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[UPDATE] How Twitter reacted to Michael Owen’s retirement

by Aidan Elder | March 19, 2013

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By Aidan Elder | Chief sports writer

Physiotherapists up and down Britain have been plunged into crisis with the news that Michael Owen will finally retire from football at the end of the season. The former England international and current Stoke benchwarmer (33) has decided to hang up his boots at the end of the current campaign, no doubt to focus on his equine interests.

Owen made his debut for Liverpool towards the end of the 1996/97 season, going on to score 158 goals in 297 games for the Reds, also picking up the Ballon d’Or in 2001. At his best, he was a razor sharp striker, blessed with speed and goalscorers instinct. But apart from a handful of hugely memorable goals, we sadly didn’t see him at his best too often. With the exception of Movember.

Much of his last decade in the game has been blighted by injury and playing for Newcastle. He battled on courageously, never letting his fitness troubles get in the way of him accepting £100,000 a week to sit on the bench.

In 2009, he annoyed Liverpool fans even more than the time he left for Real Madrid when he joined the dark side over at Manchester United. The decision was about as popular as an insincere apology from The Sun on Merseyside, but paid dividends for Owen, ending up with one more Premier League winners’ medal than Steven Gerrard will ever have and more importantly, lining his pockets.

On Sky Sports News, former team-mate, Jason McAteer paid tribute, saying:

Michael Owen could make something out of nothing

For example, an innocuous thigh strain into four months sitting on the sofa eating Starburst.

A slightly distracted Sir Trevor Brooking was asked for his favourite Michael Owen memory on Sky Sports News:

eeem …. when he was a youngster … jinking through … emmmm …. leaving all those …. emmmmm …. South Americans in his …. emmmm …. wake

Is there any greater tribute in football than a semi-complete sentence from a knight of the realm?

Twitter reacted with an odd mix of tributes, vitriol and ‘about time’. There were also a lot of ‘I thought he retired years ago, guffaw, guffaw’ thigh-slappers too. Here’s some of the better ones. Don’t blame us, blame Twitter for not being that funny.

From the horse’s mouth:

Gary Lineker does the electronic equivalent of patting the empty space on the Match of the Day sofa:

Rory McIlroy blows some e-kisses in Owen’s direction:

He mustn’t have told his team-mates in advance judging by Asmir Begovic:

Nigel Martyn endured his fair share of ‘picking the ball out of the back of the net’ thanks to Owen’s sharp-shooting.

The Flying Teapot shows no mercy:
https://twitter.com/TheFlyinTeapot/status/313946016124637185

Joey Barton puts down his Orwell anthology to pay tribute:

All aboard the Barton/Owen banter bus:

Weird Horse looks to Owen’s future

Soon to be ex-teammate, Charlie Adam praises Owen through the medium of questionable grammar and weird hashtag:

Former England cricketing captain, Michael Vaughan sets the groundwork for many a three-ball:

Former X Factor winner, Steve Brookstein comments for some reason:

Not enough random? This is what Eamonn Holmes thinks:

Think there’s a lack of pretentiousness in all these tributes? It’s ok, here’s Jeremy Wilson of the Telegraph over-analyzing the shit out of it:

Geordie-Oz combines a swear word and our favourite brass-wind instrument to question the claim:

And if the love-in is getting a bit irritating, here he is being a bit of a dick to a 13 year old.

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