Owen reveals he was scared to be a pundit at Newcastle game

Michael Owen asked Amazon to remove him from punditry duty at Newcastle as he FEARED for his safety but wishes he could return and talk to fans… although he admits he still hasn’t spoken to Alan Shearer after fallout

  • Michael Owen asked Amazon to remove him from duty at a Newcastle game 
  • The ex-Newcastle United striker admitted that he feared for his safety
  • Owen left Newcastle after the club were relegated in the 2008-09 season
  • Alan Shearer and Owen haven’t spoken since a spat on social media back in 2019

Michael Owen has revealed that he asked Amazon to remove him from punditry duty at a recent Newcastle home match because he feared for his safety.

The former England striker was the club’s record signing when he joined for £16.8million from Real Madrid in 2005.

He left four years later after the Magpies were relegated under interim boss Alan Shearer, and the one-time friends have since become involved in a public falling-out.

Michael Owen (left) admits he didn’t want to cover Newcastle as he feared for his safety

Michael Owen played for Newcastle for four years before leaving after their 2009 relegation

Owen has been talking to Sportsmail this week to mark 20 years since he won the Ballon d’Or.

And the 42-year-old spoke emotively when it came to the subject of his relationship with Newcastle’s supporters, admitting he would like to return to St James’ Park.

’As soon as I left, everyone hated me. But I never, ever felt that when I was there – I felt love, be that around the city, the pub or wherever,’ says Owen.

‘I was supposed to do the game against Norwich last month. I phoned Amazon and said, “I don’t really want to go, I’m scared for my safety”, so they changed my game.

‘I wish it was different. I would love to ask the fans, “Why don’t you like me?”, and have the chance to give my side.

‘Of course, I get some of the reasons. The worst thing I did was buy a helicopter for my family to travel up and down. It’s a s*** perception.

After a promising start at Newcastle, Owen’s career at the club was impacted by injuries

‘People had this impression I was flying home after training each day. I wasn’t. I loved the area. But perception wise, it was an own goal. I would change that.

‘Then there were the injuries. I never wanted to be injured, but the one that set it all off was putting my boot in for Newcastle at Spurs on New Year’s Eve in 2005 and breaking my foot. I then went to the World Cup and did my knee. It was a nightmare – for me, the fans, the club.

‘I was gutted, because when I first signed we were flying. We were bottom of the league but shot up the table. Me and Al (Shearer) were scoring loads of goals and loving life.

‘I know I’ve said I wanted to join Liverpool instead of Newcastle. I did, I won’t hide that. The same way Alan wanted to sign for his team, Newcastle, ahead of Man United.

Alan Shearer accused Owen of not putting himself through the pain barrier in Newcastle’s final game of the 2008-09 season

‘But if I didn’t want to go to Newcastle that much, I wouldn’t have bloody signed. I still chose Newcastle over Real Madrid. I wanted to play with Shearer in front of those fans, and I have some great memories. Scoring two against Sunderland, banging them in with (Mark) Viduka and (Oba) Martins under Kevin Keegan.

‘But the last season was a disaster, for everyone. It could have been so different, and I really wish it had of been.’

Owen has still not spoken to Shearer since trading barbs on social media two years ago. 

Shearer believes Owen did not put himself through the pain barrier to start in Newcastle’s final game of the season at Aston Villa on the day they were relegated. Owen maintains he would have started but was being honest when telling his boss he was limited by a groin injury.

‘I know what Alan thinks and he knows what I think,’ says Owen. ‘But he’s stubborn and I’m stubborn. I lived in his house when I first signed for Newcastle, we played golf every day. I was big mates with him. But he started something that I thought was wrong.

Owen and Shearer have not spoken since exchanging words on social media back in 2019

‘I like Alan, as it happens. I know what would happen if we were in a room. We’d shake hands, have a little stare at each other. 

‘We’d need 10 minutes to each say our piece and he would still believe what he believes and I would still tell him you’re barking up the wrong tree. We’d stubbornly agree to disagree and have a pint together.

‘But if he thinks I was pulling out of a game against Aston Villa… I was born to play big games. I know why he thinks that. Do you think he’s going to look in the mirror and say, “That was my fault, I was a bad manager”?

‘He has to blame someone, I would be the same. I used to get in the car on a Saturday with my dad when I hadn’t scored and say my team-mates were at fault.

’I don’t blame Alan for thinking Newcastle being relegated was nothing to do with him. Find scapegoats, it’s great for the mind. I used to do it all the time.

‘But deep down I think he knows he’s wrong to think that. He just won’t admit it.’

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