Football: Canadian Owen's Keen to Get Going for England.(Sport)

Sunday Mirror (London, England), May 19, 2002 | Go to article overview

Football: Canadian Owen's Keen to Get Going for England.(Sport)


Byline: ANTHONY CLAVANE

OWEN Hargreaves is champing at the bit to do his patriotic duty and solve England's midfield injury crisis.

Although the Bayern Munich star was born in Canada, has a Welsh mother and is eligible for German residency, he has sworn allegiance to St George and is determined to come to the aid of England.

With Steven Gerrard and Kieron Dyer out and Nicky Butt doubtful, the wonderkid could be plunged into action for the opening World Cup match against Sweden.

"I never dreamed something like this would ever happen," said Hargreaves. "Never in my wildest dreams did I believe I would be playing for England in a World Cup.

"I did, after all, grow up in Canada. But I still have my English background and most of my family still live in England. If I'm called to play I won't be overawed. If I was overawed I wouldn't be here, would I?

"I have belief in myself. I don't know where I'll play or if I'll play but I'm used to playing in the centre of midfield. But if I'm asked to play right-back I'll be happy to do so.

"But it would be nice to get the injured players back fit and in the side."

This seems highly unlikely. With Gerrard missing and Dyer out of the early games, the two-footed, athletic young star will almost certainly get at least one game in the Far East.

This will give great pleasure to his mum, Margaret, who is from Rhyl in North Wales and runs a clinic in Calgary.

She broke the news to him about his World Cup call-up in unconventional style.

"I listened to my messages on my mobile and I heard my mum singing down the phone! She was singing 'You're in the squad, you're in the squad'.

"She was on holiday and I don't know how she found out first but she did. …

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