England striker Owen to hang up his boots

ENGLAND striker Michael Owen’s “dream journey” will end this summer after the 33-year-old announced his retirement from professional football.

The Stoke City forward has been plagued by injury during the second half of his career and has not started a Premier League match since January 2011, playing, and scoring, for Manchester United at Southampton.

And having featured for just 11 minutes in the Premier League since October, England’s fourth highest goalscorer of all time has decided to hang up his boots.

“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,” said Owen, who scored 40 goals in 89 appearances for England.

“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.”

At the age of 17 Owen scored on his debut for Liverpool in a 2-1 defeat to Wimbledon.

He became England’s youngest ever goalscorer when netting against Morocco at the age of 18 and shot to superstar status at the 1998 World Cup, scoring a superb solo goal against Argentina.

Owen was part of the Liverpool squad that won the Uefa Cup, League Cup and FA Cup in 2001 and was named European Footballer of the Year.

After one season at Real Madrid Newcastle paid £16m for his services in 2005 and after scoring seven goals in his first eight matches injury struck.

Owen won the Premier League with Manchester United in 2011 and scored his 150th Premier League goal when Stoke lost 3-1 to Swansea in January.

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