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The name Robbie Fowler will never be forgotten by Liverpool fans, who cherish memories of the striker netting countless goals for the Anfield side. The Kop worshipped the ground the crafty marksman walked on, and the now 36-year-old attacker has had a glorious career playing on Merseyside, for Leeds, Manchester City and 26 times for England. Fowler has a glittering footballing CV, but as he comes to the end of his career he now plays for Muang Thong United. Who? I hear you ask.
Muang Thong United are Thailand’s current champions and Fowler signed for the club on Thursday July 7th, becoming by far the most high profile player to ply his trade in the country. As his turn of pace fades, the injuries pile up and the knees are swollen and sore, one would be forgiven for asking – “Why not retire now with dignity?”
The answer? The Scouser merely loves the game too much. He is used to fans outside his house singing his name; he needs double glazed windows to quieten their praise. However, he is more than likely not being paid very much money to don the red and black of the Asian side. However money is no object for the hitman, as he has covered his financial bases through a clever investment in property off the field.
Fowler, wife Kerrie and kids Madison, Jaya, and Mackenzie are set for life, as unlike many a retired professional footballer who has struggled to make a living following leaving the beautiful game, the Liverpudlian is valued at a staggering £31 million and owns over 100 properties. The fact that the marksman has shown smarts off the pitch has meant he and his family can do what they want, and right now, whilst his body allows him, the number nine wants to play football and score goals.
The Thai league is lucky to have him, as was the Australian A-League when he graced the fields of Queensland Fury and Perth Glory, and hats off to him for unashamedly doing what he loves. With player power in effect in the modern game, mercenaries joining Manchester City, Malaga and every other bit part club with a wealthy owner, it is refreshing to see a true football legend playing the game he has grown up with merely for the enjoyment of ninety minutes, rather than to chase the all powerful dollar.
The chant ‘We all live in a Robbie Fowler house” echoed around the City of Manchester Stadium on a regular basis during his time at Eastlands, and it true that unlike other footballers who have lost significant amounts of money in the housing market, the Liverpool hero has invested wisely. A row of council flats in Oldham and Airdrie have made Fowler his fortunes, whilst others invest in London and Abu Dhabi to no avail or return.
The game in the Far East has a new cult figure, the kids in the streets of Bangkok will want to grow up to be just like their favourite English forward and he will do a world of good for the game in the region. Well done Robbie Fowler, and look out defences in the Thai Premier League.