Tag Archives: fowler

Tiger Woods tops world rankings after Arnold Palmer Invitational win

Tiger back on top of the world after victory march at Arnold Palmer Invitational

: Returns to top 10 with victory in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

June 3, 2012: Returns to top five with win in the Memorial Tournament

2013: Closes gap on leader Rory McIlroy with early-season wins at Farmers Insurance Open and WGC-Cadillac Championship.

March 25, 2013: Returns to number one spot by winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Woods has also won the Farmers Insurance Open and the Cadillac Championship this year as he prepares for next month's Masters.

The 37-year-old, who announced he was in a relationship with skier Lindsey Vonn last week, is the bookies' favourite for Augusta as he bids to win the Green Jacket for a fifth time.

Rickie Fowler was Tiger's playing partner for the final round but his challenge hit the buffers when he put two in the water at the 16th.

More to follow…

The one to watch: The 14-time major champion Woods had plenty of support in Orlando

The one to watch: The 14-time major champion Woods had plenty of support in Orlando

Taste for success: Tiger, with caddie Joe LaCava, has a quick bite to eat as he walks up the sixth fairway

Taste for success: Tiger, with caddie Joe LaCava, has a quick bite to eat as he walks up the sixth fairway

Keeping it interesting: Woods had the odd wobble on the tee but he was able to recover

Keeping it interesting: Woods had the odd wobble on the tee but he was able to recover

Gave it a go: Rickie Fowler was Woods' playing partner for the final round at Bay Hill

Gave it a go: Rickie Fowler was Woods' playing partner for the final round at Bay Hill

THE WORLD No 1s SINCE WOODS

Tiger Woods was world No 1 for 281 weeks in a row between June 12, 2005 and October 30, 2010.

Since then four different players have held top spot:

LEE WESTWOOD (17 weeks)
October 31, 2010 to February 26, 2011

MARTIN KAYMER (Eight weeks)
February 27 to April 23, 2011

WESTWOOD (Five weeks)
April 24, 2011 to May 28, 2011

LUKE DONALD (40 weeks)
May 29, 2011 to March 3, 2012

RORY McILROY (Two weeks)
March 4 to 17, 2012

DONALD (Four weeks)
March 18 to April 14, 2012

McILROY (Two weeks)
April 15 to 28, 2012

DONALD (One week)
April 29 to May 5, 2012

McILROY (Three weeks)
May 6 to 26, 2012

DONALD (11 weeks)
May 27 to August 11, 2012

McILROY (32 weeks)
Aug 12, 2012 to Mar 25 2013

VIDEO: Comedian John Bishop hit in the face by blindfolded Robbie Fowler

VIDEO: Comedian Bishop sees funny side after being hit in the face by Fowler during blindfolded penalty shootout

By
Richard Sharpe

PUBLISHED:

01:09 GMT, 12 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:18 GMT, 12 February 2013

John Bishop had the Kop in stitches on Monday night after the comedian and Liverpool fan was hit in the face by a ball kicked by Anfield legend Robbie Fowler.

The unlikely duo graced the pitch at half-time during Liverpool's 2-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion.

Fowler and comedian Bishop were on the pitch at Anfield during the break to support Liverpool's 'Seeing is Believing' initiative.

Scroll down for video

Doing their bit: John Bishop (right) and Robbie Fowler (left) took penalties while blindfolded

Doing their bit: John Bishop (right) and Robbie Fowler (left) took penalties while blindfolded

Fowler, accompanied by his son Jacob, and Bishop took penalties while blindfolded during the interval to support the charity.

Liverpool had replaced their usual 'Standard Chartered' sponsors with the slogan 'Seeing is Believing' to raise money for the charity which seeks to eradicate avoidable blindness in developing countries.

The jerseys the players wore during a smash-and-grab defeat by West Brom will be auctioned to aid the cause.

