Dirk Kuyt Craig Bellamy Ryan Babel Fabio Aurelio
Alberto Aquilani Charlie Adam Maxi Rodriguez
Nathan Eccleston David Amoo Stephen Darby
Fernando Torres Raul Meireles David Ngog
Paul Konchesky Christian Poulsen Emiliano Insua Philipp Degen
Thomas Ince Milan Jovanovic Sotirios Kyrgiakos
Javier Mascherano Yossi Benayoun Andriy Voronin Andrea Dossena
Charles Itandje Damien Plessis Lauri Dalla Valle
Nicolas Anelka Gary McAllister Christian Ziege Nick Barmby
Stephen Wright Jari Litmanen Pegguy Arphexad Bernard Diomede
Vegard Heggem Markus Babbel Emile Heskey Abel Xavier
Vladimir Smicer Mauricio Pellegrino El-Hadji Diouf Alou Diarra
Igor Biscan Gregory Vignal Richie Partridge Paul Harrison
Jon Otsemobor Mark Smyth Antonio Nunez Milan Baros
John Welsh Josemi Fernando Morientes Zak Whitbread
Bruno Cheyrou Neil Mellor Robbie Fowler Jerzy Dudek
Daniele Padelli Craig Bellamy Mark Gonzalez
Chris Kirkland Paul Jones Gabriel Paletta Darren Potter
David Raven Djibril Cisse Bolo Zenden Stephen Warnock
Jan Kromkamp Momo Sissoko John Arne Riise Harry Kewell
Anthony Le Tallec Peter Crouch Danny Guthrie Robbie Keane
Steve Finnan      

Monday, January 14, 2008


Robbie Fowler
Date of Birth: 09/04/1975
Birthplace: Toxteth, Liverpool
Debut : v 22nd September 1993 v Fulham (a) League 2nd round 1st leg: won 3-1
1st team games: 369
1st team goals: 183
Other clubs: Leeds United, Manchester City
International caps while with Liverpool: 26
International goals while with Liverpool: 7
Honours with Liverpool: FA Cup (2001), UEFA Cup (2001), League Cup (1995, 2001), Super Cup (2001), PFA Young Player of the Year (1995, 1996)


It's not for nothing that Robbie Fowler was known as God by those on the Kop. One of the most revered figures in Liverpool's recent history, Fowler is also one of the most naturally gifted goalscorers to have graced the famous red shirt.

Since scoring on his debut against Fulham in a 1993 League Cup tie, Fowler enjoyed a long-running love affair with Kopites that never wavered.

A boyhood Evertonian, he switched allegiances when joining the club's 'centre of excellence' at the age of 11. Even at that tender age, his vast potential was there for all to see as he ripped up scoring records and made a name for himself at local schoolboy level.

A host of clubs sought his coveted signature but Liverpool made the successful swoop. It was the late Jim Aspinall who is rightly credited with persuading him to sign for the 'enemy' and it must rank has one of the most important this club has ever made.

Fowler rose through the ranks as expected and those in the know knew the Reds had a special talent in their midst. In April 1992 his progress was rewarded with a professional contract and the following January he appeared on a senior teamsheet for the first time when named as one of the substitutes in a third round FA Cup replay at home to Bolton.

An infamous 2-0 defeat to the lower league Trotters that night was proof that Liverpool needed a player like Fowler in the team but then boss Graeme Souness managed to resist the temptation to blood him until two months into the following season.

With the Reds still struggling for goals, Souey handed his highly-rated rookie striker a start at Craven Cottage and was rewarded with a debut goal. In the return at Anfield, Fowler famously netted all five in a 5-0 win and a star was born.

An instinctive goal-poacher, he claimed his first league match ball after just five senior outings and ended the season as Liverpool's top scorer with 18. Excited Kopites viewed his arrival on the first team scene as divine intervention from up above and he certainly answered their prayers in the years that followed.

His first full season in the limelight saw his reputation blossom from promising youngster to fully-fledged superstar, this rapid elevation no doubt aided by a fastest-ever Premiership hat-trick against Arsenal, a Coca-Cola Cup winners medal and the PFA Young Player of the Year accolade.

