Michael Owen


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1979 (44 years old)

Birth Place
Chester, England




Team Number

173 cm





Wage Year

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_Retired Soccer

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Michael James Owen (born 14 December 1979) is an English former professional footballer who played as a striker for Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Stoke City, as well as for the England national team. Since retiring from football in 2013, he has become a racehorse breeder and owner and regularly features as a sports pundit and commentator.

The son of former footballer Terry Owen, Owen was born in Chester and began his senior career at Liverpool in 1996. Displaying rapid pace and composed finishing, he progressed through the Liverpool youth team and scored on his Premier League debut in May 1997, becoming the club's youngest goalscorer, at 17 years, 143 days. In his first full season in the Premier League, Owen finished as joint top scorer with 18 goals, sharing the Premier League Golden Boot. He repeated this the following year and was Liverpool's top goal-scorer from 1997 to 2004, gaining his name as a proven goal-scorer despite suffering from a recurring hamstring injury. In 2001, Liverpool won a cup treble of the UEFA Cup, FA Cup (with Owen scoring two late goals in the final) and Football League Cup, and Owen was the recipient of the Ballon d'Or. He went on to score 118 goals in 216 appearances in the Premier League for Liverpool, and 158 goals in 297 total appearances. Regarded as one of the greatest Liverpool players, Owen came 14th in the "100 Players Who Shook The Kop", an official Liverpool fan poll. In 2004, Owen was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players.

After Liverpool had fallen behind their title rivals under Gérard Houllier's final two seasons, Owen opted not to renew his contract and then moved to Real Madrid for £8 million in the summer of 2004. There he was frequently used as a substitute. He scored 13 goals in La Liga before returning to England the following season where he joined Newcastle United for £16.8 million. This was after Owen's disappointment that Real had rejected a bid from Liverpool to re-sign him. After a promising start to the 2005–06 season, injuries largely ruled him out over the next 18 months. After his return, he became team captain and was the team's top scorer for the 2007–08 season. Newcastle were relegated in the 2008–09 season and, in a surprise move, Owen moved to Manchester United as a free agent. He spent three years at Old Trafford before joining Stoke City in September 2012. Owen is one of ten players to have scored 150 or more goals in the Premier League. He is also the youngest player to have reached 100 goals in the Premier League. On 19 March 2013, Owen announced his retirement from playing at the end of the 2012–13 season.

Internationally, Owen first played for the senior England team in 1998, becoming England's youngest player and youngest goalscorer at the time. His performance at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, which included a goal against Argentina in which he ran from the halfway line, brought him to national and international prominence, making him one of the most sought after players in world football. He went on to score in UEFA Euro 2000, the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004. He is the only player to have scored in four consecutive major tournaments for England. He played at the 2006 World Cup, but suffered an injury which took him a year to recover from. Occasionally playing as captain, he is England's 11th-most-capped player and has scored a former national record (since overtaken by Wayne Rooney) of 26 competitive goals, with 40 in total from 89 appearances, most recently in 2008.

Owen was capped 89 times for England and scored 40 goals. He is sixth in the list of all-time top scorers for the England team, behind Wayne Rooney (53), Harry Kane (50), Bobby Charlton (49), Gary Lineker (48) and Jimmy Greaves (44). He is also England's second-highest goalscorer in competitive international matches, behind Rooney. His 89 caps also place him as England's eleventh most capped player.

Owen played for England at the 1998, 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups and the 2000 and 2004 UEFA European Championships. He scored goals in all but one of these tournaments, making him the only player ever to have scored in four major tournaments for England.

Owen met Louise Bonsall at primary school in 1984. The couple bought Lower Soughton Manor in Flintshire, North Wales, where they keep his cars and her horses. They were engaged on 14 February 2004, and married on 24 June 2005, at the Carden Park Hotel in Chester, Cheshire. The couple had initially planned to get married at their home, but changed plans when they were informed that if a licence was granted for a marriage ceremony the venue must be made available for other weddings for three years, so opted to marry in a register office in informal clothing and have a lavish reception the next day in the grounds of their home.

Their daughter, Gemma Rose, was born on 1 May 2003. On 6 February 2006, they had a son named James Michael. Their third child, a daughter, Emily May, was born on 29 October 2007. Their fourth child Jessica was born on 26 February 2010.

After Owen returned to the UK to play for Newcastle, he travelled to a nearby BAE Systems facility on a daily basis in order to fly, by helicopter, to train with his club. However, there is now a helipad installed within the grounds of the house to accommodate Owen's Eurocopter Dauphin, with which he both travels and is training to become a pilot. Owen was eventually banned from training to be a pilot by Newcastle United due to excessive insurance premiums.

Owen bought multiple houses on one street for his extended family in Ewloe, which is in an area close to where he used to live.

In 2004, Owen's sister Karen was assaulted by two youths, who attempted to kidnap her. When she revealed that she was pregnant, they fled.

Owen owns several cars and a helicopter and enjoys horse racing and gambling. He owns many race horses, trained by Tom Dascombe. He bred the horse Brown Panther which won a major race at Royal Ascot in 2011, and the 2015 Dubai Gold Cup. Owen was a brand ambassador for British bookmaker Colossus Bets.

On 24 November 2017, Owen rode on Calder Prince at Ascot and finished second, beaten by Tom Chatfield-Roberts on Golden Wedding. He was one of 10 amateur riders to take part in the seven-furlong 'Prince's Countryside Fund Charity' contest, which was attended by HRH Prince Charles and HRH Duchess of Cornwall.

Owen starred in a series of adverts that charted his life and rise to fame. In 2001, he was the advertising face of breakfast cereal "Nestlé Sporties". He also appeared in several adverts for the washing powder Persil, in a contract worth £1 million. Owen was selected as one of the two cover athletes for Pro Evolution Soccer 2008. He has been an ambassador of the Swiss watchmaker Tissot since 1998 and has a contract with car manufacturer Jaguar.

Owen also starred as himself in the children's television drama show Hero to Zero. In the programme, Owen would emerge from a full size poster of himself in Charlie Brice's room to offer advice in times of crisis.

Owen had indicated that he would like to become involved with Chester in some capacity when he retires, as it was his local team growing up and his father played for the old Chester side which went out of business in March 2010 and was reformed at a lower level.

In January 2018, Owen participated in And They're Off! in aid of Sport Relief, winning the episode.

In January 2022, Owen appeared on the third series of The Masked Singer as "Doughnuts". He was seventh to be unmasked.

In May 2022, cryptocasino Punt announced Owen as their most recent global brand ambassador. Following this, in June 2022 Owen was found to have breached UK laws regarding gambling advertising, as he had used his Twitter account to promote an unlicenced cryptocurrency casino to the British public. He was instructed by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to delete the promotions for the non-fungible token scheme, which breached rules about advertising cryptocurrency gambling products.

In June 2022, his oldest daughter Gemma, now 19, took part in series 8 of ITV reality show Love Island where she finished in second place.

Career Honours

English Premier League

Manchester United

English FA Community Shield

Manchester United

English Football League Cup

Manchester United

English Football League Cup


FIFA Ballon d Or


English FA Community Shield


UEFA Super Cup


English FA Cup


English Football League Cup


English Premier League Golden Boot


FIFA Young Player


English Premier League Golden Boot


English PFA Young Players Player of the Year


English Premier League Player of the Season


Career Milestones

UEFA Champions League Hat-Trick

UEFA Champions League Hat-Trick

Former Youth Teams


Former Senior Teams







Former Club Staff



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