The Queen has died at the age of 96, Buckingham Palace confirmed in a statement on Thursday.
The country’s longest-serving monarch has died aged 96, after being taken ill and placed "under medical supervision" at lunchtime on Thursday. A national period of mourning has now began, and tributes have poured in as millions remember the incredible service the Queen gave to her country.
Queen Elizabeth II was a huge advocate for sport, and took a special liking to football, as it was rumoured that she supported both Arsenal and West Ham United over the years. But Her Majesty had one favourite England player in particular, as revealed by former Three Lions boss Sven-Goran Eriksson.
Eriksson managed England between 2001 and 2006, and was in charge for the 'golden generation'. The squad was packed full of stars, and it's a mystery how they didn't win anything.
The squad had many admirers, and the Queen was one of them, although she favoured one star in particular for a unique reason. During Eriksson's time in charge, he was invited to a royal reception with the Queen, and she revealed that she was a huge fan of Michael Owen.
Eriksson was stunned as he expected the Queen to pick out David Beckham as her favourite. But instead, she went for Owen, who remains the last British player to win the Ballon d'Or.
Speaking on the 'Sacked in the Morning' podcast, Eriksson said: "I was invited to lunch with The Queen with about another 10 people. At a certain point, I asked her if she liked football.
"I asked her for her favourite player or team. I thought she would've said Beckham. 'Michael Owen is my favourite player,' she said. I asked why and she said: 'He looks so clean'. That was the answer I got and we didn't go on with that discussion."
Owen burst onto the scene as a youngster, and was one of the greatest ever talents to come through the England squad. However, injuries plagued his career, although it was still a memorable one.
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