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Michael Owen: Off the Record [Hardcover]

Michael Owen , Paul Hayward
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.99
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Book Description

23 Aug 2004

Michael Owen reveals the highlights and pitfalls of being a professional footballer in his first official autobiography, which contains his personal reflections on seven years in the game, including two World Cups, two European Championships and goalscoring records for club and country.

After his famous goal against Argentina in France 98, Michael Owen was forced to grow up almost overnight, his sudden fame propelling him to stardom to the extent that the hopes of a football nation now rest on the slender frame of this 24-year-old.

In his autobiography, Owen is forthright in his views on the game: he reacts to the accusations of diving, his susceptibility to injury, and his alleged gambling addiction; he reveals his frustrations with the current Liverpool team and the surprising reasons behind his fluctuating form in 2003/04; and he tackles his ambitions for a possible future career abroad.

He is also candid about his England striking partnership with Wayne Rooney; his role in the players’ strike threat in support of Rio Ferdinand, and his complex and at times difficult relationship with coaches such as Glenn Hoddle, Kevin Keegan and Sven-Goran Eriksson; and he has strong views on the thug culture still rife in English football.

Outside of the game, he talks openly for the first time about the recent death threats to him and his family, his relationship with childhood sweetheart Louise Bonsall – including her serious injury from a riding accident – and their baby Gemma, and his aspirations to be a horse owner and breeder when he gives up the game.

For a person who rarely opens up to the press about his private life and his true thoughts on the game, Owen shows remarkable clarity of mind and purpose in this eye-opening story of a footballer never far from the headlines and a role model to a whole generation of youngsters.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Collins Willow; 1st edition (23 Aug 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002189399
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002189392
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 16 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 762,241 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Boy wonders come and boy wonders go, but Michael Owen has made the giant leap from sensational teenage star into one of the most consistent and respected strikers in world football - and he's still only 24 at the time of writing his new autobiography, Off The Record. A child goal-machine in North Wales who went on to acheive at all levels of the game – defying expectations at the ease with which he took each step upwards - Owen has seemingly been the star turn since he was in diapers. The decision to move from Liverpool to Real Madrid this season, and the fleeting shadow this has cast over his sun, is for now, the last chapter in the Owen legend. Owen first scaled the peak of public and professional esteem at the 1998 World Cup. His breathtaking solo strike against Argentina was an exposition of youthful audacity, skill and self-belief beamed repeatedly around the world - but as Off The Record reveals, the TV pictures only tell half the story. Did you know that at the crucial moment, after Owen had waltzed through the Argentine defence into the area, an inrushing Paul Scholes optimistically demanded the ball with a shout of "Scholesy's!"? Or that, afterwards, with England knocked out on penalties and his team-mates crushed by the loss, Owen confesses to greeting his family with a broad smile of self-satisfaction, having succeeded in his own performance? The fundamental selfishness of the top striker is a recurring theme for Owen, and makes for fascinating reading - but will win him few friends. Warts and all autobiography is the modern standard of course, and while chapters in Off The Record are primarily concerned with simply correcting public stories about England abroad, Owen's gambling, his problems with one-time Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier, and the suicide of Owen's interior designer Mike Flynn, it is the frankness of acknowledging the underlying 'me first, team second' reality which makes the usual procession of achievements and frustrations really come alive. Not for nothing, one suspects, does the book end with an exhaustive statistical account of Owen's career. Every England appearance is there. But only the Liverpool games he actually scored in. --Alex Hankin


‘He’s an unrivalled ambassador of the game of football’ Sir Bobby Charlton

‘Owen has already assured himself of a place in sport’s hall of fame’ BBC

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting to know Michael Owen 12 Dec 2004
By A Customer
It's really difficult to write a review on a book written by your Idol. Anything in the book is interesting and pleasant to read if you are his fan. I don't think any Owen fan will miss it - the more I know about Owen, the more I like him both as a person and as a footballer. It's hard to find somebody like him in this modern world of football.
I wish Owen all the luck and great success in his years in Spain. Despite all the problems, large and small, I firmly believe that he will not return to any English Club in the near future (say not until he reaches 30!)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Michael Owen off the record 17 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book arrived in good time as it was bought as a gift. A good read if you are into the football game or like autobiographies.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great 15 April 2013
By greeny
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought this for my son who is a real Michael Owen supporter so he loved it. Was in good condition and arrived on time
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