Hijinks: Fowler lifts his blindfold to see how Bishop is getting on

Hijinks: Fowler lifts his blindfold to see how Bishop is getting on

Reds captain Steven Gerrard said
before the match: 'You realise at the time how difficult it is without
your sight. Especially doing activities.

'We were involved in a penalty shootout using a blindfold and it's so difficult.

'It
was really enjoyable to take part and very important for myself and the
club as well to play our part and try to help these people.'

Video Stand-up comic John Bishop gets whacked in the face with a football

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Dimitar Berbatov of Fulham shows shirt saying Keep Calm And Pass Me The Ball

Keep Calm And Pass Me The Ball: Fulham hitman Berbatov delivers special message to his team-mates… and then gets booked for shirt stunt!

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UPDATED:

16:49 GMT, 26 December 2012

Revealing a slogan underneath a team jersey usually means a footballer has something to say, but Dimitar Berbatov’s was a simple instruction.

The Fulham man’s ‘Keep Calm And Pass Me The Ball’ t-shirt, or rather, scrawled message on the front of his thermal wear, was unveiled as he celebrated scoring against Southampton.

It raised a few smiles – we can give the guy credit for humour – but referee Phil Dowd wasn’t in the mood for laughing and booked him for removing his shirt.

I'm the man! Berbatov issues an instruction to his teammates

I'm the man! Berbatov issues an instruction to his teammates

Main man: Fulham players celebrate with the Bulgarian

Main man: Fulham players celebrate with the Bulgarian

Booked: Referee Dowd wasn't in the mood

Booked: Referee Dowd wasn't in the mood

He's now netted six goals for the
Cottagers who are enduring a miserable spell in the Premier League, and
his stunt is worthy of cult appreciation.

He’s not alone – Manchester City
joker Mario Balotelli’s ‘Why Always Me’ t-shirt had fans asking if he
was tiring of the limelight, as unlikely as that sounds.

But while they’re commended for
comedy value, neither the Italian nor Berbatov’s cheeky confidence will
earn places in the hall of t-shirt fame alongside Robbie Fowler’s nod to
the beleaguered Liverpool dockers or Ian Wright’s ‘179 Just done it’,
when he broke the club goalscoring record at Arsenal.

Perhaps Berb’s next one could read
‘Pass Me The Ball To My Feet’, however, given his misplaced header from
six yards out, just minutes later.

Six of the best: Berbatov netted his sixth goal for Fulham

Six of the best: Berbatov netted his sixth goal for Fulham

Kilmarnock 1 Hibernian 1 – match report

Kilmarnock 1 Hibernian 1: Heffernan and Doyle strike as spoils shared at rain-soaked Rugby Park

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UPDATED:

17:10 GMT, 23 December 2012

Kilmarnock and Hibernian served up some decent festive fare before sharing the spoils in their Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash at a sodden Rugby Park.

In an entertaining first-half played in almost constant rain, striker Paul Heffernan gave the Ayrshire side the lead in the sixth minute before Hibees hit-man Eoin Doyle levelled in 26 minutes with his third goal in two games.

While Killie defender Robbie Fowler made a goalline clearance from Paul Cairney just after the break, excitement levels dipped and thereafter neither side did enough to claim all three points.

However, both sets of players deserve
credit for playing in some miserable conditions, as did the 4,023 fans
who braved the conditions.

Out in front: Heffernan celebrates opening the scoring

Out in front: Heffernan celebrates opening the scoring

Kilmarnock boss Kenny Shiels made one enforced change to his side with James Dayton coming into midfield to replace the suspended Liam Kelly.

The visitors, without skipper James McPake through suspension, showed two changes to their starting line-up with Lewis Stevenson coming in at left-back and midfielder Gary Deegan replacing Jorge Claros, who started on the bench.

Pat Fenlon's men, captained by Paul Hanlon and playing in all-yellow, found themselves behind early in the game after defender Alan Maybury had fouled Dayton 25 yards from goal when it looked as if he was favourite to clear Heffernan's poor cross.

