4 Jun 2009

Michael Owen wins damages

7:20 am on 4 June 2009

The English footballer Michael Owen has received a public apology and undisclosed damages from a British newspaper which had claimed that his career was over.

Owen launched a libel action at London's High Court against the Daily Express newspaper after it published an article last month headlined: "Unwanted Toon striker at a cross roads, Finished at 29?"

That was accompanied by another piece which said: "Owen ready for sad finale,"

Owen's lawyer John Kelly told the court these incredulous allegations are entirely without foundation and were obviously extremely distressing, hurtful and damaging to the claimant.

Express Newspapers agreed to pay damages and Owen's legal costs, accepted that the claims were false and apologised.

29-year-old Owen is out of contract at Newcastle after a rocky season for both him and the club, who were relegated to the Championship after 16 years in the top flight.

The club's temporary manager Alan Shearer has admitted he does not know where the striker will be playing next season.

Owen has not played for England since March 2008.