Late yesterday, Michael Owen announced that he would be leaving football for good. The 34-year-old striker, who first progressed through the Liverpool youth team, has decided that he’s at the end of the road for his career. And his career was a long and fruitful one – who doesn’t remember the really young boy who had his debut when he was only 17 years old?
But as they all say, all good things will have to come to an end.
In an official statement on his website, Michael said:
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. 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.
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.
Aww. We’re feeling just a little bit emotional about this. Those times were good times, Michael, they were.
For more information, visit his official website.