Ben Williams made a fine save from Borja Perez's powerful free-kick but the Leith side failed to clear their lines and when Killie defender Michael Nelson put Heffernan in the Irishman skilfully lobbed the Hibs keeper from inside the box.

Stunned Hibs battled back but it was Killie who had the next chance in the 14th minute when Dayton's fine cross from the left found Heffernan but his header from eight yards slipped past the far post.

Moments later, Hibs striker Leigh
Griffiths fired a free-kick from 30 yards over Cammy Bell's crossbar,
before his low drive from similar distance sped past the post with the
Rugby Park keeper scrambling to cover.

Equal terms: Doyle celebrates (below) after bringing the two sides level

Equal terms: Doyle celebrates (below) after bringing the two sides level

Equal terms: Doyle celebrates (below) after bringing the two sides level

However, the visitors got themselves back on level terms after Heffernan lost possession in the centre circle with the ball breaking to Cairney.
The Hibs midfielder sent Griffiths racing down the right and his driven cross arrived at Doyle who did well to turn it at the far post.

Moments later, Heffernan had a drive deflected past for a corner from which the home side failed to capitalise before Doyle had a decent effort from 25 yards saved by Bell.

It was developing into an open game and in the 32nd minute Heffernan cleverly set up Jeroen Tesselaar inside a packed Hibs penalty area but the left-back's left-footed drive from 14 yards missed the target.

Four minutes from the break Killie escaped following a David Wotherspoon corner when Bell punched the ball in an attempted clearance and breathed a sigh of relief as it cannoned off Hanlon and back over the bar.

Ho, ho, ho! A first-aider gets into the Christmas spirit

Ho, ho, ho! A first-aider gets into the Christmas spirit

The Easter Road men should have taken
the lead just over a minute into the second-half when Doyle set up
Cairney in the box but his chip over Bell – when it looked like he would
have been better off blasting it – was headed off the line by Fowler.

There was little between the two
sides but Bell found himself called into action again when he had to
push a long-distance drive from Griffiths round the post for a corner
which, once more, came to nothing.

It looked as if something special
would be needed to find the winner and Kilmarnock defender Mohamadou
Sissoko almost provided it when he ventured up the park to have a go
from 35 yards but watched as the ball fizzed just past Williams' left-hand post.

Moments later, as the game continued
to flow from end-to-end, Cairney picked up a booking from referee Bobby
Madden for simulation after going to ground inside the box when taking
on Nelson.

In the 76th minute Chris Johnston
came on for Heffernan and Ivan Sproule replaced Wotherspoon as both
bosses looked for some inspiration.

However, while play was stretching by
the minute as the match entered its final stages, there was no clues as
to which side were most likely to find the winner.

In the 85th minute Williams spilled
Dayton's 25-yard free-kick before the Hibs defence eventually cleared to
safety but in the end both sides looked as if they had run out of steam
and thus, a draw was probably a fair result.

Graeme McDowell wins World Golf Challenge in California

McDowell makes it two in three by picking up World Golf Challenge in California

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UPDATED:

23:53 GMT, 2 December 2012

Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell finished three shots clear of Keegan Bradley to win the World Golf Challenge in California.

The European Ryder Cup star banked a cheque for one million US Dollars (624,000) as a result of finishing 17 under for the week, as well as ending a two-year wait since his last victory – which happened to be in this competition.

The 2010 US Open winner was two shots ahead of Bradley at the start of the day and ensured success with a strong back nine that earned him a four-under 68.

Here kitty: Graeme McDowell poses with his trophy after winning the World Golf Challenge

Here kitty: Graeme McDowell poses with his trophy after winning the World Golf Challenge

Fist pump: McDowell celebrates winning at the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks

Fist pump: McDowell celebrates winning at the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks

He was one under at the turn, having
picked up a stroke at the par-five second, but strengthened his case on
the back nine with four more birdies to balance against a solitary
bogey-six at the 13th.

Bradley started strongly, with birdies
at holes two and five but was level par for the front nine after giving
back shots on eight and nine.

