On 14 December 1979, future Liverpool star and Ballon d'Or winner Michael Owen was born in the English city of Chester.
Owen signed a youth contract with Liverpool in 1991, then jumped to the first team in 1996. A prolific striker, he netted 18 league goals in his first full season, earning honors as joint top scorer and and being named the PFA Young Player of the Year. After winning additional golden boots in 1998 and 1999, he was instrumental in Liverpool's successful League Cup, FA Cup, and UEFA Cup runs in 2000-01, leading to him being named the 2001 European Footballer of the Year.
The success drew the attention of Real Madrid, who signed him in August 2004 for a transfer fee of £8 million. But despite an impressive scoring record, he never settled in Spain and moved to Newcastle in August 2005 for a fee of £16 million.
His four seasons with Newcastle were hampered by injuries so that, in his second season there, he made only three appearances. In all, he scored 30 goals in 79 appearances for Newcastle, but the club was relegated in 2009, prompting Owen to make another move, this time to Manchester United, his current club.