Michael James Owen was born on the 14th December 1979 in the Countess of Chester Hospital, Cheshire, UK. He was born to mother Janette and Father Terry Owen.
Michael is one of 5 children and is the second youngest in his family. He has 2 brothers, Andrew and Terry Junior and 2 sisters, Karen and Lesley.
The Football Bug
Michael was bitten by the “football bug” at a very young age. Michael’s Dad Terry was a footballer and had previously played for Everton. As far back as Michael could remember he loved kicking a football round with his Dad and 2 brothers. It was at this time that he began to show a real talent for football and was bought his first pair of football boots when he was just seven.
School Football days
As his Dad had played for Everton, it was only natural Michael grew up being a Everton fan. His favourite player was Gary Lineker and he always insisted that he was Gary when he and his dad had a kick about.
When Michael was 7 his Dad managed to persuade the manager of a local football team, Mold Alexandra, into letting Michael into his team. The team was mainly consisted of 10 year old boys, so Michael was quite a bit younger than them, and smaller too. But Michael was soon showing off his “flair” and started in most of the games.
Michael also was picked to play for his Primary School Team. Although small, Michael could out pace all the players and was a natural at scoring goals. He started to make a name for himself and became quite famous within the schoolboy football circuit. He had many football scouts come to see him play, but he was “off limits” to big name clubs as it was the school policy.
When Michael started at Hawarden High School when he was 12, he was more free to delegate with some major Premiership clubs. Clubs such as Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and of course Liverpool were interested in signing Michael. And even though Michael was a die-hard Everton supporter, he chose to sign for Liverpool.
Michael turns from a Blue to a Red
So, now Michael was a Liverpool Schoolboy. It was Liverpool who recommended Michael to enrol at Lilleshall School of Excellence. Michael was accepted, and he started at the age of 14. Lilleshall is in Shropshire, so Michael had to leave home for 2 years. However, it was not too far from home and Michael’s parents would visit him at weekends. Michael now also had the chance to play for the England Schoolboy sides. And it was as a England Schoolboy that he scored his favourite goal. The location was St James Park, Newcastle and the opponent was Scotland. Michael gained possession of the ball and weaved himself at lightening speed through the defenders before driving the ball home.
Michael graduated from Lilleshall School of Excellence at 16 and joined Liverpool on a YTS Scheme (Youth Training Scheme) Michael was on the YTS scheme for 4 months before he was asked to sign for the Liverpool senior team. Michael signed on his 17th Birthday, but didn’t get his senior team debut until the following May. Michael was brought on as a substitute against Wimbledon at Selhurst Park. Liverpool were losing 2-0, but Michael managed to score his first senior goal to try and raise Liverpool’s spirits. They lost the game 2-1, but Michael never looked back. He became a regular for the Liverpool side and was scoring plenty of goals. Although, Michael was virtually unheard of outside of the Shankly Gates, he was becoming quite a little hero for Liverpool!
First Liverpool, now England!
In February 1998, Michael was given a new lease of life. After completing nearly 1 season with Liverpool, he was told he would maybe called upon for England’s senior game against Chile. Sure enough, Michael was given the nod, so on the 11th February 1998 Michael walked out onto the pitch at Wembley Stadium a England First Team International. England lost the game 2-0, but Michael would have many more chances to score his first senior England goal!. Which he did against Morocco on the 26th May 1998.
1998 was also a World Cup year, and that year it was in France. Michael was selected as one of the 22 to be taken to France. Although Michael was chosen to be included in the England line-up, he was not chosen to be a definite start for any of the games. Michael came on as a substitute for England’s first game against on the 15th June against Tunisia.
Michael was brought on as a substitute for the Romania game and scored his first World Cup Finals goal. Even after this he was not going to be a definite starter for the upcoming match against Argentina. But after a public outcry, Michael was picked to start the Argentina match.
As we all well know, this was when history was made, and Michael scored “that goal”. Michael’s life was never going to be the same again.
Owen was now football’s “golden-boy”. Michael was mobbed everywhere he went, had fans camping outside his house just to hopefully snap a glimpse of him and merchandise was now being produced with Michael’s face on it. He was having to fight off companies that wanted Michael to endorse its products and fight off journalists that wanted interviews, pictures and a piece of the wonder-boy!
Say “Hola” to Real Madrid’s new Galactico….
After 13 years at Liverpool (7 in the Liverpool first-team) Michael has left Liverpool for Real Madrid. Michael signed for Real on the 13th August 2004 and was un-veiled as the new #11. Michael said that because of his driving ambition and appetite for medals, he wanted a new challenge and found it in the form of Real Madrid. Michael has signed a four-year contract with Real, so this certainly is enough time for Michael to add to his ever growing silverware cabinet! Although Michael will be sorely missed at Anfield, he has given Liverpool 7 memorable years, who can forget the 2001 FA Cup Final against Arsenal for example. Who would have thought the tiny local lad from Chester would be performing on the same football stage (and same club) as legends like Ronaldo, Zidane and Figo!
Newcastle United get their man!