He finished three under for the round as he responded to McDowell's surge but it was not enough.

Up you go: McDowell tosses his club after hitting a shot on the 18th fairway

Up you go: McDowell tosses his club after hitting a shot on the 18th fairway

The pair were well ahead of the rest
of the 18-man field, Bo Van Pelt finishing third four shots back from
Bradley and seven adrift of McDowell.

Tournament host Tiger Woods finished in a share of fourth alongside Rickie Fowler and Jim Furyk on nine under.

Zach Johnson spared England's Ian
Poulter last place with a dreadful round of seven over that included
three double bogeys and three bogeys.

Fourth: Tiger Woods shared his position with Rickie Fowler and Jim Furyk

Fourth: Tiger Woods shared his position with Rickie Fowler and Jim Furyk

Luis Suarez escapes punishment for "stamp" on David Jones

Liverpool star Suarez escapes punishment for 'stamp' on Wigan midfielder Jones

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UPDATED:

08:32 GMT, 19 November 2012

Luis Suarez will not face further punishment for what Wigan boss Roberto Martinez described as a 'stamp' on David Jones.

The incident happened in the 63rd minute of Liverpool's 3-0 win on Saturday when the Uruguayan was involved in an ugly challenge on the midfielder.

But because it occurred during play and was not an off-the-ball incident, under FA regulations it is considered as having been seen and therefore no more action can be taken from video replays.

Flashpoint: Luis Suarez goes in on David Jones

Flashpoint: Luis Suarez goes in on David Jones

Let off: Luis Suarez will not be punished for this challenge on David Jones

After the match Martinez said: 'He was very fortunate because there was a stamp on David Jones that the referee didn't see. That wasn't the sign of a top player. He was fortunate. He was lucky.

'It wasn't a nasty game, a bad game. But when you see the replay it is a clear stamp. It could have been a red card if the referee had seen it.'

It is not the only controversial incident the striker has been involved in this season.

Last month he was criticised by Everton manager David Moyes for a challenge on Sylvain Distin in the Merseyside derby, for which he went unpunished.

Two good: Suarez helped himself to a double in Liverpool's victory over Wigan

Two good: Suarez helped himself to a double in Liverpool's victory over Wigan

And Stoke boss Tony Pulis suggested he should be banned for trying to con referees to win penalties.

It will be a relief for manager Brendan Rodgers, who has relied on Suarez's 10 league goals this season that have made him the league's top scorer so far.

And team-mate Jamie Carragher joined the list of people praising him.

Centre of attention: Suarez was once again the man making the headlines at Anfield

Centre of attention: Suarez was once again the man making the headlines at Anfield

The defender said: 'He is definitely right up there. I can only talk about the players I've played with: (Robbie) Fowler, (Michael) Owen, (Fernando) Torres and I think he comes pretty close to that list.

'It's not a great Liverpool side at the moment. The other players I've played with have played in sides that have won trophies and been near the top of the league.

'For him to do what he is doing in a side that is still building under the new manager I wouldn't swap him for anyone in the Premier League.

'I think what he does in our team and what he gives us no other player really could.'

Steven Gerrard 100th England cap: Jamie Redknapp and Martin Keown share their insights

Quiet and respectful but Gerrard was frightened to come down for dinner…

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UPDATED:

00:12 GMT, 14 November 2012

With Steven Gerrard set to become only the sixth England player to reach 100 caps, Sportsmail experts Jamie Redknapp and Martin Keown share their exclusive insight on the Three Lions captain.

Insight by Jamie Redknapp
The kid who was frightened to come down for dinner

With some players, you are surprised that they forge successful international careers. With Steven Gerrard, it wasn't rocket science.

I remember my dad coming to watch our 3-2 win over Everton in 1999 – it was the game in which Robbie Fowler scored twice and famously pretended to snort the touchline.

