FA Chairman David Bernstein lauds Michael Owen's contribution to football
FA Chairman David Bernstein has paid tribute to Michael Owen following the announcement that the striker is to retire from football at the end of the season.
Owen, who appeared 89 times for England, scoring 40 goals, will quit the sport at the end of the current campaign.
Fourth in the all-time list of Three Lions goalscorers, Owen made his senior debut for England against Chile at Wembley on 11 February 1998, aged 18 years and 59 days.
Bernstein said: “It is a great shame that Michael has decided to call time on his career, but he can look back with great pride and satisfaction of having contributed so much to the game, both at international level and domestically.
“He has scored some great and memorable goals for both club and country, and will be missed by the many fans that have enjoyed and shared in those great moments. We hope Michael’s experience is not lost to football.”
England U20 Head Coach Peter Taylor recalled: “To me he was a pleasure to work with. He was an intelligent runner and that made it very easy for me, as a coach, to work with him.
"I was fortunate enough to be on the bench the night he scored that goal against Argentina – we were all sat just smiling when he scored and I suppose that’s why he always excited crowds.”
Adrian Bevington, Club England Managing Director, also added: “Michael enjoyed a tremendous career with England, playing at every level.
He has always conducted himself with outstanding professionalism when on England duty and performed at the highest level, scoring important goals at major tournaments.
“We are already in talks with Michael about how he can share his international experience with our younger players in the future in an ambassadorial role.”
Owen was capped once for the England Under-21s, scoring one goal and four times for the U20s, scoring three goals.
In the younger age-groups Owen played 25 times over two seasons for the U16s where he averaged a goal a game, and he was capped eight times for the U15s, scoring 12 goals.
England Manager Roy Hodgson will add his own tribute to Owen later today.