Michael Owen will retire at the end of the 2012/13 Premier League season. The Stoke City and ex-England striker will hang up his boots after a career of success, and unfortunately, injuries. The onetime Ballon D’Or winner has enjoyed success at some top clubs and internationally with England.
In a statement, Owen said:
“It is with an immense amount of pride I announce my intention to retire. I have been very fortunate in that my career has taken me on a journey I could only have dreamed of .”
Owen made his debut for Liverpool at the young age of 17. The rest of the statement reads as follows:
“None of this would have been possible without the tremendous support I have received from managers, coaches, fellow players, backroom staff, the supporters and my own personal sponsors. I would like to thank each and every one for the huge role they have played in helping me reach the top of my profession.”
“Most of all, though, I would like to thank my family. To my beautiful wife Louise, for her continued love and support through the many ups and downs in my career and for affording me the most precious gift of all, our children.”
“To my mum, who has always taken the brunt of my frustrations yet continues to keep our family so tight-knit, a trait that has formed the foundations of my own success. Her dedication to me and my brothers and sisters is immeasurable.”
“Last but not least, my dad. We did it my old mate! From those freezing local parks to terrorizing the best defenders in the world on the biggest stages of all. I couldn’t have done it without you.”
With his impressive start to his career at Liverpool, calls from the fans led to his inclusion in England’s World Cup squad in 1998 in France when he was just 18, and went on to announce himself to the football world, and especially with his fantastic solo run and finish against Argentina in a game England went on to lose on penalties.
Owen was a hero for the Liverpool faithful and there was much devastation for the Reds fans when he moved to Real Madrid in 2004 for a fee of £8 Million.
With 14 goals in 40 games he had a split in support with Madrid fans, but at a big surprise at the time Newcastle United brought him back to the Premier League with the biggest transfer fee of his career in a reported £16 million switch in August of 2005.
Despite a decent start to his time in Newcastle, injuries would become as frequent as goals with metatarsal and anterior cruciate ligament injuries and frequent hamstring problems.
The time at Newcastle for Owen came to an end after Newcastle suffered shock relegation at the end of the 2008/09 season with defeat to Aston Villa at Villa Park on the last day of the season.
With Owen’s high wages and Newcastle facing life in England’s second tier, Owen made a move to Manchester United on a free transfer in time for the start of the 2009/10 season.
At Old Trafford, Owen’s biggest moment came when scoring the winner in the Manchester Derby in stoppage time, a game United won 4-3; the match has even been rated the best game in Premier League history. The majority of the time Owen was bench bound and only was used sporadically, as injury was the curse facing the striker on an all too familiar basis.
In September 2012 Owen agreed a free transfer to Stoke City after several English clubs reportedly showed an interest in Owen, as well as reported interest from MLS clubs.
Stoke fans were hopeful as well as the admirers and followers of Owen’s career that this move could reignite him, however the all too familiar injuries have restricted Owen to only 7 appearances to date and 1 goal to his name. The retirement, announcement in March, came as no shock, but sadness and many good memories of Owen’s career, especially at international level, has not been uncommon.
The memories of young Owen running and finishing against Argentina as well as The fantastic hat-trick in Munich in 2001 at the 1-5 thrashing of the Germans will live in many English born people’s memories, along with sadness that so many injuries have brought Owens career to a premature end.
One thing that has always impressed me about Owen is that despite his introduction to the main stage from an early age is that his level-headed attitude and the lack of controversial headlines that follow so many younger stars these days. You never hear Michael Owen had been involved in a fight a row or disturbance, just headlines about what should be talked about in what a player does on the football field.
Michael Owen Stats:
- Liverpool (1996-2004): 297 games, 158 goals
- Real Madrid (2004-2005): 40 games, 14 goals
- Newcastle United (2005-2009): 79 games, 30 goals
- Manchester United (2009-2012): 52 games, 17 goals
- Stoke City (2012-2013): 7 games, 1 goal
- England (1998-2008): 89 caps, 40 goals
Written by ChalkOnYaBoots