No. 42 – Robbie Fowlers Anfield Return
The TIA Panel have voted Robbie Fowlers unexpected return “home” to Liverpool on 27 January 2006 in at Number 42 in the TIA Days We’ll Remember all our Lives Countdown. Last year on TIA, Matt Ladson told the Robbie Fowler story in pictures and commented :
“The story of this legendary striker features so many goals, so many memories, so many highlights, controversies, awards and records it would be an understatement to describe it as a ‘˜colourful’ career!
From the memorable goal against Villa in the FA Cup semi final in 1996; the Brann Bergen training ground strike; putting Gary Neville on his backside then embarrassing Schmeichel at his near past in Cantona’s return at Old Trafford; the goals in the two 4-3 thrillers against Newcastle; the Birmingham and Alaves Final goals in the treble cup year; his smashing volley at Leicester in 2001 before he was sold by Houllier; the five goals against Fulham on his home debut; the Merseyside derby winner in front of the Kop and the faster ever Premiership hat trick against Arsenal in 1994.
The player who scored 100 goals for the club faster than the great Ian Rush; the player who won the PFA Player of the Year in 1995 and 1996; the player who finished top scorer in his first four seasons – scoring 18 in his first year and over 30 in the following three until injuries hit. The same player who, in 1997, took a fine after showing his support for the Liverpool Dockers with a message on his t-shirt, and then won a UEFA Fair Play award after admitting that he had not been fouled by David Seaman at Highbury after a penalty had been given.
The man who left in 2001 but said in his autobiography he felt there was ‘œunfinished business’ at Liverpool…..”
And unfinished business there was, Fowler returned “home” to Liverpool on 27 January 2006 rejoining Liverpool from Manchester City on a free transfer, signing a contract until the end of the season.
Fowler had scored 171 goals in 330 appearances for Liverpool before joining Leeds for Â£11m in November 2001, as news of his return spread among fans the sense of shock and joy was felt as Rafa’s statement read ” I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a player quite so happy to be joining a club. People talk about having a lot of money to buy players but we’ve just signed a player with a passion and a heart for this club that no amount of money can buy. But he has not been signed because he loves the club, he has been signed because he is one of the best goalscorers ever to play in the Premiership and he can score goals for us right now. We are close to a very high level but with Robbie we can go even higher.”
Fowler later proclaimed he ‘œfelt like a kid waking up on Christmas morning’ – a true Liverpool legend!