Curtains for Michael Owen

Former England striker Michael Owen has announced that he will retire from professional football at the end of the current season.

“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,” Owen wrote on his personal website today.

“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,” the 33-year-old striker wrote.

The 2001 European player of the year was capped 89 times by England, scoring 40 goals, but his career was also marked by injury problems.

"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 a memorable solo goal against Argentina as an 18-year-old in the 1998 World Cup.

He joined Premier League Stoke City at the start of the season and has scored one goal in seven appearances.

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