Stoke striker Owen: Critics have made slur on my character

Stoke City striker Michael Owen says he can handle his critics. But the ex-England striker is fuming at talk he has no passion for football any more and prefers horse racing.

Stoke City striker Michael Owen says he can handle his critics.

But the ex-England striker is fuming at talk he has no passion for football any more and prefers horse racing.

He said: “Criticism has to be something you can take, otherwise you’re pretty much doomed.

“However, one point annoyingly kept rearing its head that I haven’t got the passion anymore, prefer horses and have other things in my life.

“It feels like a slur on my character and integrity to hear people questioning my desire.

“To reach the highs that I have been fortunate enough to reach in my career, one thing you cannot lack is desire.

“From the minute I could walk I’ve carried a football under my arm.

“I have loved the game of football as much as anyone. Nothing was handed to me. I had the desire to be the best and that certainly hasn’t left me — and never will."

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