Michael Owen has revealed he still finds it “painful” going back to Anfield after Liverpool fans booed him while playing for Manchester United.
Owen started off as a Liverpool player, coming up through the youth system at the Merseyside club, and played for the senior team from 1996 to 2004.
The former England international spent time at Real Madrid and Newcastle United after his departure from Liverpool, before joining Man United in 2009.
— michael owen (@themichaelowen) December 30, 2020
This decision wasn’t well-received by some Liverpool supporters and it still causes Owen pain to this day.
“If you’re going to say no to Manchester United, you might as well just retire. I did all I could and I can’t do any more. Circumstances just meant that I couldn’t ever go back [to Liverpool].
“When I go back to Anfield and one or two people booed me, it was like a dagger in my heart for what I did for the club and how I felt about it. And how I still feel,” Owen told Off The Ball.
‘It’s been torture for a long time’
Owen, who was born in Chester, just outside of Liverpool, told Jamie Carragher on the Greatest Game podcast that leaving the club was like “splitting up with your wife”.
“It has been painful going back to Anfield. Crying in the players’ lounge and hoping nobody sees. It has been torture for a long time,” he said.
“It is like splitting up with your wife. I can only blame myself, I said yes to Real Madrid. I still love Liverpool. Different to [Carragher], you are still at that club being idolised. I was you.
“Yet there is a polarised opinion because of me thinking I will go away for a year and all of a sudden it is all ruined.
“If I am walking along the Kop, they’re saying ‘you Manc’ or whatever and I have got to live with that. It has killed me for ages and the wound will never go,” Owen explained.
Liverpool and Manchester United play each other this Sunday, in a top of the table clash at Anfield.