Friday, July 01, 2011

GMF pays tribute to a Liverpool legend: Robbie Fowler

Liverpool - From Toxteth to Perth – one hell of a journey

Emdad Rahman 

It was a summer of carnage as a teenage Liverpudlian ripped up the record books as he caused mayhem across Europe.
The raiding Red spearheaded the England U18 attack on route to lifting the 1993 European under 18 championships.
Jim Aspinall had spotted a gem playing forLiverpool schoolboys and the youngster was very soon training with the Reds, signing as a YTS trainee at 16 before turning pro at 17.
Soon after, it was Graeme Souness who gave a certain Robert Bernard Fowler his first taste of top flight football at Craven Cottage during a league cup tie. Fowler did what came naturally – he scored. The new kid on the block started the return leg at Anfield and went on to score all the goals in a 5-0 demolition job of the Cottagers.
Robbie Fowler was a Toxteth lad who had grown up supporting Liverpool. He had an assured footballing upbringing, once scoring a paltry 16 goals for Thorvals during a 26-0 crushing.
Fowler scored his first league hat-trick against Southampton in only his fifth league game. In 1994/1995, a young Robbie completed a sensational four minute, 33 second hat trick against the Arsenal at Anfield. The feat still stands as the fastest hat trick in premier league history.
In 1995 and 1996 Fowler was awarded the PFA Young Player of the Year award. During his playing career he was regularly singled out as English football's most natural finisher, earning 26 England caps with a return of six goals.
Fused with his outstanding ability was a wild streak. Whilst United were stacking honours, Fowler, Collymore, Redknapp and McManaman got labelled with the "Spice Boys" tag.
After Rafael Benitez bought the prodigal son back to Anfield in January 2006, he had three goals disallowed before heading one in against Fulham. “A goal is a goal no matter which end it goes in. I'm pleased to get off the mark again," he said afterwards.
With 163 top flight goals, Fowler's legacy is assured, and he stands fourth behind Alan Shearer, Andy Cole and Thierry Henry in the pantheon of the Premier League’s all time top goalscorers.
One brilliant gesture was in 1997, when after scoring a Cup Winners Cup goal, Fowler lifted his shirt to reveal his support for sacked Liverpool Dockers. He was fined but on Merseyside he was more popular than the Beatles.
Saint Robbie also received a UEFA Fair Play award for the astonishing moment at Highbury when he admitted he hadn’t been fouled by David Seaman after a penalty had been awarded.

Already a household name, Fowler’s name was cemented into Hollywood history, courtesy of an iconic scene in the brilliant 51st state movie, whereby a flare wielding Robert Carlisle provoked rival Red Devil fans in a Manchester pub.
Fowler recently left Perth Glory to join his family in the UK and to gain his UEFA coaching badges.
Speaking to the BBC, Perth chairman Tony Sage said: "Robbie has put Perth Glory on the world map,” adding, "Robbie will always be welcomed into the Perth Glory family and I can't thank him enough for his contribution to the football club."
Fowler spoke of the wish to return home to Anfield: “If I could walk there tomorrow…
“Eventually that is obviously the aim to try and get back there and be a part of that club again because I was there since I was 11 and it's a big part of my life.”
In March 1997, Fowler nabbed an unforgettable last winner against Newcastle. It was Liverpool’s second 7 goal thriller win over the Toon army in twelve calendar months and two of the Premier League’s greatest games.
Throughout his life Fowler has combined roles as a footballer as well as a business role model, displayed tremendously shrewd business acumen whilst amassing a huge property portfolio.
An avid Bluenose, Fowler continues to adored by all and sundry at Liverpool, making him one of the most popular players in Liverpool’s history.

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