vardy decides to call time on England international career

FORMER Halifax Town striker Jamie Vardy has told England manager Gareth Southgate he does not wish to be selected unless there is an injury crisis.

Bowing out: England's Jamie Vardy during the World Cup semi-final against Croatia.

The 31-year-old, who began his career at Stocksbridge Park Steels, has won 26 caps for his country but does not look like adding to that tally.

“To be honest with you, this has been on my mind for a while,” said the Leicester City forward.

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“I’m not getting any younger and you can see, to be fair to the gaffer, he wants to make it more youthful, which obviously had its benefits during the World Cup - we got to the semi-finals and finished fourth, which is equal to the furthest we have ever been on foreign soil.

“So I just said to Gareth that I think it’s probably best from now on, especially with the way he wants to go, to bring youngsters in who he thinks have got the ability and start nurturing them into international football.”

Vardy added that while he is not making himself available for when Southgate names his first post-World Cup squad on Thursday, “we’ve not shut the door completely”, saying he would come back if “everyone was injured”.

Chelsea defender Gary Cahill followed Vardy’s lead - announcing his own decision to all-but end his England career.

Like Vardy, Cahill played a bit-part in England’s progression to the semi-finals of the World Cup.

The 32-year-old started the 1-0 defeat to Belgium in the final group match but did not feature again.

“In terms of my international future I think it is time I take a step back,” he said.

“Now I feel is the right moment to do that, I feel hugely proud of what I have achieved in terms of over 60 caps, I have captained my country on a few occasions which is a huge honour.”