The Toxteth goal machine
Geboren, um Tore zu schiessenFür Robbie Fowler ist das Toreschiessen so alltäglich wie für unsereins das Zähneputzen. Schon in seinem ersten Spiel für die erste Mannschaft Liverpools im September 1993, kurz nachdem er Englands U18 zum EM-Titel geführt hatte, traf er im Ligacup gegen Fulham. Im Rückspiel an der Anfield Road schoss er dann gleich fünf Tore. Während seinen acht Jahren bei den Reds erzielte der heute 27-Jährige zehn Hattricks, darunter 1994 gegen Arsenal einen innerhalb von 4 Minuten 33 Sekunden, was englischen Rekord bedeutet. Den Weltrekord hält übrigens Masashi Nakayama mit 3 Minuten 15 Sekunden, aufgestellt beim 9:0 Japans gegen Brunei im Jahr 2000.
Mit einem Hattrick gegen Leicester verabschiedete er sich auch vom 18fachen englischen Meister, wechselte Ende November 2001 für eine Transfersumme von 11 Millionen Pfund (rund 25 Millionen Franken) zu Leeds United und ist damit Liverpools Rekordtransfer. An der Anfield Road war Fowler vom quirligen Jungstar Michael Owen und dem massigen Emile Heskey auf die Reservebank verdrängt worden, und obwohl er als Joker immer noch wertvoll fürs 2001 so erfolgreich aufspielende Team war, wollte er unbedingt wieder einen Stammplatz, um für die WM berücksichtigt zu werden. Vor vier Jahren war er verletzt gewesen, diesmal will er unbedingt dabei sein. Sässe ich hier mit einem Liverpool-Leibchen, so Fowler kürzlich auf der Homepage von Leeds United, würden wir wohl nicht über die WM sprechen. Der Wechsel sollte sich für ihn auszahlen: Der Mann mit dem Nasenpflaster konnte sich bei Leeds trotz starker Konkurrenz in Form von Mark Viduka, Alan Smith und Robbie Keane durchsetzen und schoss seither in 22 Spielen 12 Tore - d.h. mehr als ein Treffer pro zwei Matches. Dieser beachtliche Schnitt entspricht in etwa den 171 Toren, die Fowler in 330 Spielen für die Reds erzielte. Sein Nachfolger bei Liverpool, der Franzose Nicolas Anelka, tritt also in mächtig grosse Fussstapfen.
Fowler setzt sich mit stupender Technik gegen direkte Gegenspieler durch, schiesst aus jeder Lage und überrascht gegnerische Torhüter mit nicht erlernbarem Gespür durch Onetouch-Spiel. Zuschauern bleibt nach solchen Toren oft nur bares Staunen. Doch das fussballerische Genie geht wie so oft einher mit mancher Tücke neben dem Platz. So zählte er Mitte der Neunziger zusammen mit seinen Mitspielern Steve McManaman, Jamie Redknapp, Jason McAteer und sonst noch einigen zu den sogenannten Spice Boys. Dieses Pack von jungen und wilden, talentierten und grossmäuligen Mädchenschwärmen trieb manchen Schabernack und füllte regelmässig die Klatschspalten der Boulevardpresse. Fowler war der wildeste von allen. Was seinem Ruf jedoch viel mehr schadete, waren seine Gehaltsforderungen von 60000 Pfund (150000 Franken) pro Woche, als selbst der damalige Superstar und Nati-Captain Alan Shearer nur 50000 verdiente. Eingefleischten Liverpool-Fans - darunter viele mausarme, arbeitslose Werftarbeiter - wackelten ob solcher Beträge die Ohren. Die Lohnforderung kam erst noch während einer Phase, in der Fowler nach langwierigen Verletzungen und den Negativmeldungen in der Presse um seine Form rang. Seine Zukunft beim Verein schien unsicher. Doch der gebürtige Liverpooler blieb, und seine Leistungen stabilisierten sich unter Trainer Gérard Houllier endlich wieder. Mit neu gefundenem Verantwortungsbewusstsein erwarb er sich bei Liverpool zeitweise sogar die Captainbinde.
Liverpool - City of God!Gott kehrt nach Liverpool zurückFreitag, 3. Februar 2006
"Ich fühle mich wie ein Kind, das jeden Tag Weihnachten feiern darf", sagte er. Und viele Anhänger der Reds werden ähnliche Gefühle gehabt haben, als die Nachricht von seiner sensationellen Rückkehr in Liverpool durchsickerte.
PublikumslieblingNur wenige Spieler hatten zu den Fans ein ähnlich emotionales Verhältnis wie der 30-Jährige in seiner ersten Karriere in Liverpool. 171 Tore in 330 Spielen haben ihm von seinen Bewunderern aus der Fankurve The Kop den Spitznamen "Gott" eingebracht. Auch im Zeitalter der "Fußball-Legionäre" ist Fowler ein Fan geblieben. Liverpools Fans identifizieren sich mit ihrem Helden, der in einem der ärmeren Stadtviertel aufgewachsen ist und immer noch ihren typischen Liverpooler Akzent spricht.
Tore und GestenSeine Beliebtheit hat viele Gründe; beispielsweise die fünf Tore in seinem zweiten Spiel für Liverpool gegen Fulham FC 1993, sein Hattrick innerhalb von vier Minuten gegen Arsenal FC 1994, aber auch sein Versuch, den Schiedsrichter vom Elfmeterpfiff gegen Arsenals Torwart David Seaman abzuhalten, der ihn bei einem Spiel 1997 gefoult hatte. Im selben Jahr trug er bei einem Spiel im Pokal der Pokalsieger ein T-Shirt, womit er den Streik der Liverpooler Hafenarbeiter unterstützte. Aber auch für weniger faire Gesten ist er bekannt. So machte er 1999 bei einem Torjubel gegen den Lokalrivalen Everton FC das gegnerische Team lächerlich und verspottete in derselben Saison Graeme Le Saux von Chelsea FC. Auf und außerhalb des Platzes sorgte der Stürmer mit dem natürlichen Torinstinkt für eine Menge Schlagzeilen.
Ins ExilNach einer Serie von Verletzungen, einer Formkrise und einem heftigen Streit mit Co-Trainer Phil Thompson verließ er Anfield 2001. Doch der Wechsel nach Leeds brachte nicht die erhoffte positive Wende. Weitere Probleme außerhalb des Platzes, mangelnde Fitness und die Finanzkrise in Leeds sorgten im Januar 2003 für Fowlers 9-Millionen-Euro-Wechsel zu City. Doch wiederum brachte ihm der Transfer kein Glück, auch wenn er neulich im FA-Cup einen Hattrick erzielte und ein wichtiges Tor gegen den Erzrivalen Manchester United FC schoss. Doch obwohl er danach wieder für einige Tage im Blickpunkt des Interesses stand, wagte er nicht davon zu träumen, wieder nach Liverpool zurückzukehren. Seit seinem Abschied von Anfield vor mehr als vier Jahren hat er dafür gebetet, wieder zurückkommen zu dürfen, wie er sagte.
Im Herzen ein LiverpoolerWährend des gesamten "Exils" blieb Fowler mit den Liverpooler Fans in Kontakt. Fowler war im Mai 2005 sogar in Istanbul, um dort die Reds bei ihrem Erfolg in der UEFA Champions League zu unterstützen. Während er bei Leeds und bei City spielte ärgerte er die ManU-Fans, indem er ihnen zunächst vier und nach dem Sieg in Istanbul fünf Finger zeigte, um die Anzahl der Europapokalsiege des FC Liverpool zu demonstrieren. Dies sind die Gründe, warum die Pool-Fans Fowler immer noch verehren und sich mit ihm identifizieren, obwohl er in seiner Kindheit Everton-Fan war. Nun ist er der reichste Fußballer in England und soll 85 Häuser besitzen. So frech wie Fowler hätten die meisten Fans wohl selber als Spieler sein wollen, wenn sie das einmalige Angriffstalent ihres Idols besessen hätten.