Midfield duo: Gerrard and Redknapp share a joke ahead of the 2001 FA Cup final

Midfield duo: Gerrard and Redknapp share a joke ahead of the 2001 FA Cup final

Steven came on and played at right back and cleared two off the line in the final minutes. He was immense and dad asked me afterwards, 'Who on earth is the right back – he's like Superman'. 'You should see him play in midfield, dad,' I replied.

It wasn't long before he was in the England squad and I remember reading recently in his book that he was scared to come out of his room when the team met up.

He wrote that I had to come and take him down to dinner. I didn't even notice that he was worried but that's just typical of what a nice person Steven is – he doesn't know how good he is and he has, like everyone, his insecurities.

Insight by Martin Keown
Angel Stevie and Michael Owen, the Devil who wears Prada

I found my first few England squads slightly lonely experiences. I found it boring just sitting in my room with nothing to do.

So when Steven Gerrard was called up for the first time, I saw it as a chance to help him a bit and make him feel welcome.

Cnetre of attention: Gerrard will make his 100th appearance for England on Wednesday night

Cnetre of attention: Gerrard will make his 100th appearance for England on Wednesday night

Starting out: Former England boss Kevin Keegan presents Gerrard with his first cap in 2000

Starting out: Former England boss Kevin Keegan presents Gerrard with his first cap in 2000

I knocked on his door and told him to come out with me and Michael Owen for the afternoon.

We headed into some of the expensive shopping streets in London and had a walk around. I remember going into Prada and Michael spending a ridiculous amount of money on all sorts of things.

He just had it sent home on his account with them! It was an eye-opener for Steven – he looked like he'd never been somewhere like that before.

It wasn't a big trip but it was my way of taking him onboard as an England team-mate. I liked Steven from the start and could see that he was going to make it big. Like me, he trained like he played and although he was quiet and respectful off the pitch, he wasn't on it. I liked those attributes.

Wayne Rooney"s Everton career might not be over – Dominic King

Once a Blue… once more a Blue Rooney's Everton career might not be over

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UPDATED:

12:28 GMT, 19 October 2012

Secrets don't keep where football is concerned. Early in 2002, there were rumblings that a young player was emerging at Goodison Park who was something out of the ordinary.

Before an FA Youth Cup tie that February, the then Manchester City Academy Director Jim Cassell had expressed his confidence that his side would make it through to the semi-finals but his outlook was tempered by reports he had received back from Merseyside.

'There is a kid called Rooney who plays for Everton who has big reputation already,' Cassell said. 'Keep an eye on him.'

United front: Rooney has now spent eight successful years at Old Trafford

United front: Rooney has now spent eight successful years at Old Trafford

More from Dominic King…

Mersey Beat: Owen ready for another uncomfortable afternoon back at Liverpool
05/10/12

Mersey Beat: Everton have blown glorious opportunity to win silverware with Leeds defeat
28/09/12

Mersey Beat: The lure of the English Clasico
21/09/12

Mersey Beat: Legends like Rush, Fowler, Hunt, Liddell… but now there's no Liverpool No 9
07/09/12

Mersey Beat: Has the first major shift in power since 1937 happened on Merseyside
24/08/12

Mersey Beat: Rodgers can talk the talk… now he must deliver results at Liverpool
18/08/12

Mersey Beat: Carroll would never have imagined this after strong Euro 2012
20/07/12

Mersey Beat: All change at Liverpool but Shankly tradition must remain
18/05/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Sure enough, his prediction came true. City did indeed acquit themselves well, scoring two very good goals. The only problem for them was that Wayne Rooney was operating on a different level that evening, scoring two of his own and setting another two up as Everton won 4-2.

It was apparent then that Rooney would go on to play at the highest and within six months he had made his senior debut; 10 years ago, of course, he scored his first ever Barclays Premier League goal, bending a wonderful effort past Arsenal's David Seaman to announce his arrival.

Rooney's emergence a decade ago came at a time when Everton were emerging from a spell in the doldrums and he was seen as the shining light who would lead them into a brave new era. That moved on within two years to Manchester United still leaves many Evertonians with a bitter taste.

