Owen was bitten by the "football bug" at a very young age. His father, Terry, was a footballer and had previously played for Everton. As far back as Owen could remember he loved kicking a football round with his Dad and two brothers. It was at this time that he began to show a real talent for football and was bought his first pair of football boots when he was seven years old. As his father had played for Everton, it was only natural Michael grew up being an Everton fan. His favourite player was Gary Lineker and he always insisted that he was Gary when he and his dad had a kick about.
When Owen was only seven his father persuaded the manager of Mold Alexandra to let Michael into his team of 10-year-olds. Michael was younger than most, and very much smaller, but he was soon showing off his "flair" and started in most games becoming known as the club's "secret weapon". He also played for his primary school team in Hawarden, Wales, breaking all local scoring records in his first season. He then attended Hawarden High School, where he played for the school team.
Owen had a highly successful record at Youth level, beating the goal scoring records of Kevin Gallen, and Nick Barmby in the Under-21 international level, although he was only briefly a member of the England Under-21 team (netting on his only appearance in a win over Greece Under-21 at Carrow Road) before he made his début for the senior team in a 2–0 friendly loss to Chile on February 11, 1998. Playing in this game made Owen the youngest player to represent England in the whole of the 20th century at 18 years and 59 days of age.
As of December 11, 2007, Owen has been capped 88 times for England and scored 40 goals: he is fourth in the list of all-time top scorers for the England team, behind Bobby Charlton (49 goals), Gary Lineker (48) and Jimmy Greaves (44). He has also scored a record 26 goals for England in competitive matches (World Cup and European Championship games and the qualifiers for those tournaments) and has been captain for England in 7 matches.
As of December 2007, Owen has never gone more than four international games in a row without scoring a goal. Owen's future as first choice striker for England is uncertain however, due to competition from Wayne Rooneyand fast-developing Theo Walcott amongst others. Owen's lack of action in Fabio Capello's first two England friendlies and Capello's selection of a single striker 4-5-1 formation also support the view that Owen's international opportunities may in future be limited.