Liverpooler Fans verstehen, dass es nicht um Sentimentalitäten geht Steve McManaman
Die Meinung von McManaman
die wir bisher im Klub haben", sagt auch Benítez. "Er hat ungemein viel Erfahrung und bietet uns mehr Angriffsoptionen. Wir haben einen Spieler verpflichtet,
der an diesem Fußballverein hängt. In seiner Liebe zum FC Liverpool wird er vielen auch als Vorbild dienen." Fowler, der für die Rückkehr eine beträchtliche Gehaltskürzung in Kauf nahm, weiß, dass er wieder bei Null anfangen muss, um sich für einen neuen Vertrag nach Ablauf dieser Saison zu empfehlen. Doch im Moment gibt es für ihn keinen schöneren Platz als sein neues Zuhause.
Quelle: UEFA.com/ by John Mathews & Adrian Harte
Thou art is scoring
Robbie be thy name
Thy transfer has been done
On a free as it is in January
Give us this day our favourite Red
Alonso will give you the best passes
As Carra stops those who pass against us
Deliver us the title
And lead us not into relegation
For eleven is your number
Forever and ever
*A-League, 1.australische Fußball-Profiliga
**2. englische Liga
Robbie Fowler hat die Nase vollDer Stürmer vom Liverpool FC war immer für eine Prise Wahnsinn gut. 1999 packte er nach einem Elfmetertor im Derby gegen Everton eine besondere Jubelgeste aus: Fowler kniete an der Fünfmeterlinie nieder und tat so, also ob er sich eine Line Koks reinziehen würde. Der mit Immobilienkäufen in großem Stil zu einem der reichsten Spieler in der Premier-League-Geschichte gewordene Witzbold erklärte später, die Szene habe Everton-Fans gegolten, die ihn mit Gerüchten über Drogenkonsum verunglimpft hatten.
Liverpools Trainer Gerard Houllier behauptetet sogar ernsthaft, Fowler hätte sich den Jubel von Team-Kollege Rigobert Song abgekuckt, der Treffer mit einer besonderen, kamerunischen "Grasfresser"-Choreographie feiern würde. Obwohl Fußball auf der Insel offiziell als Wintersport firmiert, hatte die Football Association jedenfalls kein Gespür für diese Art von Schnee. Fowler wurde zu einer Sperre für vier Spiele verdonnert.
H=Heim /A=Auswärts/N=Neutraler Platz// C, CC & W=League-Cup// PL=Premier-League// FA=FA-Cup// CL=Champions-League
Career Record: P26, W16, D7, L3, Goals: 7
Freitag, 11. Mai 2007
God geht ...Robbie Fowler wird den UEFA Champions League-Finalisten Liverpool FC im Sommer verlassen. Trainer Rafael Benítez hat erklärt, dass der Angreifer ein neues Vertragsangebot ausgeschlagen hat.
Zweiter AbschiedDer 32-Jährige, der in 26 Länderspielen für England sieben Tore machte, hat seit seiner Rückkehr von Manchester City FC im Januar 2006 29 Premiership-Partien für Liverpool bestritten und dabei acht Tore erzielt. Im November 2001 verabschiedete er sich zum ersten Mal vom Klub von der Merseyside und wechselte für 16 Millionen Euro zu Leeds United AFC.
Große Triumphe"Seit meiner Rückkehr haben mich die Fans fantastisch unterstützt. Ich hoffe, dass ich mich mit ein paar Toren und dem Sieg in der Champions League verabschieden kann", sagte er. Insgesamt bestritt Fowler, der in der Premiership auch 80 Mal für Manchester City aufgelaufen ist, 265 Ligaspiele für Liverpool - und erzielte dabei 128 Tore. Mit den Reds gewann er 2001 den englischen Ligapokal, den FA Cup und den UEFA-Pokal. In dieser Saison steht am 23. Mai in Athen noch das UEFA Champions League-Endspiel gegen den AC Milan auf dem Programm.
Liverpool-Legende wechselt nach Thailand, Robbie Fowler: Gott in ArmaniAnfang Juli drehte sich in Thailand wieder einmal alles um Politik. In dem von innenpolitischen Krisen gebeutelten Staat in Südostasien standen Parlamentswahlen an, bei denen die sogenannten Rothemden die absolute Mehrheit erreichten. Da ist es verständlich, dass eine Schlagzeile aus dem Fußballsektor beinahe unterging, obwohl deren Protagonist die längste Zeit seiner Karriere in den passenden Farben gekleidet war.
Als Robbie Fowler letzten Sonntag bei seinem neuen Verein vorgestellt wurde, war alles fast so wie früher. Er lächelte, schüttelte die Hand des Vize-Präsidenten, posierte mit dem Trainer und präsentierte den Zuschauern das rote Trikot mit der Nummer neun auf dem Rücken.
Schauplatz dieses Szenarios war diesmal jedoch nicht die Anfield Road, wo "the God" als Spieler des Liverpool FC seine größten Erfolge feierte, sondern das Yamaha Stadion in Nonthaburi in Thailand. Robbie Fowler will es im fernen Osten noch mal wissen. Für ein Jahr unterschrieb der 36-Jährige bei Muang Thong United, dem aktuellen Meister der Thai Premier League.
Thailand ist Fowlers (vorerst) letzte Station. Der Stürmer hat eine bewegende Karriere hinter sich, in der die ganz großen Erfolge ausblieben, woran Fowler selbst nicht ganz unschuldig ist.
Angefangen hat alles am 22. September 1993, als der damals 18-jährige Fowler im League-Cup-Hinspiel gegen den Fulham FC sein Debüt in der ersten Mannschaft des Liverpool FC gab. Ein paar Wochen zuvor hatte er die englische U-18-Nationalmannschaft mit fünf Toren in vier Spielen zum EM-Titel geschossen und sich selbst zum besten Torschützen des Turniers gekrönt.
Da war es fast selbstverständlich, dass der Youngster auch bei seiner Premiere gegen Fulham traf. Liverpool siegte 3:1 und setzte im Rückspiel zwei Wochen später noch einen drauf: Liverpool 5, Fulham 0. Alle fünf Treffer erzielte ein Mann: Robbie Fowler. Ein Star war geboren.
Arbeiter und SchlitzohrIn der noch jungen Premier League wurde der gebürtige Liverpooler schnell zu einem der besten Torjäger. Zwischen 1994 und 1997 erzielte er in drei aufeinanderfolgenden Spielzeiten jeweils über 30 Pflichspieltore für die Reds.
Sein Hattrick gegen Arsenal aus dem Jahr 1994 ist mit vier Minuten und 33 Sekunden noch heute der schnellste der Premier-League-Geschichte. Obwohl Fowler als Kind Everton-Fan war, wurde er bald zur Ikone für die Liverpool-Anhänger - nicht nur aufgrund seiner zahlreichen Tore.
Fowler wuchs im Liverpooler Problemviertel Toxteth auf, was ihm später den Beinamen Toxteth Terror einbrachte. Als Working Class Hero unterstützte er schon mal öffentlich entlassene Dockarbeiter. Auch auf dem Platz setzte sich Fowler vorbildlich ein. Er kombinierte unbändigen Einsatz mit einer starken Technik am Ball und enormer Schlitzohrigkeit.
Im März 1996 spielte er erstmals für England. Dort konnte er sich jedoch nie gegen die Konkurrenz aus Alan Shearer, Teddy Sheringham oder später Michael Owen durchsetzen.
Sex, Drugs & Rock'n'Roll - die Liverpool Spice BoysBisweilen verzichteten die strengen Nationaltrainer der Three Lions, wie Terry Venables oder Glenn Hoddle, auf Fowler, weil er unbequem war und das Herz auf der Zunge trug. 1999 wurde er für zwei Ligaspiele gesperrt, weil er während einer Partie gegen Chelsea mit Gegenspieler Graeme Le Saux aneinandergeraten war und mehrfach auf dessen angebliche Homosexualität angespielt hatte.
Das gefiel freilich den Medien, die zudem mit reichlich Eskapaden aus Fowlers Leben gefüttert wurden. Gemeinsam mit seinen Mannschaftskollegen Stan Collymore, Steve McManaman und Jamie Redknapp zog Fowler regelmäßig um die Häuser und die Nächte durch. Bald wurde die Gruppe als Spice Boys bezeichnet.
