Affectionately so-termed by almost all Liverpool supporters, he certainly lives omnipresent in the memories of most Premier League followers.
Some will remember Robbie Fowler for the 163 Premier League goals he scored; thus, securing his position as the 7th highest scorer in the league’s history. Others remember his audacious antics. Whether it was the cream suited ‘Spice Boys’ moment, or the infamous ‘line sniffing’ celebration after equalising in the Merseyside derby, Whatever the occasion, Robbie Fowler was never afraid of the limelight. In fact, he thrived on it.
Those memories sum up Fowler’s ability perfectly. A blend of reliability and cheekiness. An incredible goal scorer with lashings of ability, especially in that left peg, manifested in the biggest memory I have of the player- a 4-minute hat trick against Arsenal in 1994. Legendary. A record only beaten by Sadio Mané in 2015 – a future Liverpool hero.
Curiously, his best seasons came as a youngster. I have recollections of him playing in that delicious emerald and cream away kit of 94/95, the season in which he tallied 25 premier league goals. His goalscoring ability was truly phenomenal during these years. 31 goals in 94/95. A gobsmacking 36 goals in 95/96, his peroxide blonde hair seemingly turning him in to a monster on the pitch, before hitting 31 again in 96/97. He just had that knack for goals.
There’s no doubt our nose-taped man was a lethal finisher. Though you would never have known it if you saw him away from the pitch. He was not incredibly strong, tall, or lightening quick. Not the prototype athlete that we have become accustomed to seeing in the powerful evolution of the Premier League.
Jamie Redknapp articulated these thoughts:
‘’He wasn’t very tall, wasn’t athletic looking, he had funny little legs, but nobody – nobody – could finish like him’’.Jamie Redknapp
on the enigma that is Robbie Fowler
However, playing in an era of perpetual Liverpool struggle. Robbie probably wasn’t as decorated like he deserved to have been. A handful of domestic and European cups looks good at face value. But he didn’t win the trophies that he or his club were longing for. Comparisons can be made to Harry Kane. It’s an absurdity that these players, who operate as some of the best in Europe, lack the titles that they deserve. It’s true that he faced a ridiculous level of competition. Manchester United were close to unstoppable during his best years. Teams like Blackburn, with the likes of Alan Shearer, were also a powerhouse in the league.
It was also a case of what could have been for England. Bear in mind, this was a time when it was extremely hard to receive a call-up to the national side. Shearer, Owen, Sheringham, Cole and Ferdinand. England had a wealth of talent up top, which no doubt infringed on Fowler’s chances of representing England at the highest-level. It was a shame that he could never transfer his goals from club to country.
None of this saddens the Anfield faithful, mind. His name is still sung across the terraces today (and no doubt will be, once we’re allowed back). A Scouse deity. And whilst he will always be emblematic of the club’s past, I’m sure Jurgen Klopp (or any other manager) wouldn’t say no to a youthful Robbie knocking at their doors now.