He could have been spoken about in the same reverential terms that are reserved for Sharp, Gray and Steven, Kendall, Ball and Harvey, as he had a talent to span the ages. Rooney was destined to play for one of Europe's superpowers but it is argued he could have stayed a Blue a little longer.

Without Rooney, Everton's development has not been checked. In the eight years since he left for Old Trafford, David Moyes and Bill Kenwright have worked in tandem to take the club forward and this year they are dark horses to push for a Champions League spot.

Magic moment: Rooney burst onto the scene with that memorable goal against Arsenal

Magic moment: Rooney burst onto the scene with that memorable goal against Arsenal

Wayne's world: Rooney celebrates victory over the Gunners

Wayne's world: Rooney celebrates victory over the Gunners

Rooney, meanwhile, has collected a haul
of medals that his talent deserve and he is still young enough to become
England's all-time leading scorer. He is a fantastic player and will
continue to play an integral role for United.

But what happens a couple of years down the line Would there ever be a time in the future when Rooney pulls on a Royal Blue shirt again He wanted to this summer but a pre-season friendly with United against Barcelona prevented him playing in Tony Hibber's testimonial.

'It says everything about Wayne that he was willing to do that,' said Hibbert at the time. 'He probably would have got a bad reception but he is not fazed about that. He loves Everton. Deep down he is still an Evertonian. I know for a fact the still goes to (Everton) games.

'He will do anything for Everton. It was a great honour for me that he wanted to play in the game. I was surprised when he asked whether he could play and if I would like him to. I jumped at the chance but obviously he has other commitments.

When asked whether finishing his career at Goodison was possible, Hibbert said: 'I think it is. If Wayne says it, then I think the club would be stupid not to welcome him back. I think there would be a few moans but for us to get a player like Wayne Rooney would be massive.'

There has been a noticeable softening
towards Rooney from some Evertonians in recent years and his every
touch when he returns to Goodison does not generate the same growling as
it did in the seasons that followed his departure. He is also far more
diplomatic when celebrating United goals.

Never say never: Rooney's links with the blue half of Liverpool run deep - a bedroom window at his old house was adorned with Toffees memorabilia

Never say never: Rooney's links with the blue half of Liverpool run deep – a bedroom window at his old house was adorned with Toffees memorabilia

Never say never: Rooney's links with the blue half of Liverpool run deep - a bedroom window at his old house was adorned with Toffees memorabilia

So
here is the question: could there ever be a reunion It will not happen
any time soon but, if the prospect were to arise in the future, it is
something both parties would certainly explore.

To adapt the line from that famous t-shirt: Once a Blue… once more a Blue

Michael Owen back at Liverpool – Mersey Beat

Owen ready for another uncomfortable afternoon
back at Liverpool

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UPDATED:

15:16 GMT, 5 October 2012

They will give him a generous ovation on Sunday. As is usually the case when a former player’s name is read out, the Kop will clap, sing his old song and recognise the service he gave.

Given he appeared in a European final, played a crucial role in helping Liverpool win an FA Cup and lead the line with distinction, becoming a crowd favourite in the process, it is only right that the Kop will look to acknowledge Peter Crouch when sets foot on Anfield’s turf once more.

This way to Anfield: Michael Owen can expect a lukewarm reception

This way to Anfield: Michael Owen can expect a lukewarm reception

More from Dominic King…

Mersey Beat: Everton have blown glorious opportunity to win silverware with Leeds defeat
28/09/12

Mersey Beat: The lure of the English Clasico
21/09/12

Mersey Beat: Legends like Rush, Fowler, Hunt, Liddell… but now there's no Liverpool No 9
07/09/12

Mersey Beat: Has the first major shift in power since 1937 happened on Merseyside
24/08/12

Mersey Beat: Rodgers can talk the talk… now he must deliver results at Liverpool
18/08/12

Mersey Beat: Carroll would never have imagined this after strong Euro 2012
20/07/12

Mersey Beat: All change at Liverpool but Shankly tradition must remain
18/05/12

Mersey Beat: Andy Carroll from zero to hero – times have changed for Liverpool No 9
11/05/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

What happens when Michael Owen does something similar, however, will be completely different.