Zum FA-Cup-Finale 1996 gegen Manchester United stieg die Kombo in cremefarbenen Armani-Anzügen aus dem Mannschaftsbus. Auf der legendären Weihnachtsfeier des Liverpool FC1998 waren jede Menge Stripperinnen mit ihrem Sex-Spielzeug gern gesehene Gäste. In Anlehnung an George Best erfreute sich Fowler an Frauen, schnellen Autos und ausschweifenden Partys.
Pferderennen wurden seine große Leidenschaft neben dem Fußball. Gemeinsam mit McManaman investiert Fowler seit Jahren mit der "Macca and Growler Partnership" in den Pferdesport.
Skandalprofi mit Fairplay-AuszeichnungAuf dem Platz sorgte Fowler damals mit einer besonderen Geste für Aufsehen. Als er im Topspiel gegen den Arsenal FC Mitte der zweiten Halbzeit vermeintlich von Gunners-Keeper David Seaman gefoult wurde und der Referee auf Strafstoß entschied, erklärte Fowler in Richtung des Schiedsrichters und der TV-Kameras, dass es kein Elfmeter gewesen sei.
Dieser ließ den Strafstoß jedoch trotz der Proteste der Arsenal-Spieler ausführen. Fowler trat an, schoss halbherzig, Seaman parierte. Den Nachschuss versenkte schließlich Jason McAteer im Netz. Zwar forderten später viele, Fowler hätte den Ball absichtlich verschießen müssen, dennoch bekam Fowler Blumen von höchster Ebene.
"Ich möchte Ihnen zu Ihrem Sportsgeist, den Sie gezeigt haben, gratulieren", sagte Sepp Blatter, damals Generalsekretär der Fifa, und fügte an: "Dies ist die Art von Gesten, die dabei helfen, die Integrität des Spiels zu bewahren."
Verletzungen und Eskapaden beschleunigen AbstiegSeine schweren Verletzungen, die ihn auch die Teilnahme an der WM 1998 kosteten, und seine Eskapaden auf und neben dem Platz führten jedoch dazu, dass Fowlers Stern allmählich zu sinken begann, während zur gleichen Zeit Michael Owen die Bühne in Liverpool und der englischen Nationalelf betrat.
Unrühmlicher Höhepunkt in dieser Zeit war Fowlers Torjubel im Merseyside Derby gegen den Everton FC. Nach seinem ersten von zwei Toren lief er zur Torauslinie und deuerte das Schnupfen von Kokain an.
Große mediale Aufmerksamkeit, eine Geldstrafe und eine Sperre durch den Verband waren die Folge. Fowler selbst erklärte, die Aktion sei lediglich eine humoristische Antwort auf die ständigen Vorwürfe der Everton-Fans gewesen, er schnupfe Kokain.
Diese Aktion markierte für viele den Beginn seines Zerwürfnisses mit Trainer Gerard Houllier, der ihn im Sommer 2001 nach einer verbalen Auseinandersetzung mit Assistenz-Coach Phil Thompson aus dem Kader für das Charity-Shield-Spiel gegen ManUnited strich. Fowler kam danach unter dem Franzosen nicht mehr über den Status des Ergänzungsspielers hinaus.
Dieser Umstand und die Befürchtung, der Verein könnte ähnlich wie beim Transfer von Fowler-Intimus Steve McManaman zu Real Madrid viel Geld verlieren, führten schließlich dazu, dass Fowler im November 2001 für rund 17 Millionen Euro zu Leeds United wechselte.
Rückkehr nach AnfieldNach zwei Jahren und 14 Toren zog "God" schließlich zu Manchester City weiter, bevor ihn Rafa Benitez im Januar 2006 überraschend nach Liverpool zurückholte.
"Wenn du genug für Sachen betest, bin ich der Beweis, dass sie geschehen können. Ich fühle wie ein Zicklein am Weihnachtstag, täglich. Jetzt fühle ich mich fantastisch, zurück bei meiner ersten Liebe zu sein", philosophierte Fowler damals.
Als Fowler am 13. Mai 2007 unter Standing Ovations das letzte Mal den Rasen von Anfield verließ, skandierten die Fans noch minutenlang seinen Namen. Fowler bekam den würdigen Abschied, der ihm 2001 noch verwehrt blieb. Insgesamt markierte er 183 Tore in 369 Spielen für die Reds.
Wechsel nach Down UnderNach Stationen in Cardiff und Blackburn unterschrieb er 2009 bei North Queensland Fury einen gut dotierten Zweijahresvertrag und musste sich anfangs deutliche Kritik für diesen Schritt anhören. "Ich bin nicht nur hier, um die Sonne zu genießen", sagte Fowler und ergänzte: "Ich bin darauf vorbereitet, hart zu arbeiten und auf den Platz zurückzukommen."
Nach einem Jahr wurde sein Vertrag in Queensland wegen finanzieller Probleme des Klubs aufgelöst. Fowler heuerte bei Perth Glory an der Westküste an. Nach 54 Partien und 18 Treffern erklärte er im Juni schließlich sein Australien-Abenteuer für beendet. Ein Trainer-Job in England, wo er bereits bei den Milton Keynes Dons und beim FC Bury hospitiert hatte, winkte als nächste Aufgabe.
Thailändischer Marketing-CoupJetzt also die Kehrtwende. Robbie Fowler hängt bei Muang Thong United noch ein Jahr dran. Der ehemalige thailändische Nationalcoach und aktuelle Trainer von Plymouth Argyle, Peter Reid, hätte ihn ebenfalls gerne als Spielertrainer im Kader gehabt.
"Robbie hätte mit seinem Können und seiner Erfahrung als Spieler einen guten Job für mich gemacht. Gleichzeitig wäre es für ihn die Chance gewesen, weitere Erfahrungen im Trainerbereich zu sammeln", sagte er dem "Daily Star", ergänzte aber: "Ich kann ihn verstehen."
So ist es Fowler vorbehalten, der an bekannten Namen armen Thai Premier League etwas Glamour zu verleihen. Ein Marketing-Coup ist sein Transfer schon jetzt. "Ich bin zuversichtlich, dass sich der thailändische Fußball verbessern wird, wenn sich so ein berühmter Spieler wie er uns anschließt", frohlockte General-Manager Ronnarit Suewaja.
Für Fowler bleibt sein Thailand-Engagement aber wohl nur eine kurze Episode. Er möchte als Trainer zurück in die Premier League - natürlich nach Liverpool.
"Wenn ich ehrlich bin, würde ich es lieben, eines Tages nach Liverpool zurückzukommen, aber das liegt nicht in meiner Hand. Wenn ich morgen zurückkehren könnte, würde ich es machen, aber wie wir alle wissen, ist das Leben kein Wunschkonzert", sagte er. Fowler kann mit dem bisherigen Verlauf seines Lebens aber durchaus zufrieden sein.
Wednesday, 01 September 2010
Robbie Fowler is the finest and most natural striker I have ever seen play the game. I'm not just talking about the finest striker I have seen for Liverpool, I mean for any team. In his first four seasons at Anfield, his 'Golden Period', he was simply breathtaking. Had he not suffered with injuries and an unfortunate falling out with Gerard Houllier, it is probable that he could have been the player to come closest to Ian Rushs incredible record as Liverpools greatest goal-scorer. Apart from being such an explosive goal-scorer, Robbie is also a local lad and a proper down to earth 'scally' type of character. With all of these attributes going for him, it is no wonder that he is in the top five most popular players ever to wear the famous red shirt.
I still vividly remember the buzz and excitement when he exploded onto the scene back in September 1993. He scored on his debut against Fulham in the League Cup and then followed it up two weeks later with five goals in the second leg. In only his fifth first team game he smashed his first league hat-trick against Southampton and went on to score twelve goals in his first thirteen games. He finished his first season at Liverpool as the clubs top scorer with eighteen goals. Amazing fairytale stuff when you consider that Ian Rush was still a presence and Robbie was still a teenager.
There have been a number of young players in recent years who have had plenty of hype and had high profiles, Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen are probably the two most notable. However nobody has even come close to matching what Robbie Fowler achieved in his first four seasons at Liverpool.
After a terrific first season he went on to score over thirty goals in each of his next three seasons. Within three years he had scored his first one hundred goals, with the hundredth coming in a game against Middlesbrough when he scored four. During these seasons he scored some very memorable goals that really stand out in my memory and Im sure they do for you too.