After only one season in Madrid, Michael returned home to where he belonged, the Premiership! Michael returned to the UK to play as Alan Shearer’s striking partner at Newcastle United, and to hopefully score as many goals for them as he did against them! Michael official signed for the club on the 31st August 2005 in front of 50,000 screaming Newcastle United fans. Michael went on to score 30 goals in 78 appearances for the Magpies, but unfortunately his career at Newcastle would be blighted with injury.
Michael broke his metatarsal bone after colliding with the Tottenham goalkeeper when Newcastle played the North London side on the 31st December 2005. Michael underwent surgery to repair the break, but unfortunately the recovery didn’t go as planned and Michael underwent a second operation on the 24th March 2006. Michael returned to the Newcastle Squad on the 29th April 2006 against Birmingham City. Michael was confirmed as saying that “he was not 100% happy with his foot” following the match and declared himself unfit for the remaining game of the Premiership season.
Michael’s return to the England side was confirmed after his first appearance since his metatarsal injury in the England B side against Belarus at the Madjeski Stadium on the 25th May 2006. Michael flew to Germany with the England squad to compete in his 3rd consecutive World Cup, however it was to be in England’s game against Sweden where Michael would sustain the worst injury in his career so far.
In the 1st minute of the game, Michael stumbled on a divot in the pitch and his right knee buckled underneath him. Michael crawled to the sidelines in agony, where he was stretched off to attend an emergency X-Ray. The results concluded that Michael had torn his anterior cruciate ligament which would result in almost a year of extensive surgery and rehabilitation to save his career. Michael flew to the States to meet with knee specialist, Dr Richard Steadmen. Dr Steadmen would be the specialist to conduct surgery on Michael’s knee, which took place in September 2006.
Michael returned to “light training” on the 12th February 2007 and made his match comeback on the 10th April against Gretna.
That year continued to be blighted by injury. Owen picked up a thigh injury on the 17th July 2007 whilst in training which threatened his fitness for the start of the forthcoming season. Michael made his season comeback on the 13th August 2007 in a club friendly and declared himself fully fit for the next match in the Newcastle calendar. However in September 2007 Michael underwent emergency surgery on a double hernia, which would see Michael out of action for a month. In November 2007 Michael suffered a further thigh strain which would cause Michael to miss a further 6 weeks of Newcastle duties.
On the 22nd December 2008, Michael refused a new contract deal with Newcastle, but announced that he would not be looking to move to another club in the January transfer window, but would wait until the end of the season as he could potentially move to another club on a free transfer.
Michael Becomes a Red Devil…
Following Newcastle United’s shock relegation, Michael shocked the nation by signing a 2-year contract with Premiership giants, Manchester United on the 3rd July 2009. Michael and his new number 7 shirt made his debut for the club on 18th July 2009 which was the match he also scored his debut goal.
Michael went on to appear 29 times for United and score a further 9 goals. On the 28th February 2010 (the day of the Carling Cup final) Michael scored the winning goal, but would then sustain the injury that would end his season early. This time it would be a hamstring injury which would require surgery.
Owen netted his first goal for United back from injury in a 7–1 pre-season victory against a League of Ireland XI on 4 August 2010 at the newly built Aviva Stadium. On 22 September 2010, Owen netted his first goals of the season as he netted twice during a 5–2 away win over Scunthorpe United in the 3rd round of the League Cup. Four days later Owen scored his first league goal of the season as he netted United’s second equaliser with his first touch in a 2–2 away draw against Bolton Wanderers. Owen’s first goal of 2011 came in United’s 2–1 FA Cup victory over Southampton at the St Mary’s Stadium on 29 January. On 25 February, United manager Alex Ferguson said that Owen was a key part of his squad for the rest of the season. However, he suffered a groin injury and missed his team’s next four games. His return match was on 19 March when he returned to the bench for United’s game against Bolton.
By the time of United’s penultimate game of the season, he had reached the number of league appearances required for a title winner’s medal – his first in 15 seasons as a professional. The game, on 14 May 2011, only required United to draw with Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park to win the title, and a 1–1 draw secured it for them. Owen was an unused substitute in the game. Owen scored United’s final goal in their last league game of the season, at home to Blackpool.
Michael’s last appearance for Manchester Utd was on the 2nd November 2011 against in the UEFA Champion’s Legaue tie against Oțelul Galați as Michael had to be substituted in the first half with a thigh injury.
Michael returned to first team traning in February 2012, but the closest he would get at a game was being named as a substitute on 13th May 2012 against Sunderland.
On the 17th May 2012 Michael announced via Twitter that his contract at Manchester United was not going to be re-newed ending his 3 year stay at Old Trafford.
Now the ‘Potters’
After many rumours and much speculation as to who would be Owen’s next club, Michael signed for Stoke City on the 4th September 2012 and was handed the number ’10′ shirt.
After an absence from the Stoke City side due to a hamstring injury, Michael scored his first goal for the Potters against Swansea City on the 19th January 2013.
On the 19th March 2013, Michael announced that the 2012-13 season would be his last as a professional footballer and would be retiring at the end of the season.
At only 33, Owen could have easily carried on for a number of years, but due to lack of match time and a few re-occuring injuries, he decided that he wanted to retire as a Premier League player.
On May 19th 2013 away against Southampton, Michael made his last appearance as a professional footballer. Owen was brought on as a substitute for the last few minutes of the game to a roar of applause from the away and home fans who were saying goodbye to a footballing great.