He also topped the Anfield goalscoring charts again, breaching the 30 mark for the first time, and the so-called 'Toxteth Terror' was suddenly one of football's most feared finishers.

What Fowler lacked in pace and height he made up with an uncanny ability to sniff out goals. No opposition net was safe when he was in the vicinity of the penalty box. Close-range tap-ins or long-range super strikes, the 'Growler' was wonderfully adept at both and, as the goals flew in by the bucket-load, his stock rose higher and higher.

In 1995/96 he plundered over 30 goals for the second successive season, made his full England debut and comfortably retained his Young Player of the Year award. He outshone Eric Cantona on his over-hyped 'return', much to the chagrin of Sky TV no doubt, and fired the Reds to an FA Cup Final appearance at Wembley.

Four goals at home to Middlesbrough in December 1996 saw him hit the milestone figure of 100 goals for the Reds quicker than striking mentor Ian Rush, while another 30-goal haul the following season took Liverpool to the closest they've been to a 19th League Championship.

The classic 'local boy made good', Fowler's popularity among the fans was at a scale not seen since Kenny Dalglish was in his pomp. To them, he could do wrong, even if his infamous 'Spice Boy' image of the time brought him some unwanted off-field attention.

Controversy seemed to follow him on the field also during the late nineties but his faithful flock stood by him through the bad times. A lovable rogue, Fowler never forgot where he came from and in 1997 famously went public with his support for the sacked Merseyside Dockers during a European Cup Winners Cup tie against Brann Bergen.

Also that year, he won a UEFA Fair Play award for admitting that he had not been fouled by Arsenal keeper David Seaman after a penalty had been awarded during a league match at Highbury.

Two serious injuries then forced him to endure a lengthy and frustrating spell on the sidelines, which coincided with the emergence of Michael Owen. But although Fowler temporarily lost his 'golden boy' status, Owen could never boast the same kind of rapport with the Liverpool crowd and it was no secret who they favoured most.

With Gerard Houllier in sole charge Fowler encountered more problems and found himself a victim of the Frenchman's controversial rotation policy. He may no longer have been guaranteed a regular starting place but Houllier was well aware of his importance to the squad in terms of team spirit and handed him the captain's armband as a result.

In February 2001, Fowler scored a spectacular goal on Liverpool's first visit to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and became the first Reds skipper to lift a trophy in six years as Birmingham were beaten on penalties in the Worthington Cup Final.

It was to be the first leg of an unprecedented cup treble that season and Fowler also figured in the FA and UEFA Cup Final, coming off the bench in both and netting in the latter. Four days after the drama of Dortmund he was on the scoresheet again as Champions League qualification was clinched for the first time.

But despite these goalscoring heroics, speculation that Houllier wanted to sell him refused to disappear and in November 2001 the unthinkable happened; Fowler was offloaded to Leeds, against his will, in a record-busting transfer.

To say the Kop was shaken by this would be a gross understatement. Letters of protest flooded the local press and even the massive fee received failed to soften the blow.

When Fowler failed to set the world alight at Leeds and then Manchester City the anger at his sale subsided slightly but the general consensus remained that he was suffering from a broken heart at being forced out of his beloved club. He remained a big Reds fan and even travelled to Istanbul to watch the 2005 Champions League Final.

Talk of him returning occasionally popped up in the sports pages but was always shrugged off as pure fabrication. Until January 2006 that is; when Liverpool's prodigal son sensationally returned to a hero's reception.

His free transfer capture from Manchester City delighted Kopites. Fowler, himself, admitted it was a dream come true and it warmed the hearts of everyone when he finally pulled a red shirt once again.

His second coming was never going to be as glorious as the first but the occasional glimpses of his past magic were a sight to behold and his presence within the squad radiated a positive aura around the dressing room.

During the summer of 2006 Rafa Benitez extended his contract but Fowler was to play just a bit-part role during his last season at the club and in May 2007 he bid the Kop an emotional farewell when he tread the hallowed turf of Anfield for the final time against Charlton Athletic.

He left with his head held high and the best wishes of everyone at the club. His striking exploits are the stuff of legend and, in the eyes of his adoring fans, Robbie Fowler's halo will never slip.

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