‘I was close to joining Liverpool but it didn’t happen – it’s my biggest regret’
Lee Bowyer was in the middle of a medical at Liverpool before later rejecting a move to the Premier League giants – a decision the ex-England international said was his ‘biggest regret’ in football
09:30, 19 NOV 2023
Updated09:34, 19 NOV 2023
Former Leeds United star Lee Bowyer admitted that he rejected a move to Liverpool despite being halfway through a medical to join the club
Michael Owen scored 28 goals for Liverpool in the 2001/02 season (Image: Getty Images)
Former Leeds United star Lee Bowyer admitted that he rejected a move to Liverpool despite being halfway through a medical to join the club.
The 46-year-old, who is the current manager of the Montserrat national team, played a majority of his career in the Premier League as he opened up about his decision to turn down a move to Liverpool – a decision he later called his “biggest regret” in football.
The former midfielder was pursued by then-Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier in 2002 as Jamie Carragher admitted that the Frenchman “loved” the way he played. “I was very close [to joining Liverpool] – I was halfway through a medical but it just didn’t feel right for me at the time,” Bowyer exclusively told MNF Retro.
“That is my biggest regret in football not going to Liverpool at that time,” he admitted. “If I could’ve turned the clock back I would’ve gone. Looking back, I made the wrong decision. I knew my time was coming to an end at Leeds due to a few things behind the scenes that didn’t sit well with me so I knew it was my time to go.”
The former Charlton man pointed out that the distance from his family played a key role in his decision not to join Liverpool as he ended signing for boyhood club West Ham on a six-month deal before joining Newcastle on a free transfer in 2003.
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He played in a Champions League semi-final for the club
Bowyer spent seven years at Leeds United (Image: Allsport)
He added: “I thought doing another five years up north being a long way away from my family after doing six years at Leeds didn’t sit right but after all that I ended up going to Newcastle which is even further away, so it makes no sense!
During his appearance on MNF Retro where he was alongside both Gary Neville and Carragher, the punditry duo agreed that Leeds should have won silverware during Bowyer’s stint with the club. “We were a good side that a lot of teams underestimated,” Bowyer said. “We didn’t have as much technical ability as some other teams but there wasn’t much in it when we played the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United.
He later said he wished he played for the Premier League giants
He declined a move to Liverpool in 2002 (Image: AFP via Getty Images)
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He lamented the depth of his Leeds teams as a reason why they didn’t achieve what many thought they should have. “I think we did so well was because we surprised teams with our energy and hunger. Having a young side was key to why we did so well. We didn’t win things as we ran out of steam – we didn’t have a massive squad.”