He did all the things Crouch did for Liverpool and more but, for him, the best scenario for which he can hope is muted applause.

It is nothing new, of course. Owen has been back to play at Anfield on several occasions since he left for Real Madrid in 2004 for both Newcastle United and Manchester United – he even pulled on a Red shirt during Jamie Carragher’s testimonial in September 2010.

Each time he return, though, it sharpens the focus of what could and should have been but now never will be. Owen, remember, was one of the greatest goalscorers of his generation. In 2001, he won the FA Cup final almost single-handedly and was named European Footballer of the Year.

During one of the many transitional periods Liverpool have endured in the past two decades, Owen’s emergence was genuinely thrilling and whenever the club had a big game, he could be relied upon to come up with the goods.

With a tally of 158 goals in 297 appearances, Owen, by rights, should receive the warmest of welcomes whenever he comes back to the place that was once his home but now all he can expect is indifference and ambivalence.

Golden boy: Owen started his career at Liverpool and was once a hero

Golden boy: Owen started his career at Liverpool and was once a hero

Now this is not a sob story on Owen’s
behalf. Far from it. There are reasons – plenty of them valid – as to
why the Kop have lost their rapport with the former England
international and sympathy is not something he will ever get at Anfield.

Owen, after all, is accountable for the decisions he made.

For starters, there was the manner in which he left in 2004. Having indicated that he was ready to sign a new contract, he sat out Rafael Benitez’s first game against AK Graz in the Champions League and within days had signed for Madrid.

Then, when presented with the chance to re-sign for Liverpool 12 months later, he chose to join Newcastle instead at the last minute. When he headed back to Anfield that Christmas for a Premier League game, he was the subject of chants of, among others things, 'Where were you in Istanbul'

‘I could see the deflation in his eyes and recognised how hurt he was,’ Carragher wrote in his autobiography about the incident. ‘To see a player who had played his heart out for us on the end of a reception so untypical of those that former Anfield heroes usually get was depressing.

‘Over the years I’ve seen players who didn’t contribute half as much as Michael, and some who were only here for a season or two, be welcomed back as if they had played 500 games and won dozen of trophies. It made no sense.’

Of course, any hope that bridges would have been rebuilt were extinguished when Owen went to Manchester United in 2009 but, given he was without a club at that time, it was hardly an offer he could refuse, particularly as Liverpool showed no interest then to bring him back.

There was talk about Owen being drafted back to Liverpool as an emergency measure last month but it lacked substance. Brendan Rodgers has a vision in mind and it does not include signing a 32-year-old who has not started a Premier League game for two years and three days.

Tony Pulis, though, has an idea in mind for Owen and the Potteries are where he will see out his playing days. But what happens then

Will Owen ever return to Anfield and watch a game from the stands Will he be welcomed back, say, if a reunion takes place for the treble winners of 2001

To look at everything Owen achieved for Liverpool, those questions should not be asked. That they are tells you everything about a sad situation.

Liverpool lost much when they lost a No 9: MERSEY BEAT

Legends like Rush, Fowler, Hunt, Liddell… but now there's no Liverpool No 9

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UPDATED:

12:22 GMT, 7 September 2012

Amid the conjecture about failed bids, missed opportunities, broken promises and letters from America, a startling fact has, perhaps, gone unnoticed this week.

After a summer when 'false nines' were a regular topic of conversation, Liverpool find themselves contemplating a campaign that, unless decisive action is taken in January, could play out without their No 9 scoring a single goal.

Andy Carroll's controversial departure to West Ham before the transfer window closed, coupled with Clint Dempsey’s failure to arrive from Fulham, has not only left Liverpool a striker short, it means one of the club’s most iconic jerseys remains vacant.