There was the famous four minute hat-trick against Arsenal at Anfield in 1994. I remember another great great game aginst Aston Villa in March 1996. This was another one where he scored pretty quickly at the start of the game. We were 3-0 up after just eight minutes thanks to two goals from Robbie and one from Steve McManaman. One of the goals is pretty famous, its the one where he nutmegged Steve Staunton with a back heel before smashing it in the top corner in front of the Kop. That game was on Sky on a Sunday afternoon and I had stupidly booked a driving lesson at the same time as the game. Fortunately my instructor was fifteen minutes late so I didnt miss the Fowler blitz! When I told my driving instructor, who was an Evertonian, what had just happened, he had to come into the house and see the score with his own eyes!
I think my favourite Fowler goals during his early days, are the two stunners he scored against Man Utd at Old Trafford in 1995. It was early in the season so Robbie still had the blonde hair from a summer holiday prank. Both goals were absolutely awesome and he beat Peter Schmeichel (the best goalie in the world at that time) from ridiculous angles. Unfortunately for Robbie this game was Eric Cantonas comeback game after his eight month suspension for the scissor kick into the crowd. Cantona scored with a late penalty to make it 2 - 2 and it was the Frenchman who dominated the headlines afterwards so the two pearlers from Fowler never got the attention they deserved.
Its not just amazing goals that made Robbie Fowler so popular with the fans. It was also his propensity to be involved in controversial and often hilarious incidents. Probably the most famous of these would be the goal-line sniffing incident against Everton in 1999 after hed scored his second goal of the game. This was in reference to the cocaine rumours that were extremely prevalent on Merseyside for many years, mostly spread by Everton fans. I wish I had a pound for every person in the late nineties I met who claimed to know somebody, usually a taxi driver or a relative, who had sworn theyd seen Fowler sneaking into the cubicles in nightclub bathrooms with mysterious white powder. I never really believed it was true (despite convincing arguments thrown at me) but the talk was so strong it really did cause a lot of hurt for Robbie and his family.
Houllier said after the Everton game that Robbie did it as a tribute to Rigobert Song who brought a grass eating celebration from Cameroon. Houllier was laughed out of the press conference (while he himself was deadly serious) and in the papers the next day he was made into a joke. Houllier never forgave Fowler and in Robbies autobiography he says hes been told that this was the moment Houllier considered him to be finished at Liverpool.
Other notable incidents include the moment he showed his backside to Graeme Le Saux of Chelsea just one week after the goal-line moment. There was history with Le Saux and Liverpool stemming from the previous season when he had a punch up in the Anfield tunnel with Paul Ince. Le Saux had given Robbie a few nasty elbows and as retaliation he began making suggestive comments about Le Sauxs sexuality. After Le Saux had complained, Fowler then bent over in a suggestive manner towards him as he went for a throw in and he was booked. Afterwards Robbie was charged by the F.A for the Everton and Chelsea incidents at the same time and received a six game ban and a £32,000 fine.
In 1997 after he had scored a goal in front of the Kop against S.K Brann in the Cup Winners Cup, Robbie celebrated by lifting his shirt to reveal a T-shirt showing support for the striking Liverpool dockers. Its since been revealed the Fowler and Steve McManaman both contributed funds to the families of the dockers. Many of those dockers and their families were regulars at Anfield and it was this type of support from Robbie that made him an idol to the supporters. Amazingly he actually received a fine from UEFA for his actions in revealing the Dockers T-shirt.
Ironically that year, he also won a UEFA Fair Play award for admitting that he had not been fouled by David Seaman against Arsenal after a penalty had been given. After unsuccessfully trying to convince the referee to change his decision about the penalty Fowler took it tamely and Seaman saved, the ball rebounded however and Jason McAteer tucked it home.
Robbie made his England debut under Terry Venables in 1996. He went on to play twenty six times for England scoring seven goals. One of his finest performances at international level came in 2001 during a World Cup qualifier in Greece. He played superbly and scored in a fine victory. I remember being in Greece at the time of this game which gave it an added level of enjoyment as I watched it in a Greek bar. His final appearance for England came as a second half substitute in the victory over Denmark during the 2002 World Cup finals.
After Gerard Houllier took charge of Liverpool, Robbies career went downhill. He had a knee ligament injury in 1998 that kept him out for the majority of the year. While he was out injured Michael Owen came to prominence and was showing signs of being the new Fowler after a memorable World cup and a hatfull of goals for The Reds. Houllier liked to play a counter attacking style that involved playing a lone striker with bags of pace. Unfortunately after he came back from his serious injury, Robbie had lost some of his pace and Houllier preferred to go with Owen and later Emile Heskey who were both a lot faster than him. In both Fowlers and Owens autobiographies they reveal that Houllier told them they were both competing to partner Heskey who was the main man in Houlliers opinion. Can you believe that? Houllier made some farcical decisions at times (substituting Hamman against Leverkusen) and regularly preferring the hard working but limited Heskey over two of our greatest ever strikers is just absurd.
Despite not getting along with Houllier, he was the team captain during the 2000/01 season while the club captain Jamie Redknapp was out injured for the entire season. This was the year we won the treble and it was definitely Fowlers most successful under Houllier. Robbie scored in two of the finals. He scored a belter in the League Cup Final against Birmingham City. The commentary is memorable for that one by Clive Tyldesley: Fowlers hit, Fowlers goal. We won the game on penalties and Robbie became the first Liverpool captain to lift a trophy since 1995. He was a substitute during the 2001 F.A Cup Final against Arsenal. This was the Owen show however with his two late goals to steal the cup from Arsenal who had dominated the first eighty minutes. Robbie almost added a third right the end when he went one on one with Seaman.
He was also a substitute for the UEFA Cup Final against Deportivo Alaves in Dortmund but this time he came on and scored a cracker to make it 4 3. That was one of my favourite moments ever in football. I stood in the pub screaming Fowler, Fowler, Fowler for about thirty seconds, as my dad and other fellas came bursting out of the gents with pee on their pants after hearing the roars from the rest of the pub. Liverpool went on to win the trophy with a 5-4 scoreline after a golden goal in extra time. It was great to see Robbie lift another trophy that season, along with vice captain Sami Hyypia.
The start of the 2001/02 season was littered with controversy and fights between Robbie and Houllier and Phil Thompson. It started badly at the Charity Shield when we beat Man Utd. The week before the game the players were practising penalties at Melwood. Phil Thompson was retrieving balls from the goal net when Robbie blasted one that just missed Thommos nose by inches. Thompson went beserk and laid into Robbie with his trademark foul language and temper. Houllier informed Robbie that he was dropped for the Charity Shield and wouldnt play again until he apologised for the penalty incident. Robbie travelled to Cardiff with the rest of the team but ended up leaving before the end and making his own way home.
There was still time however for one more magic moment from The Growler when he scored a hat-trick away at Leicester City in his final full game for Liverpool. Just one month later he was sold to Leeds Utd for £11 million in November 2002. He stayed there for one and a half seasons. Injuries blighted his time there but he still managed to score fifteen goals in thirty one appearances. After Leeds Utd started selling off their big names due to debt, Robbie moved on to Man City where he once again struggled with injury and never really regained the form he showed at Anfield. Notable moments during his time at Man City included scoring against Liverpool and celebrating a goal at Goodison Park by smacking his head in celebration as a taunt to Everton fans over the old smackhead rumours. He also scored in a victory over Man Utd in one of his final games for the club. He celebrated the goal by flashing the five finger wave at the Man Utd fans, in reference to Liverpools five European Cups. His worst moment with Man City came at the end of the 2004/05 season when he missed a last minute penalty that prevented them from qualifying for the UEFA Cup.
In January 2006 I had moved to Vancouver, Canada. I was at work one day when a text message came from my dad. That was the best text message I have ever received and I still have it on my phone today. The message reads: Fowler has signed 4 Reds on a free till end of season! How gr8 is that finally a proven goal scorer! I had no idea at the time that he was even rumoured to be coming back so this text took me completely by surprise. As soon as I read it, I rubbed my eyes and looked at it again, then I jumped out of my chair and began doing a weird form of Irish jig through my workplace in jubilation. When I got home and was able to check on the internet for clarification, I dont think I stopped smiling for weeks!
