Owen becomes club's youngest goalscorer

06 May 1997

Rarely has the emergence of a young player caused such fervour among the Kop's rank and file as when Michael Owen burst onto the scene.

Having excelled in our first ever FA Youth Cup win in 1995-96, fans were itching to see the boy wonder in senior colours.

They had to wait almost a year as Roy Evans stuck with established forwards Stan Collymore and Robbie Fowler.

But, with the latter suspended and Liverpool's title charge on the wane, he finally chanced his arm in the penultimate game of the season at Selhurst Park.

With 58 minutes on the clock and his side 2-0 down, Evans withdrew Patrik Berger.

Sixteen minutes later Owen, in front of 20,016 lucky punters, had bagged the first of his 158 Liverpool goals. Aged just 17 years and 143 days, the strike made him the club's youngest ever goalscorer (beating Jimmy Melia's 1955 goal against Nottingham Forest when he was 18 years and 46 days old).

Despite the teenager's best efforts, the Reds were unable to complete a remarkable comeback – and it proved to be the final nail in their Championship coffin.

Owen went on to top score in his first full season before setting the 1998 World Cup alight with a wonder-strike against Argentina.

For six years and 297 games he was Liverpool's talisman before heading to Spain with Real Madrid.

The highlight of Owen's Anfield career came in 2001 when he was crowned European Footballer of the Year after firing the Reds to a unique treble.