Missing something Brendan Rodgers has endured a tricky start to life as manager of Liverpool

Missing something Brendan Rodgers has endured a tricky start to life as manager of Liverpool

It is an unprecedented situation. Yet, effectively, the shirt that has been worn by Liverpool’s greatest goalscorers, men like Billy Liddell and 'Sir' Roger Hunt, Ian Rush, Robbie Fowler, and more recently Fernando Torres has, been temporarily retired.

More from Dominic King…

Mersey Beat: Has the first major shift in power since 1937 happened on Merseyside
24/08/12

Mersey Beat: Rodgers can talk the talk… now he must deliver results at Liverpool
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Mersey Beat: Why Aquilani's Anfield return would not be the worst outcome for Liverpool
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Mersey Beat: The knives are out, but King Kenny must be afforded more time at Liverpool
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At a time when critics are claiming
Liverpool are losing their identity, they could have done without losing
such a huge symbol.

That Brendan Rodgers admitted Carroll would not have been allowed to leave, had he known he could not get a replacement in made all the more unpalatable.

In the grand scheme of things, the absence of one number on the pitch might not appear such a big issue but it could easily become one; Liverpool have hardly been prolific in recent seasons and there are understandable fears on The Kop that they will be made to pay for a lack of goals.

So it begs the question: why have Liverpool been left so short Reading between the lines of the missive principal owner John W Henry published on the club’s official website earlier this week, it boils down to Fenway Sports Group not wanting to meet Fulham’s valuation of a 29-year-old.

As the dust settles, the decision looks more and more bewildering for three key reasons. First had Dempsey arrived for 5million, there is every reason to believe Liverpool could have recouped what they paid if they wanted to move him on two years down the line.

Secondly, from a commercial view, Dempsey is one of the United States' star men. Photographing him in the new Warrior kit and putting his image on billboards would undoubtedly have led to an increase in Liverpool shirt sales in America, thus providing another return on their investment.

Last, and by no means least, Dempsey knows how to flourish in the Barclays Premier League. He was outstanding for Fulham last season, scoring 17 times. The less goals Liverpool score, the further they will drop down the table and, at 750,000 a place, it could ultimately cost them significant a sum.

Legendary: Likes of Ian Rush, Robbie Fowler, Billy Liddell and Roger Hunt have all donned the No 9

Legendary: Likes of Ian Rush, Robbie Fowler, Billy Liddell and Roger Hunt have all donned the No 9

Robbie Fowler

Billy Liddell

Roger Hunt

Some of the points Henry made in his note were valid and it is admirable he has a philosophy he wants to make work but FSG will cause themselves unnecessary problems if they don’t possess flexibility. Surely the mystery men who are advising them have said that

Not backing Rodgers last Friday has increased the suspicions of some supporters and no amount of platitudes or promises that FSG are 'in it for the long haul' will placate the discontented. They want to see their manager receive backing, not get undermined.

'If there is a player out there who can make a difference, we will do all that we possibly can to bring him to the football club,' Rodgers said back on July 9.

'What I won’t be prepared to do is waste time, money and effort to bring in a player who won’t add value to the club. I will push the boat to get the players that I want to get in. Hopefully the board will support me on that.'

Hammered: Liverpool allowed Andy Carroll to join West Ham without a replacement being sorted

Hammered: Liverpool allowed Andy Carroll to join West Ham without a replacement being sorted

Events on deadline have put a completely different hue on those words. When Rodgers need support to sign the forward he believed would have made a difference, he didn’t get it and now, farcically, Liverpool are left without a No 9.

Now it would be wrong to say Liverpool are in crisis. This current predicament, after all, is small fry compared to what was happening two years ago, when the Hicks-Gillett reign was crumbling. But what it undoubtedly means is a difficult period is on the horizon.

Only in January, when Rodgers will aim to bolster his options, will it be discovered if salutary lessons have been learned.