Belfast Telegraph

Scoring goals is child's play for Crusaders' new daddy Jordan Owens

By Graham Luney

We all knew Jordan Owens was the daddy of Crusaders strikers but the Seaview favourite has just become a father again, completing a remarkable few days in the 26-year-old's life.

Jordan's girlfriend Krystle gave birth to baby boy Kruz on Monday just two days after the former Boys' Model student became Crusaders' record goalscorer.

Owens slotted home his 158th career goal during the 3-0 Irish Cup win over Rathfriland Rangers at Seaview, moving him one ahead of legendary Crues marksman Glenn Hunter.

Hunter will be at Seaview tomorrow afternoon for the Premiership clash with Glentoran where he will make a special presentation to the man who has broken his record.

It will be the second special presentation for the man they call 'Big Chicken' after Kruz arrived, weighing 10.4 pounds.

You could call it the 'K Club' in the Owens household in Glencairn as Kruz has been welcomed into a home which already has Kirstyn (13), Kalvin (6) and Kaiyah (4).

"We went past the due date as the baby was expected on New Year's Day but everything is great and it's been a very busy Christmas and new year period," said Owens who has been with the Crues since he was 16.

"Perhaps Kruz (right) will go on to become a Crusaders legend. Kalvin, who goes to Carr's Glen Primary School, is into his football and I'm sure I will be bringing him down to the Crues. He could be the next big thing like his dad, he can play a bit."

Owens is loving life and he's soaking up the applause from across the Irish League as he enters the history books.

Still only 26, he could go on and net more than 300 goals for Crusaders if he manages to avoid serious injury but for now he's, quite rightly, counting his blessings.

"I was just relieved to get the record," said Owens who has made 370 appearances for the Hatchetmen.

"A lot of people thought I might do it in the Cliftonville game on Boxing Day but now it's achieved it's a monkey off my back. I tried to be patient, knowing it would come. My priority now is to score many more.

"Glenn Hunter is a Crusaders legend so it's an honour to be in this position. It's difficult to predict how many I could get but I have to aim for the 200 mark and then see how things are going.

"I would just like to thank everyone at Crusaders and manager Stephen Baxter for the support and guidance they have given me over the years because it's a huge team effort and Stephen, as a legendary striker himself, is able to keep me on the right path. I've been loyal to the club because I love the people and enjoy my football."

Owens hasn't been able to add to his one senior Northern Ireland cap he earned in May 2011 at a near deserted Aviva Stadium when his Crues team-mates Stuart Dallas and Colin Coates also wrestled with Wales in the 2-0 defeat at the Carling Nations Cup tournament.

The Belfast man could also have prospered in the full-time game but a cross-channel move never happened.

"I enjoying playing for Northern Ireland against Wales and also playing a few times for the Under-21s," he added.

"Rival fans haven't given me stick about it. It's just a reality that players in the professional game will have a better chance of being called into the senior side. I've no problem with that, I was very fortunate to be selected by Nigel Worthington and I loved it.

"It's many players' dream to play for Northern Ireland I did it. Having Colin (Coates) and Stuart (Dallas) involved as well made it even more special for myself and the club."

Owens is keen to add to his 13 league goals as the Crues pursue back to back league titles and they are the side to catch, sitting six points ahead of second placed Linfield and with a game in hand against Carrick Rangers.

"We are taking it game by game," he says. "We have massive games coming up but the squad is fantastic with guys like Michael Carvill coming in and Timmy Adamson is back from a long spell out. The boys are fighting for a place in the team and that's helping us."

In tomorrow's Belfast Telegraph, Glenn Hunter shares his thoughts on Owens' record breaking exploits.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph