Stoke striker and former England wonder kid has confirmed his retirement at the end of the 2012-13 season.
Michael Owen, 33, announced himself to the footballing world as a teenager for Liverpool and was quick to become a fan favourite He then went on to represent Real Madrid, Newcastle and Manchester United before joining Stoke City at the beginning of the season. He has since scored one goal for The Potters in seven appearances.
Michael Owen was called for England’s World Cup squad at just 18 and became the nation’s youngest player and goalscorer at the time. With 40 goals in 89 caps for England, the most memorable moments of his international career include a sublime solo goal against Argentina in his maiden World Cup and a hat trick against Germany in Munich in 2001.
He will also be remembered as one of England’s deadliest strikers in the modern era with 220 club goals. His trophy cabinet includes trophies from the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and Uefa Cup. Owen received the prestigious Ballon d’Or award in 2001 – the first Englishman to do so since another Liverpool man, Kevin Keegan, in 1979.
Michael Owen broke the news of his retirement on his official website and twitter account, thanking family, fans and teammates.
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.
None of this would have been possible without the tremendous support I have received from managers, coaches, fellow players, back room 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.
I’d like to thank Terry, Andy, Karen and Lesley for being so understanding and creating the perfect environment to grow up in. Last but not least, my Dad. We did it my old mate! From those freezing local parks to terrorising the best defenders in the world on the biggest stages of all. I couldn’t have done it without you.