From BBC Sport - Michael Owen announces retirement
Former England striker Michael Owen is to retire from football at the end of the season.
Owen, 33, who scored 40 goals in 89 internationals, played for Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle United and Manchester United and is now at Stoke.
He said: "It is with an immense amount of pride that I am announcing my intention to retire. I have been very fortunate in that my career has taken me on a journey I could only have dreamed of."
Owen burst on to the scene as a teenager at Liverpool and made England's 1998 World Cup squad aged just 18. He announced himself on the world stage with a memorable solo goal against Argentina in that tournament and scored a hat-trick as England beat Germany 5-1 in Munich in September 2001.
He has scored 220 goals in his club career, winning the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup (three times) and Uefa Cup. Owen was named European Footballer of the Year in 2001 - the first Englishman to achieve the accolade since Kevin Keegan in 1979.
I've always thought of Michael Owen's career as unfulfilled, but when you consider the fact he was battling reoccurring injuries from 21-years-old onwards and has hardly played during the past four seasons his stats are quite remarkable.
We'll never know what more Owen might have achieved had he managed to stay fit or chosen not to warm the bench during his twilight years, but he provided England fans with two of the greatest footballing moments in recent history and I'll always be thankful to him for that.