PICTURE: England football legend Michael Owen stuns drinkers by dropping in for a pint at Doncaster pub
England football legend Michael Owen stunned customers when he dropped in for a pint at a Doncaster town centre pub.
The retired soccer ace spent the evening drinking and chatting with fellow customers at Biscuit Billy's in Silver Street last night - posing for selfies and signing autographs for fans.
The former Liverpool, Newcastle and Manchester United star, now a successful racehorse breeder and owner, is in town for the bloodstock sales where members of the racing fraternity descend on Doncaster to snap up new horses.
Martin Blagden, owner of the Silver Street pub, also known as the St Leger Tavern, said: "He was great. He spent the evening talking to people, signing autographs and posing for photos and never got fed up of it once."
Mr Blagden said that the footballer, who shot to fame at the 1998 World Cup with some blistering performances and goals, was part of a group of racing professionals who have spent the the last few days visiting the town's pubs and clubs.
He added: "I spotted him and wasn't sure if it was him at first, but then someone went up and asked him and then the word got round and everyone wanted to talk to him."
"The racing crowd have been in all week, so there's every chance he might pop in again."
Owen, 37, began his senior career at Liverpool in 1996 and scored on his debut in May 1997.
In his first full season in the Premier League, he finished as joint top scorer with 18 goals. He repeated this the following year and was Liverpool's top goal-scorer from 1997–2004, gaining his name as a proven goal-scorer despite suffering from a recurring hamstring injury.
In 2001, Liverpool won a cup treble of the UEFA Cup, FA Cup and Football League Cup, and Owen was the recipient of the Ballon d'Or.
He went on to score 118 goals in 216 appearances in the Premier League for Liverpool, and 158 goals in 297 total appearances.
Regarded as one of the greatest Liverpool players, Owen came 14th in the "100 Players Who Shook The Kop", an official Liverpool fan poll and in 2004, Owen was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players.
As well as his performance at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, he went on to score in UEFA Euro 2000, the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004 and is the only player to have scored in four major tournaments for England.
He is England's 11th-most-capped player and has scored a former national record (since overtaken by Wayne Rooney) of 26 competitive goals, with 40 in total from 89 appearances.
His performance at the 1998 World Cup impressed one Doncaster pub owner so much that Owen's - now Rock-a-Hula Tiki Bar - was named in his honour.