Michael Owen: Footballer to retire at end of season

19 March 2013 09:33
Former England striker Michael Owen is to retire from football at the end of the season. Owen, 33, who won 89 caps scoring 40 goals, played for Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Stoke City.

He said: "It is with an immense amount of pride that I am announcing my intention to retire.

Michael Owen's career stats:
Liverpool (1996-2004): 297 games, 158 goals
Real Madrid (2004-05): 40 games, 14 goals
Newcastle (2005-09): 79 games, 30 goals
Man Utd (2009-12): 52 games, 17 goals
Stoke (2012-13) 7 games, one goal
England (1998-2008): 89 caps, 40 goals

"I have been very fortunate in that my career has taken me on a journey I could only have dreamed of." Owen burst onto the scene as a teenager at Liverpool and made England's 1998 World Cup squad aged just 18. He announced himself on the world stage with a memorable solo goal against Argentina in that tournament. He has scored 220 goals in his club career, winning the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup (three times) and Uefa Cup.

Owen was named European Footballer of the Year in 2001 - the first Englishman to do since Kevin Keegan in 1979. Owen joined Stoke City at the start of the season and has scored one goal in seven appearances. "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," Owen said.

 "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." More to follow  

Source: bbc_sport