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Owen: My passion is horses, erm, no, football…

June 16th 2011
“I have never cried scoring a goal. But racing is my passion. I am so keen. It is one thing to buy a horse at the sales and see it win. It is a different thing entirely to win with a horse bred from an 11-year-old mare who is pretty much a family pet. The kids pat her every morning and love her so much. And then to win with her son, in my own colours, and at Royal Ascot. It is just amazing. You have to have done it to know the feeling. I have lost my voice shouting the horse on.”

July 16th 2011
“That [horse-racing] will never be my career. It will always be there in the background, but football is my main passion and everyone knows that. I’d like to think that if I stop playing in three, four or five years’ time, whatever it may be, that I’ll still be involved in football and still have that as my profession. It’s my passion and what I know.”


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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39 Comments

  1. asite says:

    football should be ur passion.

  2. FletchTHEMAN says:

    I am a Michael Owen Fan. We need senior guys on the squad and guys who can get on in a squad system. Owen also helps in the rub it in yer face department. When you need a goal and you look at your bench, Owen will get get the call. Lad has been around. Must say the horses are a bit ponce to me, but I take him at his word that it stems form the kids pony. Ermmmm, who has a thoroughbred for their kids pony?

  3. Giggsy's Lawyer says:

    It’s ok to have more than one passion!

  4. Fred says:

    Nice to have such a hungry, focused player in the squad. :roll:

  5. Fred says:

    Giggsy’sLawyer – LOL your namesake would say as much too! ;)

  6. Fred says:

    FletchTHEMAN – I’m a Michael Owen fan too. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I’m a Michael Owen fan first, and a Manchester United fan second. We love ya, Mikey! :lol:

  7. willierednut says:

    Tiger Woods told his wife that Giggsy’s Lawyer. :lol:

  8. Fred says:

    Just realised, one day we’ll be able to say “18:5″ as a way of taunting the Scousers. :lol:

  9. Giggsy's Lawyer says:

    lol @ Fred and Willie!

  10. United says:

    Hey hey, easy up now, he may not be everyone’s cup of tea but this guy always trains and plays 100%, even if he likes something else more, it doesn’t mean that he isn’t dedicated to his football.

  11. byron1970 says:

    What’s the point of this article? Maybe we should bring it up again during the season when he scores a winning goal for us. Boring!!!!

  12. Fiesty Goat Pub says:

    When his playing days are over he’ll be running a stables full time. Giving SAF a run for his money on the racecourses

  13. Whiteside says:

    That’s right United, and that goal he scored in the 99 Cup Semi final was genius!

  14. jespermoses says:

    to be honest im getting fed up of his fucking horses.He’s playing for United but still dosen’t shut up abot his fucking horses.Im bored

  15. McQueen says:

    I think it’s ok to be passionate about more than one thing! Wouldn’t even have a problem if he was more passionate about the horses – I mean just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you have to like it more than everything else in the world.

    Fair play to him for having other interests apart from ps3 or xbox.

  16. McQueen says:

    It’s not like we expect him to be super passionate about United anyway – he’s a mercenary, we know that.

  17. CedarsDevil says:

    McQueen

    Hardly a mercenary, we got him for free and he accepted a huge pay cut to play for us where by he could have gotten a lot more money else where…..

  18. McQueen says:

    Cedars – yeah I didn’t mean it in a bad way, I just mean we know he’s not a United fan and he’s just doing what is best for his career. I have no problem with that I’m happy to have him, still think he’s got plenty to offer.

    Like you say, he’s taken a pay cut so he’s obviously still passionate about football and not all about the money. Good bloke.

  19. McQueen says:

    Mercenary can just mean you sell your trade for money, without any particular loyalty or allegiance to one club. Doesn’t have to mean you only accept the highest bidder. In this case he’s here to win things rather than to earn maximum wage.

  20. CedarsDevil says:

    McQueen

    Fair enough, its just when I associate the word mercenary with football players players like Tevez, Barry, Milner, A. Cole, Adebayor etc spring to mind. I would hardly place Owen in that category.

