Sitting at Elland Road in November 2001, speaking to the press for the first time since his surprise move from Liverpool for £11m, Robbie Fowler cut an uncharacteristically withdrawn figure.
He had become known as ‘God’ to his adoring support on the Kop following his heroics at Anfield during which he had scored 171 goals in 330 appearances.
He began his career, famously, scoring five against Fulham in the League Cup in September 1993 and would go on to score 13 goals in 12 appearances during what still registers as one of the most incredible starts to a top-flight career in history.
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Eight years later he would score what appeared to be his final goals for Liverpool as part of a trademark hat-trick in a 4-1 defeat of Leicester City in October 2001.
Goals have a habit of endearing a player to any set of supporters, however, it would not be wide of the mark to contend that what set the Toxteth-native apart from his contemporaries was his typically Scouse lack of pretensions; his mischievous nature belying an unassuming and refreshingly humble character, who seemed to transcend his superstar-status.
In short, what was so atypical when it came to Fowler was that, remarkably for a player of such inalienable talent, he seemed so akin to those fans who would pack out the terraces at Anfield every week to cheer him and his team-mates to victory.
However, after three seasons of unsurmountable genius in front of goal, in which he had risen to become recognised as one of the most talented forwards of his generation by scoring over 30 goals in each campaign - aRead on liverpoolecho.co.uk