He scored an overhead kick in front of the Kop on his first game back but unfortunately it was offside. He had another goal against Charlton ruled offside a few weeks later, although that one was a bad decision. He finally got his return goal, ironically against Fulham, and then he was flying for the rest of the season. He scored goals against, Blackburn, Bolton and Portsmouth, showing that his eye for goal was still there. The goal against Bolton on his birthday took him past Kenny Dalglish in the all time goal records at Liverpool. During his second coming, Robbie seemed to be playing with a passion and fitness not displayed in years and all of this was enough for Rafa to offer him a one year contract for 2006/07.
With the purchase of Craig Bellamy and Dirk Kuyt for Robbies final season at Anfield, he didnt play very often. When he did play, he certainly made a terrific contribution to the team by scoring seven goals in a handful of appearances. Thats only two less than Bellamy who played a considerable amount more games than Robbie. At the end of the season we reached the Champions League final for a rematch with AC Milan. I truly hoped that he would come off the bench to score the winning goal in his final game. Unfortunately it wasnt to be and Robbie was left out of the squad for the game. He had to be content with a finale at Anfield the week before when he was named as team captain for the final league game against Charlton. In a cruel twist of fate he was denied a final goal in front of the Kop. He was substituted with minutes remaining and almost as soon as he sat down Liverpool were awarded a penalty, which was duly scored by Harry Kewell.
When his contract wasnt renewed at the end of the season, there was lots of speculation as to where he would go next. Talk of an offer to play in Dubai was really strong as well as rumours about offers from teams in Australia and America. In the end Robbie chose to play on a pay as you play basis with Cardiff City in The Championship. Unfortunately most of his season there was disrupted by injury and he missed a number of months after having hip surgery in America. Cardiff made the F.A Cup Final that season but unfortunately Robbie wasnt fit in time to play in the game and was denied a final hurrah at Wembley.
He spent the latter part of 2008 at Ewood Park with Blackburn Rovers after Paul Ince brought him in to help out the squad at the start of the 2008/09 season. Ince has since been sacked and in December 2008 Robbie was released by the club. He has since been plying his trade in Australia first with North Queensland Fury and then in Perth.
I have so many great memories of Robbie Fowler and watching Liverpool games have never been quite the same for me since he left the club. In his final season at Anfield, 2006/07, we didnt see as much of The Growler as Id have liked but even when he was on the bench it was still exciting because it was still possible for him to come on and score. Robbie is one of Liverpools all time great goal-scorers with 171 goals in his Liverpool career. Robbie was voted in at number four in the series 100 Players Who Shook the Kop.
Whatever you like to call him, The Toxteth Terror, The Growler or simply God, I prefer to use two words to describe Robbie Fowler My Hero.
Robert Bernard "Robbie" Fowler (born 9 April 1975) is an English professional footballer and manager who plays as a striker. Fowler is known for being a natural scorer with an instinctive goal-poaching ability.
He is best remembered for his playing days at Liverpool and Manchester City and is the fourth-highest goalscorer in the history of the Premier League. Fowler scored 183 goals in total for Liverpool, 128 of which were scored in the Premier League (162 Premier League goals in total). He subsequently played for Leeds United and Manchester City, before returning to Liverpool in January 2006.
He moved clubs 18 months later to sign for Cardiff City. He refused a one year "pay as you play" contract extension and signed with Blackburn Rovers on a three-month "pay as you play" deal instead. In December 2008, he departed Blackburn and forged a career in Australia with North Queensland Fury and Perth Glory. In 2011, he joined Thai side Muangthong United as a player, but later was appointed player/manager where he remained until 2012. He has been capped for England twenty-six times, scoring seven goals.
Fowler was born in Toxteth, Liverpool and brought up in the inner city area of Liverpool. At this time he was known as Bernard Ryder, his mother's surname. He lived in Toxteth at the time of the 1981 Toxteth riots, when he was six years old. As a youngster he supported Everton F.C., regularly travelling to Goodison Park. He played regularly for schoolboy team Thorvald, and once scored 16 times in a 260 rout.
Fowler's career began with Liverpool. He signed as a youth team player on leaving school in the summer of 1991, signing professional terms on his 17th birthday, 9 April 1992.
Fowler's first involvement with the Liverpool first team came on 13 January 1993, when he was an unused substitute in an FA Cup third round tie against Bolton Wanderers. In the following close season, Fowler helped the England under-18 team win the 1993 European Championship, before making a scoring first-team debut in Liverpool's 31 win in a first round League Cup tie at Fulham on 22 September 1993. Fowler scored all five goals in the second leg at Anfield two weeks later, making him the fourth player in Liverpool's history to score five in a senior fixture. He scored his first league hat-trick against Southampton in only his fifth league game. His very first league goal for the Reds had come on 16 October 1993, when an 87th minute equaliser at home to struggling Oldham Athletic saved the Reds from what would have been one of the biggest Premier League shocks of the season, with a last gasp own goal giving Liverpool a 21 win. He scored twice in a thrilling 33 draw at Tottenham Hotspur on 18 December.
His first 13 games for the club yielded 12 goals, and he was rewarded with an England Under-21 debut against San Marino in November 1993, in which he scored England's opening goal in the third minute. Fowler was unable to sustain his goal-a-game ratio throughout the season, but finished his first season as the club's leading scorer with 18 goals in all competitions, although Ian Rush had scored more goals in the league. It was, however, a disappointing season for Liverpool, as they finished eighth in the Premier League without making any impact in any of the major competitions, though the departure of Graeme Souness as manager and the appointment of Roy Evans as successor built up hope for the future.
Success and fame
In the 199495 season, Fowler was an ever-present for Liverpool, playing in all of their 57 competitive matches, including the victory in the 1995 League Cup final, and a match against Arsenal in which he scored the Premier league's fastest ever hat-trick, in four minutes and 33 seconds, a record that still stands.
He also managed braces against Aston Villa, Ipswich Town, Chelsea and Norwich City in the league that season.
Fowler was voted the PFA Young Player of the Year in two consecutive years in 1995 and 1996, a feat equalled only by Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney.
Throughout the mid and late 1990s, Fowler was widely considered to be the most natural finisher playing in England. Fowler sealed this reputation as he scored more than 30 goals for three consecutive seasons, up to 1997. He remains the only player to have scored 30 plus goals in his first three full seasons in England scoring 98 goals with a total of 116 in 3 and a half years, something which has also yet to be beaten in La Liga, Seria A and the Bundesliga too. Fowler's partnership with Steve McManaman was largely described as the reason why Liverpool had become the club known for being the most potent attacking force in England at the time, and Fowler was renowned for scoring goals of all varieties, from every angle and distance, with McManaman describing him as the "greatest goalscorer of all time."
Stan Collymore, Fowler's strike partner from 1995 to 1997, said in his autobiography that Fowler was the best player he has ever played alongside. Fowler and Collymore were among the most prolific goal-scoring strike partnerships in England during the 199596 season. In the same season he scored twice in a 43 victory over Newcastle United, a match voted the best of the decade in a Premier League poll. The match helped prevent Newcastle from winning the league, but it was not enough for Liverpool to clinch the title; they finished third while Manchester United were crowned champions. Fowler also played in his first FA Cup final that season, but was on the losing side as Manchester United won 10.
Fowler received a call-up to the full England squad and won his first cap on 27 March 1996 as a substitute in a friendly against Bulgaria. His first start at international level was against Croatia which was the England game following his substitute appearance. Fowler was part of the England squad for Euro 1996, making two appearances in the tournament. On 14 December 1996, he scored four against Middlesbrough, including his hundredth for Liverpool. This meant he reached a century of goals one game quicker than his first strike partner, Ian Rush, in just 165 games.
That year, he also won a UEFA Fair Play award for denying that he had been fouled by Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman at Highbury after a penalty had been given. After unsuccessfully trying to persuade the referee to change his decision about the penalty, Fowler took it tamely and Seaman saved. However, Seaman failed to hold on to the ball and Jason McAteer scored from the rebound. Though many people believe that he deliberately took the penalty kick poorly for reasons of fair play, Fowler said at the time: "As a goalscorer it's part of my job to take it and I wanted to score it. I tried to score. I never missed on purpose. It just happened, it was a bad penalty."