    I do agree with you though, he did join to win things and is probably not a United fan at heart. Having said that not every United player we have had down the years was a United supporter…

    They cannot all be Gary Neville I suppose!

  21. scan74 says:

    who gives a nollocks if hes into the gee gees

    better some footballers passions like shaggin there bessie mates wife!!

    still think he has something to offer methinks a natural finisher

    just wonder whos going 2 miss out with the 6 strikers

    especillay as SAF seems 2 have gauranteed Danny a fair go

    wonder how much gametime micky and Kiko will get

  22. Tonka Norris says:

    @fFred

    Wonder if we put curly hair on the goal posts we’d have more shots from some of our players ;)

  23. Tonka Norris says:

    Easy to forget just how good Owen has been. I hope he gets it together this season. After watching players opt for other clubs over United, others, non-English, have different ideas of their dream move, the presence of Owen who would rather fight for scraps of playtime than be a main man elsewhere, sends a reminder out to the other prem sides of just who we are.

  24. Fred says:

    Easy to forget? I’m finding it impossible to remember. :?

  25. Mr C says:

    Sorry folks, but Owen’s best days are long, long gone. He’s lucky to to have a Premiership contract at all much less one with United. I understand Owen’s on some sort of pay per play deal so I guess the financial side of things aren’t critical to the club but I can’t help feeling he’s blocking opportunities for better, younger players (e.g. Welbeck) on the off chance that he’ll pick up a goal here and there- the stopped clock theory- while he pursues his real interests, namely betting and horses. It still staggers me that Owen made the bench ahead of Berbatov in the Champions League final.

  26. berbatunday says:

    @ cedars l wouldn’y put adebayor in that mercenary category, when wenger did not even fight to hold on to me, wnger basically told him they had to accept the 25m bid

  27. Fred says:

    Mr C – I agree completely. The only thing he’s useful for is giving the youngsters pointers on their finishing in training. Might as well just employ him as a coach, but imho he’s not one of us and never will be (despite THE goal against City.) I’d rather not have someone with such a keen interest in betting associated with my club, tbph.

  28. Fred says:

    That said, he is the go-to guy if we need a goal against some third division team in one of the cups. :roll:

  29. Sparkz says:

    Wait, Scott makes a thread having a little dig at Owen? Who’d have thought it?…

    And Fred, sorry mate, but that’s a load of tosh. “Need a goal against some third division team?”

    Massive insult to a quality player IMO. The fact that Fergie had him on the bench vs Barca tells you that he’s good for a lot more than nicking a goal against a lower league side. If you had to bet your life on someone to come off the bench and get us a goal, I’d have him over most of our strikers tbh.

    Fair enough if people don’t like his links with the Dippers….but let’s not ignore what a quality player he was and still is. Without question one of the best finishers in Europe, even now.

  30. Fred says:

    He stayed on the bench against Barca too, what does that tell you? His 5 goals last season came against Bolton, Blackpool, Southampton and Scunthorpe. That doesn’t sound like one of Europe’s deadliest finishers to me.

  31. Tonka Norris says:

    Someone showed Fred a video of Owen actually walking on water. Fred said: useless shit can’t even swim.

    Owen’s passed his best, but so have a few other quality players we can all name. But he’s undeniable quality, and SAF rated him worth the 7 shirt. That seems the end of the story to me.

  32. smartalex says:

    7 of the 8 Fred comments on this thread are sarcastic, and against our player.

    Therefore Tonka Norris is right to highlight Fred’s enmity with the genius comment:

    “Someone showed Fred a video of Owen actually walking on water. Fred said: useless shit can’t even swim.”

    Fred, your incessant attacks on our players are not welcome. Don’t justify them, just stop.

    Thanks.

  33. Mr C says:

    I’m generally with Fred on this one. It’s not about ‘hating’ on Owen, it’s about him being past his sell by date and taking up a place in the squad at the expense of the young talent coming through in particular. Football is about opinions. So if someone else’s opinion doesn’t agree with yours, that doesn’t make you right or them wrong or vice versa.

  34. smartalex says:

    Mr C

    7 thinly veiled attacks on a player that Sir Alex has chosen on a forum full of United lovers.

