Michael Owen: Boy wonder
Big things were expected of teenage striker Michael Owen as he broke a number of England youth-team records
Owen scored on his professional debut against Wimbledon in May 1997; the 17-year-old would go on to net 158 goals in 297 games for Liverpool.
Owen's first international goal came in a friendly against Morocco in May 1998; at the time he was the youngest ever scorer for England
An 18-year-old Owen burst onto the global stage at the 1998 World Cup as he scored his career-defining goal with a mesmerising solo run against Argentina
Owen inspired Liverpool's comeback in the 2001 FA Cup final with a match-winning brace against Arsenal. He also won the League Cup and UEFA Cup that season.
Owen crowned a golden year with a hat-trick in England's 5-1 rout of Germany and claimed the 2001 Ballon d'Or for his scoring exploits
The goals continued to flow for club and country, with Owen adding to his World Cup tally against Brazil in 2002. But it was not enough as England crashed out.
Owen left Liverpool in 2004 to join Real Madrid's squad of superstars - including Brazilian icon Ronaldo
Despite being restricted to the bench for much of his time at Madrid, Owen boasted the best goals-to-minutes ratio in La Liga after scoring 13 goals for Real
Newcastle United fought off competition from Everton and Liverpool to bring Owen back to the Premier League in a club record £16.8m deal
Playing alongside former England strike partner Alan Shearer, Owen scored seven goals in 11 games in his first season on Tyneside
The injury curse hit again at the 2006 World Cup as Owen was sent home after damaging his knee in the 2-2 group stage draw with Sweden
As injuries took their toll, Owen's last international cap came in a friendly loss to France in March 2008. His 40 goals from 89 games left him fourth on England's all-time scorers list
Sir Alex Ferguson pulled off a major surprise when he made Owen the first player to represent both Man Utd and Liverpool since Paul Ince
Owen seemed a shrewd bit of business for United as he scored a dramatic late winner in the Manchester derby, a Champions League hat-trick against Wolfsburg and a Carling Cup final goal in his debut campaign
Owen's injury problems continued to mount and he started just one league game in two seasons, with his final Man Utd appearance coming against Otelul Galati in November 2011
A move to Stoke City failed to revive Owen's ailing fortunes and in March he announced that he would retire at the end of the 2012-13 season
For many years a keen horse fancier, Owen will now be free to pursue his other great love