Fowler was part of a group of Liverpool players from the mid-1990s who were dubbed "The Spice Boys" by the press following a series of off-field controversies. The term was coined by the Daily Mail, and arose due to misplaced rumours that Fowler was dating Spice Girl Emma Bunton. The term was subsequently used in a derogatory manner, implying Fowler and colleagues such as Jamie Redknapp, Stan Collymore, David James and Steve McManaman were underachieving playboys.
Fowler's performance in the 199798 football season was marred by a knee ligament injury that kept him out of action for half the season and caused him to miss the 1998 World Cup. During this period of injury, fellow Liverpool striker, Michael Owen rose to prominence, making his debut in 1997. Owen established himself in the Liverpool team in Fowler's absence.
In 1999, Fowler was fined £60,000 by his club for bringing the game into disrepute. While celebrating his goal against Liverpool's Merseyside rivals, Everton, Fowler used the white line of the penalty area to simulate cocaine use. Liverpool manager Gérard Houllier stated that this was a Cameroonian grass eating celebration, learnt from teammate Rigobert Song. Defending himself, Fowler later said this was a response to Everton fans who had insulted him with false accusations of drug abuse. Fowler received a four match suspension from the FA for this incident. At the same FA disciplinary hearing, Fowler received a further two match suspension due to a separate incident in which he had taunted the Chelsea defender Graeme Le Saux by waving his backside at him as Le Saux's wife and children watched from the stands. Fowler later attempted to justify his actions by suggesting his taunts were simply an extension of gamesmanship. The FA imposed a £32,000 fine and a six match ban for the two incidents.
Winning the Cup Treble
The 200001 season was Fowler's most successful season. He appeared in three finals, scoring 17 goals and lifting three trophies in a unique cup treble. In the absence of Jamie Redknapp, who was sidelined by injury, Fowler was named as Liverpool captain when he started. However he found himself the third choice Liverpool striker, with Houllier favouring a forward partnership of Michael Owen and Emile Heskey.
He did take part in a fourth round League Cup hammering of Stoke City, scoring a hat-trick in an 80 victory, which was second only to the clubs biggest ever win in 1986 - a 100 defeat of Fulham. In the League Cup final against Birmingham City, the club's first cup final since 1996, he captained the side and scored in the 30th minute. Liverpool went on to win the trophy on penalties, with Fowler scoring Liverpool's fifth in the shootout. Fowler picked up the Alan Hardaker Man of the Match award and lifted the trophy.
Fowler's season picked up from there as he scored several important goals including one against runaway champions Manchester United and a free kick in the FA Cup semi-final against Wycombe Wanderers. Fowler featured as a substitute in the 2001 FA Cup Final coming on as a 77th minute replacement for Vladimír micer. Liverpool, who were 10 down at that point, eventually won the game 21 with two goals from Michael Owen. Fowler raised the trophy along with Sami Hyypiä and Jamie Redknapp.
Four days later he was a substitute again in Liverpool's third final, the 2001 UEFA Cup Final against Deportivo Alavés. He came on in the 64th minute for Emile Heskey with the score at 33. He scored seven minutes later but Alavés equalised before full-time and Liverpool eventually won with a golden goal, an own goal, in the 116th minute. Fowler and Hyypiä then raised Liverpool's third trophy of the season together. Liverpool's next and final game of the season was against Charlton Athletic F.C. and Fowler scored twice in a 40 victory that assured them UEFA Champions League qualification for the next season.
Fowler began the 200102 season controversially, after being dropped by the then manager Gérard Houllier from the Liverpool squad for the 2001 Charity Shield match following a training ground confrontation with assistant manager Phil Thompson. He made an appearance in Liverpool's 32 European Super Cup victory over Bayern Munich, but starts were intermittent. In October 2001, he scored his first league hat-trick for three years, helping Liverpool beat Leicester City 41, but was dropped for the following league match. Though Fowler had been on a contract extension from 1999 (unlike Steve McManaman who exercised his Bosman entitlement the very same year), Fowler was linked to Lazio, Arsenal and Leeds, and Liverpool's management as well as fans and the media constantly reported that what happened with McManaman (regarded as a huge financial loss) would never be repeated and thus the club never rejected those bids without consideration. This meant that coupled with Fowler's relationship with Houllier, speculation over Fowler's future persisted for most of Houllier's tenure and became an issue that divided Liverpool fans. His last appearance for Liverpool was against Sunderland, in which he was substituted at half-time.
Despite his popularity with Liverpool fans, who referred to Fowler as "God", Michael Owen and Emile Heskey had established themselves as Liverpool's regular strike partnership, leaving Fowler on the fringes of the first team. This along with his difficult relationship with Houllier, he sought regular first team football away from Anfield in a £12 million move to Leeds United. Fowler maintains that Houllier forced him out of Liverpool, and accused Houllier of pressuring the Liverpool Echo newspaper to use its influence to turn opinion against him.
The transfer went ahead just one month after his hat-trick at Leicester with a fee of £12 million. He made his Leeds debut in an away game against Fulham, the same ground where he had made his thrillingly memorable Liverpool debut eight years earlier. Fowler scored 12 goals in the remainder of the season, helping Leeds to a UEFA Cup qualifying place. Fowler was included in the England squad for the 2002 World Cup, but only made one appearance, coming on as substitute in a second round win over Denmark.
Fowler suffered an aggravation of a pre-existing hip injury in the 200203 pre-season, and did not recover until December. Struggling to gain fitness, and seeing team-mates sold off due to a financial crisis, Fowler's form and market value diminished. It was despite this decrease in form that he still, in total,scored 15 goals in 31 appearances for Leeds; achieving an impressive strike rate of just less than one goal every two games. In 200203, Leeds finished 15th in the Premier League and a severe financial crisis was developing.
In the 200203 season, Fowler was transferred to Manchester City following a protracted transfer saga. Fowler initially turned down the move, and a dispute between Manchester City manager Kevin Keegan and chairman David Bernstein over whether the transfer should take place due to medical concerns resulted in Bernstein leaving the club. Following encouragement from Keegan, Fowler finally signed for Manchester City on 16 January 2003 for an initial fee of £3 million and a further £3 million dependent upon appearances. Bizarre transfer conditions meant Leeds United still paid a significant proportion of Fowler's wages. Fowler made his Manchester City debut against West Bromwich Albion on 1 February 2003, but made a poor start to his Manchester City career, scoring just two goals in the remainder of the season.
Fowler continued to struggle with fitness problems in the 200304 season, completing the full 90 minutes only nine times, however he did score against his old club Liverpool in a 22 draw at home. The arrival of close friend, Steve McManaman, from Real Madrid gave Fowler hope, but the pair failed to rekindle their prolific partnership from their time at Liverpool, and received criticism from the fans and tabloids for their salaries, alleged excesses as well as named and shamed in a sex scandal covered by the News of the World that year.
Despite the slump, Fowler rallied for the following campaign, and showed a marked improvement in the second half of the 200405 season, scoring his 150th Premiership goal in the 32 win over Norwich City on 28 February 2005. However, his failure to convert a 90th minute penalty kick against Middlesbrough's Mark Schwarzer in the final game of the season prevented Manchester City from gaining a place in the UEFA Cup. Despite this, Fowler ended the season as the club's joint top goal scorer and gained the approval of the fans, finishing in the top three in the fans' Player of the Year poll. Fowler later described this as "one of the proudest achievements of my career".
Fowler had injury problems at the start of the 200506 season and rarely featured when fit, making just two substitute appearances in the first four months of the season. His first start of the season came against Scunthorpe United in the FA Cup on 7 January 2006, in which he scored a hat-trick. The following week he scored Manchester City's third goal in their 31 win against local rivals Manchester United after coming on as substitute. However, Fowler made only one more appearance for Manchester City before returning to Liverpool on a free transfer.
Return to Liverpool
On 27 January 2006, Fowler rejoined Liverpool from Manchester City on a free transfer, signing a contract until the end of the season. Fowler had remained a Liverpool fan after he left the club; he was in the Istanbul crowd when Liverpool won the Champions League in 2005.
The fans were overjoyed to learn that Fowler had returned; there were large banners in the game against Birmingham City which read 'God number eleven, welcome back to heaven', with 'God' being Fowler's nickname while he was previously at Liverpool.