    It’s not about opinions anymore. It has become an unsavoury attack on a man that many love simply because he’s our player. Snide, sniping comments that are in bad taste.

  35. Sparkz says:

    Fred- if Owen making the bench and not getting on is an indication that he’s past his best- does that mean that Berba is too, seeing as he didn’t make the bench? Is Rafael not good enough for Utd because he didn’t make the bench? Let’s not forget that in his first season, Owen scored in a Manchester derby, a Cup final and a Champions League hat-trick.

    When he’s called upon, he makes a good impact. (And that’s not even just goals wise- when he came off the bench vs Everton and Arsenal he was sharp and caused problems). And for a guy who we got on a free transfer, on cheap wages, that’s a massive asset.

    Mr C- on what basis would you say he’s past his sell by date? Because he’s over the age of 30? He still makes a good contribution when he plays- just like Scholes and Giggs over the last few years, and I don’t hear anybody saying they were taking up a place at the expense of younger players….

  36. Mr C says:

    @smartalex

    ‘It’s not about opinions anymore. It has become an unsavoury attack on a man that many love simply because he’s our player. Snide, sniping comments that are in bad taste.’

    The snide sniping comments would appear to be aimed more at anyone who disagrees with your footballing opinion. I support anyone when they are playing in a United shirt but sometimes for one reason or another duffers get through and managers make mistakes. And as supporters we have opinions on these matters. Were Mike Phelan, Paddy Roche or Jim Leighton great players because they played for United? Certainly not. Those of us have paid to watch United play in the old second division and suppported the club through the lean years are perhaps better able to maintain a sense of perspective. This is football not religion.

    Look, Owen in his early years was lethal. However a combination of Benitez, moves to other clubs that didn’t pay off and, most importantly, recurrent injuries have taken their toll. Owen’s game was based around sharpness in the box – much of the wit is still there albeit diminished, but he’s lost that yard or two of pace that formerly made the difference. We’ve got better options.

    @Sparkz – see above. The 30 years+ thing is a strawman argument – yours not mine. Likewise comparing Owen to Scholes and Giggs. You ought to know better.

  37. smartalex says:

    Mr C

    You say to me “The snide sniping comments would appear to be aimed more at anyone who disagrees with your footballing opinion”

    Please identify where this has occurred, that I may learn to desist. Thanks.

    For your assistance I offer these definitions:
    - snide: derogatory or mocking in an indirect way
    - sniping: make a sly, petty verbal attack.

  38. smartalex says:

    Mr C

    Would you consider any of these as snide, sniping comments?

    - Nice to have such a hungry, focused player in the squad.
    - I’d go so far as to say I’m a Michael Owen fan first, and a Manchester United fan second. We love ya, Mikey
    - Easy to forget (how good Owen has been)? I’m finding it impossible to remember.
    -The only thing he’s useful for is giving the youngsters pointers on their finishing in training.
    -he’s not one of us and never will be (despite THE goal against City.)
    -I’d rather not have someone with such a keen interest in betting associated with my club, tbph.
    -That said, he is the go-to guy if we need a goal against some third division team in one of the cups.

    Or is that someone ” who disagrees with (my) footballing opinion”?
    By the way, which “footballing opinion” of mine was he disagreeing with?

  39. Sparkz says:

    Mr C- Owen lost his pace a while ago, but I don’t think you could say the sharpness isn’t there. He’s a more intelligent player than many people (including myself!) gave him credit for in his earlier years, and he’s adapted his game really well IMO.

    As you said, the wit and nous is still there, and a bit like Teddy Sheringham (is that a better comparison?)- that more than compensates for the lack of pace. Gets himself into good positions, and the finishing ability is the same as it was 10 years ago. Similar to Scholesy- in that physically he’d deteriorated, but the technique to play a pass was still there

    You can see a lot of the times when he comes on for us, he doesn’t even play as a poacher- Fergie plays him in the hole. I seem to remember against Southampton he played at the top of a midfield diamond! I never would’ve thought that possible a decade ago.

    .

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