Liverpool Lore: A look back at the remarkable Robbie Fowler

Robbie Fowler was one of the most gifted strikers to wear the Red shirt.
Robbie Fowler
Robbie Fowler / Michael Steele/GettyImages

When you take a look at the greatest forwards to ever play for Liverpool, you will come across some very incredible players ranging from Kenny Dalglish to Fernando Torres and everything in between.

One of those names who is firmly entrenched as one of the best players, let alone forwards, in club history, is the affectionately known "God" himself, Robbie Fowler.

The Beginning

Fowler was born and raised in Liverpool as an Everton fan. Despite his Toffees fandom, Fowler would sign on to join the Liverpool Youth team when he was 17. He would go on to make his first team debut for the Reds about a year later as he scored in the League Cup win over Leeds in late September 1993.

It was clear from the start that Fowler had gifts that a lot of players could only dream of, and he had it at a very young age. His technical ability would go on to serve him very well throughout his illustrious career.

Fowler truly stamped his authority at the club when, in only his fifth league game, he netted a hat-trick against Southampton.

There was no adjustment period needed for the young Liverpudlian, as he had already bagged a ridiculous 12 goals in his first 13 matches for the club.

This iteration of Liverpool featured John Barnes and Ian Rush, both on the wrong side of 30 and a young up and coming Steve McManaman. It was a transitional time of sorts, one that would lend itself to a player of Fowler's status to take the reigns and drive the side forward.

At the conclusion of that season, it was Ian Rush with 19 and Fowler with 18 goals that led the Reds by a large amount.

Taking the step to World Class

The following season saw Rush sit firm at 19 goals again, but it was Fowler that exploded to the next level with 31 goals across all competitions. He brought an attractive and dynamic playing style to the side that lifted the players around him.

He played in all 57 matches that season including the League Cup triumph. The peak of Fowler's powers was something to behold as he surpassed the 30-goal threshold every season through 1997.

He formed a dynamic strike partnership with Stan Collymore who dubbed Fowler as the best player he ever played with.

The emergence of Michael Owen in the late 90's meant that the new new century would see a Fowler-Owen partnership spearheading the Reds attack.

Treble Winning Season

The 2000/01 treble season at Anfield was a unique one for the then 25-year old Fowler. While he scored 17 goals and was named Captain for any match he started, he was bumped from the attack more often than not for Owen and Emile Heskey.

However, despite this, he Captained the side in the League Cup Final where he scored from open play and in the penalty shootout before the Reds emerged victorious and Fowler raised the trophy.

Robbie Fowler, Gerard Houllier, Sami Hyypia, Steven Gerrard
Liverpool`s French coach Gerard Houllier (2nd L) F / MARTYN HARRISON/GettyImages

This was by far the most team success in a single season since Fowler had joined the Liverpool ranks in the early-nineties. While he did not start the FA Cup or UEFA Cup Finals, he played vital roles off the bench in both.

In somewhat controversial circumstances, Fowler found himself becoming more and more ostracized by then Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier. Fowler did not want to leave the club, but the Owen-Heskey duo meant he had become expendable.

He moved to Leeds for £12 million as he wanted to become a regular starter once again. The following years would see Fowler have solid production, but he did not touch his Liverpool form as injuries and other factors slowed him down.

The Liverpool Return

In January of 2006, Fowler made a triumphant return to his boyhood club when he signed on as a free agent.

He would score 5 times in 14 appearance down the stretch for Liverpool. It was also during this time that he passed Kenny Dalglish as the clubs all-time top goal scorer. This earned him another one-year contract with Liverpool.

The 2006-07 season was a bit of a farewell tour of sorts for Fowler and the Liverpool faithful. While he was clearly a shell of himself at this point, his goal scoring instincts never wavered. He only scored 7 goals from 23 total appearances, but he spread those goals among the Premier League (3), Champions League (2) and League Cup (2).

He made an appearance in extra time of the Champions League Semifinal triumph as a late substitute. He did not get to take his penalty as the Reds secured victory before his scheduled fifth spot.

When you look back at Robbie Fowler's time with Liverpool, you'll see four trophies, all of the cup variety, and a barrage of outstanding goals.

He was confident scoring any kind of goal with either foot and his flexibility to drop deeper and link play together or put himself in attacking areas meant he was a menace for defenders.

He played 369 times for Liverpool and scored 183 goals to go along with 50 assists. He is seventh on the Reds top goalscorers list all-time. Fowler bridged the gap between the incredible 80's-90's sides to the eventual 2005 European champions.

It wasn't always rosy, but at the height of his powers, there were few in the world that could do what he could on a football pitch. He is firmly established in the Liverpool all-time hierarchy.