Stoke striker Owen announces he'll hang up boots at season end

Stoke City striker Michael Owen has announced his retirement. Owen has announced that he will retire from football at the end of the season.

Stoke City striker Michael Owen has announced his retirement.

Owen has announced that he will retire from football at the end of the season.

The Stoke star, 33, made the announcement on his official website this morning, saying that he felt now was the "right time to bring the curtain down on my career".

Though he has taken more than his share of stick in recent years for his lack of pitch time, Owen can reflect on a record of significant achievement at club level - with spells at Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Stoke – as well as a glittering England career.

He declared this morning: "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.

"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.

"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.

"None of this would have been possible without the tremendous support I have received from managers, coaches, fellow players, back room staff, the supporters and my own personal sponsors. I would like to thank each and every one for the huge role they have played in helping me reach the top of my profession.

"Most of all though, I would like to thank my family. To my beautiful wife Louise, for her continued love and support through the many ups and downs in my career and for affording me the most precious gift of all, our children.

"To my Mum who has always taken the brunt of my frustrations yet continues to keep our family so tight-knit, a trait that has formed the foundations of my own success. Her dedication to me and my brothers and sisters is immeasurable.

"I'd like to thank Terry, Andy, Karen and Lesley for being so understanding and creating the perfect environment to grow up in. Last but not least, my Dad. We did it my old mate!

"From those freezing local parks to terrorising the best defenders in the World on the biggest stages of all. I couldn't have done it without you".

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