Fowler's return against Birmingham City in February 2006 was labelled by the tabloid press as the stuff of fairytales, and he himself said he felt like "a kid waking up on Christmas morning every day". Fowler's first appearance back at Anfield was as a substitute against Birmingham, receiving a standing ovation upon his introduction. After his return, he had three goals ruled out for offside, before finally getting off the mark on 15 March 2006 in a home game against Fulham, the same opponents against which he scored his first ever goal for Liverpool 13 years earlier.
Fowler's next Liverpool goal, against West Bromwich Albion, meant he overtook Kenny Dalglish in the club's all time top scorers. His resurgence continued as he marked his 31st birthday with a goal against Bolton Wanderers. He made it four goals in five games when he scored the only goal in a 10 victory over Blackburn Rovers on 16 April 2006. However, Fowler's fitness remained a concern. In March 2006, manager Rafael Benítez commented on Fowler's work and progress by saying, "to buy a Robbie Fowler who is fit and scoring goals would cost a lot, maybe £10m or more". Despite concerns about his fitness, Fowler finished the 200506 season scoring on a more consistent basis than Liverpool's other strikers. In May 2006 he was offered a new one-year contract with the club, and celebrated by scoring the first goal in Liverpool's last league game of the season in a 31 away win at Portsmouth. It was his final game of the season as he was unable to take part in the club's FA Cup Final success due to being cup-tied.
Fowler featured rarely in his final Liverpool season, making only six league starts. Bizarrely, all three of his League goals were penalties against Sheffield United. One of these was in the away game on the opening day of the season, and the other two in the reverse fixture at Anfield. Appearances in other competitions were more common due to Rafael Benítez's squad rotation policy. On 25 October 2006 Fowler was named as Liverpool's captain for the first time since his return in a League Cup tie against Reading, scoring just before half-time in a 43 win.
On 5 December, Fowler scored his first two goals in the UEFA Champions League competition proper against Galatasaray (he had previously scored during a qualifying tie some six years prior against FC Haka), though Liverpool lost 32.
On 1 May 2007 he was a substitute in the Champions League semi-final against Chelsea, brought on in the last few minutes of extra-time. He set up an attack for Dirk Kuyt but the shot went straight at the Chelsea goalkeeper. The match went into a penalty shoot-out that Liverpool won. Fowler was due to take the fifth and final spot-kick, but the game had already ended when Kuyt slotted home his winning penalty.
In what transpired to be his last appearance for the club, against Charlton Athletic on 13 May, Fowler was given the captain's armband one final time. He was substituted two minutes from the final whistle and given a standing ovation. He finished his second run as a Liverpool player with a UEFA Champions League runners-up medal, although he was not named in either the starting eleven or the seven substitutes. He became a free agent on 1 July having scored 183 goals in 369 appearances during his two spells at the club.
On 21 July Fowler signed a two-year contract to play for Cardiff City. He missed the season's opening fixtures due to a lack of fitness, making his debut in a League Cup tie on 28 August. He scored his first two Cardiff goals on 22 September against Preston North End, scoring with two headers. Fowler scored twice in his next game, a third round League Cup tie against West Brom, which Cardiff won 42. This led to a fourth round tie against Fowler's former club Liverpool, at Anfield, but Cardiff were knocked out in a 21 defeat.
In November, Fowler travelled to Frankfurt, Germany to see Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt, a specialist sports injuries doctor, to try and resolve a recurring hip problem that had left him lacking fitness in early season fixtures for the Bluebirds. The treatment involved taking around twenty-eight injections into his hip. He returned to full training in late November and made his comeback on 15 December as a late substitute in a 10 defeat against Bristol City. However he went on to suffer another injury blow just days later after a mistimed tackle in training from club captain Darren Purse left him with damaged ankle ligaments. Due to the new injury blow Cardiff and Fowler made plans for him to go to Colorado, United States to undergo keyhole surgery on the hip problem, which had plagued him in recent seasons, in the hope that it would finally resolve the problem.
On 17 January, it was announced that Fowler could miss the rest of the 200708 season for Cardiff after his hip operation revealed that the injury was worse than previously thought. Surgeons were forced to perform a micro-fracture in order for the hip to heal properly. Despite this, he attempted to make a comeback at the end of the season to play in the FA Cup final against Portsmouth and was included in the 18-man match squad. However he did not feature in the game in any way and thus did not receive a runners-up medal having not made an appearance in the competition.
Fowler was offered a new pay-as-you-play contract with Cardiff for the 200809 season in May 2008 and was expected to sign the contract. However, he pulled out of the deal, preferring to accept an offer of a trial at Blackburn Rovers from former Liverpool colleague Paul Ince who'd just retired after a spell at Macclesfield Town & eventually went on to manage MK Dons & Notts County. The move left Cardiff manager Dave Jones and chairman Peter Ridsdale furious after the club had assisted Fowler's rehabilitation throughout the summer. After training with Blackburn and appearing in a handful of friendlies he was offered a six-month deal by the club to last until January, but Fowler turned down the deal due to it being a shorter offer than the previous one he had rejected at Cardiff. After turning down the offer, Fowler made a shock enquiry about returning to Cardiff on the deal he had originally turned down, prompting anger from supporters and a swift "no thanks" from the club.
Fowler concluded the trial period at Blackburn by agreeing to a three-month pay-as-you-play deal. He stated that he was eager to return to the Premier League and that his pre-existing relationship with Ince would not earn him any preferential treatment. He made his first appearance against Everton in a 10 win in the League Cup on 24 September. With a month left on his contract at Blackburn, Fowler received interest from League Two side Grimsby Town. Fowler a noted friend of then Grimsby manager Mike Newell had held talks at Blundell Park over a possible Player/Coach role with the club.
His three-month deal at Blackburn expired on 12 December, and after not being offered a new contract was released by the club, he entered talks with new Australian A-League club North Queensland Fury.
North Queensland Fury
Fowler signed with the North Queensland Fury on 4 February 2009 and became their inaugural marquee player; with his family relocating to Townsville for the 20092010 season of the Australian A-League. It was an important signing for the new franchise who struggled to sign a marquee player, while some questioned whether Fowler would be able to cope with the heat and humidity of North Queensland.
Fowler made his debut in July 2009 in a 21 pre-season loss against Wolverhampton Wanderers in Perth after recovering from groin and hip complaints. Fowler was subsequently named North Queensland Fury's captain for the 2009/10 season and the first in the club's history. He scored his first A-League goal from a penalty kick in his club's first competitive match against Sydney FC on Saturday 8 August 2009. In rounds four, five, and six Fowler scored Solo's Hyundai A-League Goal of the Week.
Shortly after his arrival in Australia, it was reported in the British media that Fowler would be making a swift return to his homeland and sign for League One side Tranmere Rovers, who had just appointed Fowler's former Liverpool team mate John Barnes as manager. However, Fowler was quick to dismiss talk of a quick return to England. When Barnes was dismissed three months later, it was reported that Tranmere had approached Fowler about becoming player-manager, but these reports too were dismissed.
Controversy erupted around Fowler after he reportedly refused to play against the Brisbane Roar on 23 January after being named on the interchange bench for the clash. He however returned to the starting line up for two of the last three games of the season. Fowler ended the season collecting a hat-trick of awards at the clubs end-of-season awards night, he was awarded the clubs Player of the Year, Players' Player of the Year and the Golden Boot as top goal scorer. On 15 June 2010, Fowler confirmed that he is taking legal action over the ending of his playing contract with North Queensland Fury. He is suing the Fury and Football Federation Australia, which took over the running of the club.
On 27 April 2010, it was announced that Fowler had agreed to become part of Glory's squad for the 201011 A-League season. Fowler reportedly ignored offers from Middle East clubs as well as Sydney FC to play in Perth. He joined the Glory for pre-season training in mid-June, following World Cup sponsorship commitments. Fowler scored his first goal for Perth on 29 August, a penalty against Melbourne Heart. He followed this up with a headed goal the following week against the Wellington Phoenix. In the following match, Fowler's hat-trick gave the Glory a 31 victory against Melbourne Victory at the Dairy Famers Stadium in Townsville. Fowler ended the year as top scorer for the club.
