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Michael Owen to retire at the end of the season

By Simon Rice

Published 19/03/2013

File photo dated 28/12/1999 of Liverpool's Michael Owen celebrating his goal against Wimbledon during the FA Carling Premiership match at Anfield
File photo dated 28/12/1999 of Liverpool's Michael Owen celebrating his goal against Wimbledon during the FA Carling Premiership match at Anfield
File photo dated 22/08/2009 of Manchester United's Michael Owen celebrating scoring his sides fourth goal
File photo dated 13/12/1998 of England and Liverpool soccer star Michael Owen, who was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year
File photo dated 06/05/1997 of Liverpool's Michael Owen (left) scoring past Neil Sullivan, the Wimbledon keeper, after coming on as a second half substitute during his first team debut
File photo dated 30/06/1998 of England's Michael Owen scoring England's second World Cup goal against Argentina at St Etienne
File photo dated 02/03/2003 of Liverpool's goalscorers Michael Owen (left) and Steven Gerrard celebrating thier 2-0 win over Manchester United after the Worthington Cup Final at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
File photo dated 31/08/2005 of Newcastle United's new signing Michael Owen arriving for a press conference at St James Park, Newcastle
File photo dated 20/06/2006 of England's Michael Owen on the floor injured during their FIFA World Cup match against Sweden
File photo dated 01/09/2001 of England's Michael Owen beating Marko Rehmer (right) to score his hat trick and England's fourth goal against Germany during the Fifa World Cup European Qualifying Group Nine game at the Olympic Stadium, Munich, Germany
File photo dated 18/09/2005 of Newcastle United's Michael Owen celebrating with team-mate Alan Shearer (left) after scoring the first goal for his club, and the second goal against Blackburn Rovers
File photo dated 08/09/2007 of England's Michael Owen (centre) celebrating scoring the second goal of the game, followed by team mates Steven Gerrard (right) and Shaun Wright-Phillips
File photo dated 06/09/2012 of New Stoke City signing Michael Owen holding the clubs shirt on his first day of training at the clubs Clayton Woods training complex, Stoke-on-Trent
File photo dated 01/06/1993 of Liverpool striker Michael Owen in his football kit as a fourteen-year-old school boy

Former England international Michael Owen has announced he will retire at the end of the season.

The striker will play out the current season with Stoke City, who he joined last summer, before hanging up his boots.

Announcing the decision on his website, Owen said "it is the right time to bring the curtain down on my career."

The 33-year-old enjoyed an incredibly successful career, coming through the ranks at Liverpool before going on to play for Real Madrid, Newcastle and Manchester United before his current club.

However the player that brought the sparkle to the 1998 World Cup with his dazzling goal against Argentina, struggled with injuries and some will argue he failed to reach his full potential.

Despite that, he is the last Englishman to win the coveted Ballon d'Or, which he collected in 2001, while he sits fourth in the list of all time England goalscorers, netting 40 during his 89 appearances for the national team.

Michael Owen's statement in full...

"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."

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