Fellow Liverpool and Michael Owen fans, it’s time to hold hands and wipe tears from our eyes, as we behold a sight that we have not seen in 6 years and might not see again for many more years to come…
Yes, he has returned.
St. Michael donned the Red of Liverpool in that fateful day out of love for an old friend, Jamie Carragher. Despite the palpable hostility and widespread criticism, he put on a brave face, because friendship is so much bigger than any external negativity, not to mention the fact that absolutely nobody says no to the legend that is Carradonna.
It is no secret to those close to me and even to those who only marginally know me that I am and will always be a masochist for Michael Owen, hence the reason I am still a devoted fan despite of all the crap that fate has thrown his way. Days, weeks even, before the testimonial match, I could not help but trawl several football sites, forums and blogs to check the reactions of both Liverpool and Manchester United fans on his impending participation in the match. Naturally, the negative and myopic views got me riled up and frustrated, but reading the good amount of positive things that fans had to say about him had me all choked up and unbelievably nostalgic. Heck, I even harbored hope in my heart that Liverpool was planning an emergency rescue mission for Michael and would buy him back from Manchester United before the Transfer Window closed, but alas, it did not happen. Yes, I know that Man United selling a player to Liverpool would equal hell freezing over, but it is never wrong to hang on to hope, no matter how infinitesimal the possibility of its fruition is.
He got a mixed reception from the crowd. It wasn’t going to be rainbows and butterflies, anyway, as football rivalries run deep and some still can’t let go of the hurt. The 45 minutes he played went by quickly. Far too quickly. Those minutes were never enough for something that I know might not be repeated. Still, I was glad it happened and that I was able to watch it, for it allowed me to reconcile the past, present and future of the one player who truly made football a special and inextricable part of my life.
Once a Red, Always a Red. Form is temporary but Class is permanent.
1997 to 2004.
Your story is far from over, but just the same, thank you for everything, Michael Owen. Football would never have been the same for me without you. No matter the circumstance, you are and will always be a gentleman, a consummate professional and a legend of the game.
For videos and multimedia of the match, please see my previous post.