England manager Roy Hodgson described Michael Owen’s goalscoring record for his country as “magnificent” after the striker announced on Tuesday his intention to retire at the end of the season.
Owen scored 40 goals in 89 appearances for England and won the prestigious Ballon d’Or in 2001, but the latter years of his career were disrupted by injuries.
Following a three-year stint at Manchester United, he joined Stoke City last year, but has barely played since arriving at the Britannia Stadium.
“Michael Owen’s record of 89 England appearances and 40 goals is a magnificent landmark,” Hodgson told the Football Association’s Web site.
“Some of his international strikes were spectacular and have already gone down in England’s modern football history. Although I never got to work with him personally, he always conducted himself extremely well on and off the pitch, and was a fine ambassador for English football,” he said.
“Today is a day that we should recognize his achievements of which he should be very proud. I wish him all the best in the next part of his career and hope that he is able to pass some of his great experience back into the game,” Hodgson said.
Owen made his name globally aged just 18 with a superb solo goal against Argentina at the 1998 World Cup in France and current Chelsea and England midfielder Frank Lampard said that strike would remain his enduring memory of the forward.
“Michael Owen had a fantastic career and will go down in history as one of the greatest strikers we’ve had in history,” Lampard said.
“He was a player I was proud to play alongside. He deserves very high praise. The Argentina goal — to come on at the age he did and score a goal of eye-catching quality — as a fan watching, to see what he did was very special. It sticks in everyone’s mind,” he said.
The 33-year-old Owen announced his retirement on his personal Web site, writing: “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.”
“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,” he wrote.
DRIVING AMBITION: ‘I was excited by playing at the Olympics ... Who knows what’s going to happen? Hopefully, I could have a chance to win a medal,’ Tiffany Chan said After just three tournaments this year, a chance of Olympic glory postponed and two weeks alone in quarantine, golfer Tiffany Chan could be forgiven for feeling sorry for herself. Instead, Hong Kong’s first LPGA Tour player is sporting a broad grin and taking the positives from the game’s COVID-19 shutdown, determined to establish herself in the fiercely competitive world of women’s golf. The talented 26-year-old kept herself fit physically and mentally during the lockdown, and is happy to be back on the fairways since the easing of coronavirus restrictions last month. “When I came back to Hong Kong [in March], I actually did
Eleven-year-old skateboarder Sky Brown, who is hoping to become Britain’s youngest Olympian next year, fractured her skull and broke bones in her left hand after falling from a ramp during a training session in California. Brown posted a video of the accident on Instagram, but reassured supporters that she was fine. “I don’t usually post my falls or talk about them ... but this was my worst fall. I just want everyone to know that it’s OK — don’t worry, I’m OK,” she said. “I’m going to push boundaries for girls with my skating and surfing. I’m going for gold in 2021
Zhu Ting stands tall in China — and not just because she is 1.98m tall. The 25-year-old farmer’s daughter has emerged from a poor village life to become a totem of the country’s sporting ambitions. As captain and figurehead of China’s women’s volleyball team, the reigning Olympic champions, Zhu is one of the country’s biggest stars. State television once feted her as “an invincible and dominant superhero.” A nurse fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in March posted a photograph of herself wearing a white protective suit with a picture of the volleyball star drawn on it — also scribbled were the words: “Proud that
A feel-good campaign allowing fans to have cardboard cutouts of themselves at Australian rugby league games has been hijacked by pranksters, with a notorious serial killer among those making an appearance — while one TV show edited an image of Adolf Hitler into the crowd. The NRL launched “Fan In The Stand” to coincide with the sport’s return at the weekend after its season was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Supporters are barred from stadiums under strict health protocols, but can pay A$22 (US$15) to have their photograph printed on a life-size cutout and placed in the stands of