Michael James Owen (born 14 December 1979 in Chester) is an English professional footballer who plays as a striker for Manchester United.
The son of former footballer Terry Owen, Owen began his senior career at Liverpool in 1996. He progressed through the Liverpool youth team and scored on his debut in May 1997. In his first full season in the Premier League he finished as joint top scorer with 18 goals. He repeated this the following year and was Liverpool's top goal scorer from 1997–2004, despite a recurring hamstring injury. In 2001, Liverpool won a cup treble of the UEFA Cup, FA Cup 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.
Owen moved to Real Madrid for £8 million in mid-2004; he was frequently used as a substitute. He scored 13 goals in La Liga and had the season's highest ratio of goals scored to number of minutes played. He returned to England the following season, joining Newcastle United for £16 million. After a promising start to the 2005–06 season, injuries largely ruled him out over the next 18 months. After his return he became team captain and was the team's top scorer for the 2007–08 season. After the final season of his four-year contract, Newcastle were relegated, and Owen moved to Manchester United as a free agent.
Internationally, Owen first played for the senior England team in 1998, becoming England's youngest player and youngest goalscorer at the time. His performance at the 1998 World Cup brought him to national and international prominence and he went on to score in Euro 2000, the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004. He is the only player to have scored in four major tournaments for England. He played at the 2006 World Cup but suffered an injury which took him a year to recover from. Occasionally playing as captain, he is England's seventh most-capped player and has scored a national record of 26 competitive goals, with 40 in total from 89 appearances, most recently in 2008.
Owen's long injury absence after the 2006 World Cup resulted in a dispute between FIFA and The FA and Newcastle United, and eventually resulted in an unprecedented £10m compensation award to Newcastle, and brought changes to the compensation arrangements between club and country regarding injuries sustained by contracted club players while on international duty.
Owen was born in Chester, Cheshire, he was the fourth child of Jeanette and Terry Owen. His father is a former professional footballer and played for clubs such as Chester City and Everton. Owen was introduced to football at the age of seven by his father who soon saw Michael as the most promising athlete in the family. A boyhood Everton fan, Owen attended Rector Drew Primary School in Hawarden, Wales and by the age of ten, some of the nation's leading scouts were monitoring his progress.
He later played for Deeside Primary School's team (where he scored 97 goals; beating previous record holder Ian Rush by 25 goals) and joined the youth team of Mold Alexandra, playing with the under-10s at the age of eight after a local physical education teacher, Howard Roberts, persuaded the league to allow an under-age player. Owen scored on his debut for Mold Alexandra, a 2–0 win over local rivals Bagillt. After leaving Deeside, Owen attended Hawarden High School, where he also played for the school team.
Owen met English-born Louise Bonsall at primary school in 1984. The couple bought Lower Soughton Manor in Flintshire, North Wales where Owen keeps his cars and Louise keeps her horses. They got engaged on 14 February 2004, and married on 24 June 2005, at the Carden Park Hotel in Chester, Cheshire. The couple had initially planned to get married at their home, but changed plans when they were informed that if a licence was granted for a marriage ceremony the venue must be made available for other weddings for three years, so opted to marry in a registry office in informal clothing and have a lavish reception the next day in the grounds of their home.
On 1 May 2003, their daughter, Gemma Rose, was born. On 6 February 2006, they welcomed a son named James Michael. Their third child, a daughter, Emily May, was born on 29 October 2007. Their fourth child, and third daughter, Jessica, was born on 26 February 2010.
After Owen returned to the UK to play for Newcastle United, he travelled to a nearby BAE facility on a daily basis in order to fly, by helicopter, to train with his club. However, there is now a helipad installed within the grounds of the house to accommodate Owen's Eurocopter Dauphin, with which he both travels and is training to become a pilot. Owen was eventually banned from training to be a pilot by Newcastle United, due to excessive insurance premiums.
Owen also bought an entire street for his extended family (Austen Close, Ewloe), which is in an area close to where he used to live. and in 2008 was reported in the Daily Express as surveying the purchase of the original Walt Disney site with celebrity realtor Paul Grimshaw in Estepona, Southern Spain.
In 2004, Owen's sister Karen was assaulted by two youths, who attempted to kidnap her. When she revealed that she was pregnant, they fled.
Owen owns several cars and a helicopter and enjoys horse racing and gambling. He owns many race horses, trained by Tom Dascombe. He bred the horse Brown Panther which won a major race at Royal Ascot in 2011. Owen is the brother in-law of retired footballer Richie Partridge.
Owen starred in a series of adverts that charted his life, and rise to fame. In 2001, he was the advertising face of breakfast cereal "Nestlé Sporties". He also appeared in several adverts for the washing powder Persil, in a contract worth £1,000,000. Owen was selected as one of the two cover athletes for Pro Evolution Soccer 2008. He has been an ambassador of the Swiss watchmaker Tissot since 1998 and has a contract with car manufacturer Jaguar.
Owen had indicated that he would like to become involved with Chester City in some capacity when he retires, as it was his local team growing up and his father is a former Chester City player.
From : www.wikipedia.org