I think we’ve established in previous posts that there is a difference between sports people saying they are ‘retiring’ and the same words coming from a regular 9 to 5 worker.
No surprise then that the media have picked up on a statement posted on Michael Owen’s website today. In the post he confirms that at the end of his current season with Stoke City he is bringing the curtain down on his playing career. I like that he says in his statement that:
“I have been very fortunate in that my career has taken me on a journey that like many young players starting out, I could only have dreamt of.”
There have been plenty of commentaries and plaudits from the football world in response. I had to dig around a bit to find out how he has answered the inevitable question a successful 33 year old asks when replacing one buzz for another: What next?
“We are already in talks with Michael about how he can share his international experience with our younger players in the future in an ambassadorial role”.
That seems a fairly modest next step. Beyond that role it seems to me several opportunities may open up in the months and years to come. There may be openings in the arena of sports presenting (following in the footsteps of Gary Lineker or Sue Barker); motivational speaking (John Amaechi springs to mind) or even politics (Tanni Grey Thompson or Sebastian Coe have done okay for themselves).
It will be interesting to see where Mr Owen’s journey takes him in 18 months’ time. Wherever he is situated I hope his post retirement role brings him as much job satisfaction as his footballing career has done