On 7 July 2011 Fowler agreed to play with Muangthong United, signing a one-year contract. In a press conference he stated that the weather conditions of Nonthaburi should not be a problem as he had played in Townsville and Perth. He was quickly a hit with Muangthong fans and the Thai public in general; he attended Thailand's World Cup Qualifier against Oman wearing the national team's shirt. He has since played a handful of scoreless games, both at the Yamaha Stadium and on the road in the AFC Cup, until the Twin Qilins were eliminated from the competition by Al-Kuwait. After the sacking of Henrique Calisto as Head Coach, Fowler, was made player/coach of Muangthong United.
On 16 October 2011, Fowler scored his first goal for MTU against Chiangrai. He took 250 minutes to score his first goal in the Thai Premier League, and it was his first ever goal as a player coach. He scored his 250th club career goal on 21 December 2011 against TTM Phichit. On 4 January 2012, he scored his 251st club career goal in the Thai FA Cup quarter final against Sriracha Suzuki. Three days later, Fowler scored his 252nd club career goal in the semi final against Songkhla. On 28 February 2012 Fowler announced he had left the club following Slavisa Jokanovic unveiled as coach of Muangthong United.
On 1 March 2012, Blackpool manager Ian Holloway confirmed that Fowler was training with the Seasiders and that he could earn a deal until the end of the season. However, they could not agree a deal and Fowler decided against signing when Karl Oyston offered the striker just £100 a week with £5,000 for every first-team appearance.
Fowler has won 26 caps for England scoring 7 goals and has not been called to the England team since 2002. His last game was against Denmark in the 2002 FIFA World Cup. On 22 September 2012 Robbie Fowler officially announced his international retirement on the television show Soccer AM, following a prompt from a fan.
Milton Keynes Dons
On returning to England, Fowler has worked with League One side Milton Keynes Dons on an ad-hoc basis to assist the club's coaching staff. On 7 April 2011, Bury confirmed that Fowler would join their coaching staff for one week to assist Richie Barker Fowler briefly coached Liverpool's strikers in April 2011.
Muangthong took action and sacked Henrique Calisto as Head Coach. A statement on the Muangthong website read: 'The Board have appointed Robbie Fowler as the acting Head Coach and terminate the contract of Portuguese boss Henrique Calisto. The contract is until the end of the season and the team must adapt to long-term goals if it is to succeed in Asia.' Thus making Fowler, player/coach of Muangthong United.
In association with long term friend Steve McManaman, Fowler has invested in several racehorses through a chattily named company The Macca and Growler Partnership, most notably 2003 Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Celebration Chase runner-up Seebald. In 2005, Fowler was listed as one of the 1,000 wealthiest Britons by the Sunday Times Rich List, with the paper estimating he has a property portfolio of more than 80, while his Robbie Fowler Sports Promotions company has been reported to have net assets of £1.58 million. Other business interests including a large property portfolio have resulted in Fowler's net wealth totaling £28 million. This gave rise to the affectionate Manchester City Football Club chant, We all live in a Robbie Fowler house, sung to the tune of Yellow Submarine.
On 2 September 2005, Fowler released a book called Fowler: My Autobiography, about his time as a footballer and the issues surrounding him. Since his transfer to Liverpool he has updated it and included a section about his return to Anfield. Excerpts published in newspapers included criticism of the England management.
In June 2008, Fowler participated alongside McManaman in Steve Nash and Claudio Reyna's Showdown in Chinatown, an 8-on-8 charity soccer game at Sara D. Roosevelt Park in Manhattan with McManaman making five of the goals, including one for Fowler.
In 2011, Fowler and McManaman participated in a Select World XI against Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov and his select XI in a public relations fundraiser in the war torn nation's capital of Grozny. The match caused much press bewilderment in the western world, mainly due to Kadyrov's abysmal human rights record and known practices of torture and rape as weapons of rule. British press also cited the use of and payment of footballers to parade the event as particularly "evil", with The Guardian labelling it "Football's moment in Bed with Kadyrov".
Fowler married wife Kerrie on 9 June 2001 in the town of Duns in Scotland. Together they have three daughters named Madison, Jaya, and Mackenzie, and one son, Jacob.
Fowler is a supporter of Liverpool F.C. and regularly attends matches at Anfield. He does media work for Abu Dhabi Sports Channel, Sky Sports and ITV.
28.08.2014 10:15 Uhr
Der Tag an dem Robbie Fowler Gott wurdeAm 28. August 1994 brauchte Robbie Fowler vier Minuten und 33 Sekunden, um von einem Talent der Reds zu ihrem Gott zu mutieren. Der 19-jährige Bub aus dem Liverpooler Stadtteil Toxteth zerlegte Arsenal im Alleingang und schoss gegen die Gunners den schnellsten Hattrick der Premier-League-Geschichte.
Viele werden - wenn sie an Liverpool-Ikone Robbie Fowler denken - als erstes jene Szene im Kopf haben, als er im Merseyside Derby nach einem verwandelten Elfer so tat, als würde er die Torlinie wie Koks schnupfen. Andere haben ihn vielleicht als "Spice Boy" in Erinnerung, weil er gerne mit seinen Kumpels wie zum Beispiel Stan Collymore, Steve McManaman oder Jamie Redknapp um die Häuser zog und unter anderem "Baby Spice" Emma Bunton datete.
Statistikfreunde werden vielleicht seine 163 Premier-League-Tore (für Liverpool, Leeds United und Manchester City) parat haben, womit er nach wie vor sechstbester Ligaschütze der 1992/1993 eingeführten Premier League ist.
Fowler - Spitzname Gott
Die 30.000 Auserwählten (der Kop wurde gerade renoviert, sonst wären es mehr gewesen), die vor exakt 20 Jahren am 28. August 1994 an der Anfield Road Liverpool FC gegen Arsenal FC verfolgten, werden mit Sicherheit immer zuerst an jenen Sonntagnachmittag denken, an dem der 19-jährige Robbie die Gunners in nur vier Minuten und 33 Sekunden drei Mal bediente. "Seit diesem Tag trage ich den Spitznamen Gott", schreibt Fowler in seiner Autobiographie, "Mein Leben hatte sich zuvor schon verändert, aber dann verlief alles im Zeitraffer."
Fowler selbst bekam überhaupt nicht mit, wie schnell er den Hattrick vollzog, sprach nachher in einem Interview von einer unglaublichen Viertelstunde. "Nach dem dritten Tor ging es nicht mehr um Punkte, sondern nur mehr darum, nicht mehr allzu lächerlich aus der Nummer rauszukommen", erinnert sich Arsenals Verteidiger Nigel Winterburn. "Uns war vorher schon klar, wie gut Robbie ist. Jetzt wusste es die ganze Welt", erzählt John Barnes.
Ian Wrights Tatoos inspirierten Fowler
Für Fowler war es erst das zweite Spiel von Beginn an in einer für ihn unglaublichen Saison mit insgesamt zwölf Toren in der Premier League und sechs weiteren in anderen Pflichtspielen für die Reds. "Er hat mich an John Aldridge erinnert, aber so groß Aldridge auch war, Robbie war besser, er war ohne Zweifel der talentierteste Goalgetter mit dem ich jemals gespielt habe", so Barnes. Und Barnes dribbelte von 1982 bis 1999 in Englands höchster Spielklasse für Watford, Liverpool, Newcastle und Charlton.
Eine ganz spezielle Erinnerung an jenen Nachmittag vor 20 Jahren, an dem Robbie Gott-Status erlang, hat auch der zweitbeste Arsenal-Torschütze aller Zeiten, Ian Wright. "Vor der Partie scherzten wir ein wenig über seine Tatoos", erzählt Fowler, "dann habe ich ihn nach jedem Tor vor dem Anstoß gefragt, ob er mir wieder eines zeigen mag. Nach dem dritten ist er gleich hergekommen und hat mir gesagt, dass er sich das nächste Mal zubandagieren wird, wenn mich das so sehr inspiriert."
"When the ball hits the net
Its a fairly safe bet that its Fowler
And When Liverpool score
You will hear the Kop roar "Oh, its Fowler
Ian Rush, Roger Hunt
Who's the best man up front? "Oh, its Fowler
He's the King of the Kop
He's the best of the lot
23.11.2012 by Thomas Kunze