This is an archived post from Wishes on Eyelashes, a previous incarnation of this site.
Normally at 2.42 pm on a Saturday afternoon Robbie Fowler is sat in the stands of The City of Manchester Stadium, dreaming of playing football again. Today he found himself stood on the pitch in front of 44,000 fans scoring the winner in a fierce Manchester derby.
There have been many turning points in Fowler’s blighted career. Being pushed head-first (albeit out the back door) out of Anfield in 2001 was certainly the biggest, and something he never seems to have quite come to terms with.
Nowadays Fowler is more famed for his exploits in the housing market than on the football pitch. In recent months his name has been seldom uttered on the terraces in Manchester, save for the now infamous ‘We all live in a Robbie Fowler house’ chant (to the tune of ‘Yellow Submarine‘).
It is said the once boy-wonder of Liverpool now owns over a hundred different properties, although the man himself isn’t counting. He is the fourth richest footballer in the Premiership, with assets combining to a figure around £28million.
But all the money and property in the world cannot give Fowler the one thing he desires more than anything, reclaiming the footballing form and glory that he once had.
The dream, however, could have been already long over. The news of yet another major injury setback, this time a back problem, was too much for Fowler who wanted to give up the game altogether. Ironically enough it was his manager Stuart Pearce (then assistant to Kevin Keegan) who stuck by him and got him to change his mind.
Fast-forward six months and the light at the end of the tunnel has proved to be more than just a fading flicker. A hat-trick in midweek to seal a perfect comeback against Cup battlers Scunthorpe set the wheels in motion.
How fitting then that Manchester City’s next game should be against their Old Trafford rivals, one of Fowler’s most predatory opponents.
Stuart Pearce was keen not to jump the gun on Fowler, despite much press coverage. Starting with Vassell and Andy Cole up front, City fought to a comfortable 2-0 lead at the break, before Van Nistelrooy’s poaching set-up an undeserved nervous finish for the Eastland fans.
You couldn’t have asked for a more perfect scenario for Fowler. With nothing to lose against his old foes he duly rekindled a bit of that old magic to fire in a clinical winner.
As he stood triumphant, boasting his presence in front of the United fans, the future looked rosy again for the forgotten Scouser. His best days may be behind him, but like so many other veterans in the Premiership, he hasn’t lost that magic touch.