Michael James Owen (born 14 December 1979) is an English former 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. 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.