Writer: Gavin John Day
Date:Tuesday March 19 2013
Ex-Liverpool striker Michael Owen has announced he will hang up his boots at the end of the season...
Stoke City forward Michael Owen will retire in May following the climax of the current campaign.
The 33-year-old, who also played for Manchester United, Newcastle United and Real Madrid after coming to prominence at Liverpool, announced the decision via a statement on his official website michaelowen.com.
"It is with an immense amount of pride that I am announcing my intention to retire from Professional Football at the end of this season," said Owen.
"Having progressed through the ranks at Liverpool to make my first team debut at 17, before embarking upon spells at Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Stoke City, not to mention representing my country on 89 occasions, I now feel it is the right time to bring the curtain down on my career.
"I have been very fortunate in that my career has taken me on a journey that like many young players starting out, I could only have dreamt of."
Owen, who ended the statement by thanking his family, friends and all the staff and players he encountered throughout his career, scored against Wimbledon on his Liverpool first-team debut in May 1997.
The Chester born star went on to score 179 goals in 306 appearances for the Merseysiders before moving to Spain in 2004 following the arrival of Rafael Benitez.
Owen also enjoyed a fantastic record at international level, scoring 40 times to sit fourth on England's all-time scorers list behind Bobby Charlton, Gary Lineker and Jimmy Greaves.
Still aged only 18, Owen announced himself on the global stage with a fine individual goal against Argentina at the 1998 World Cup.
His most famous performance for the Three Lions though was arguably a hat-trick during the 5-1 victory over arch rivals Germany in September 2001.
The match was made all the more memorable for Liverpool fans by fellow Reds Steven Gerrard and Emile Heskey scoring the other goals, effectively making the result; Liverpool 5 Germany 1.
Subsequent years have been blighted by injury but when fit Owen still found the net consistently - including 30 times in 79 appearances for Newcastle.
Amongst his long list of honours, Owen was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 2001 after helping Liverpool lift a unique treble of UEFA Cup, FA Cup and League Cup that season.
The decision comes only weeks after one-time Anfield colleague Jamie Carragher, 35, also announced plans to end his playing career this summer.
In the eyes of many Liverpool fans, Owen tarnished his reputation through the manner of his departure from the club and then, more recently, by playing for Man Utd. But those factors shouldn't detract from just how good a player he was. Even Owen's harshest critics cannot argue that at times he was simply unplayable and could win games single-handily, especially with a Liver Bird on his chest. His pace and finishing ability were phenomenal and he should rightly be remembered as one of the greatest English strikers of all time. Vital Liverpool would like to wish Owen all the best for the remaining fixtures of his professional football career and for whatever subsequent endeavours lie ahead.
Follow me on Twitter @superbag
|Not a Vital Liverpool member? It's a 100% free to join and get involved. Plus it only takes a few moments to sign up. Click here to become a member now!|
Date:Tuesday March 19 2013
Liverpool: Begovic To Replace Reina? (Wednesday May 22 2013)
Liverpool: £15m Carroll Fee Agreed (Wednesday May 22 2013)
Liverpool: Papadopoulos Is The Top Target (Tuesday May 21 2013)
Liverpool: Reds To Free City's Touré (Tuesday May 21 2013)
Vital Report: Liverpool 1-0 Queens Park Rangers (Monday May 20 2013)
Liverpool: Rodgers Wants Long Anfield Stay (VIDEO) (Monday May 20 2013)
Liverpool: Carra Admits To Being Emotional (Monday May 20 2013)
Liverpool: Carra Not Easy To Replace - Rodgers (Monday May 20 2013)
Stats: Liverpool v QPR (Sunday May 19 2013)
Liverpool: Lawro Predicts QPR Result (Sunday May 19 2013)
|10. West Ham||38||12||10||16||-8||46|
|Liverpool: Begovic To Replace Reina?
» Liverpool : 22/05/2013 20:54:00
|Coates thanks friend Pulis
» Stoke : 22/05/2013 18:30:00
|Petrov Delighted With Assistant Coach Role
» Aston Villa : 22/05/2013 16:52:00
|Boateng Signs Two Year Deal
» Fulham : 22/05/2013 16:50:00
|Sullivan Warns Of Complacency!
» West Ham : 22/05/2013 16:49:00
» West Ham : 22/05/2013 16:48:00
» West Ham : 22/05/2013 16:47:00