On this day: Robbie Fowler rejoins Liverpool

On this day: Fowler rejoins Liverpool
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Eight years ago today, Liverpool re-signed Robbie Fowler following stints with Leeds United and Manchester City.

Never rejoin a former club - that is the mindset that is drummed into footballers.

Some, though, ignore that advice. The likes of Robbie Keane, Mark Hughes and Teddy Sheringham to name but three all returned to a familiar haunt during their respective careers.

Another player who made a similar jump eight years ago today was Robbie Fowler, who headed back to where it had all started for him.

At the age of 18 back in 1993, the striker scored on his Liverpool debut during a League Cup tie against Fulham. From that moment on, the frontman never looked back as he went on to score the Premier League's fastest ever hat-trick against Arsenal, as well as winning the Coca-Cola Cup in 1995.

It wouldn't be until 2001 that he won another trophy - three in fact - as the Reds lifted the FA Cup, the League Cup and the UEFA Cup. However, for parts of that campaign, manager Gerard Houllier often preferred Michael Owen and Emile Heskey in attack, which limited Fowler's starting opportunities.

A row with assistant manager Phil Thompson at the start of the next season all but sealed the centre-forward's fate and in November 2001, he was sold to Leeds United for £11m. Injuries hampered his time at Elland Road, just as they did during his three-season spell at Manchester City, all of which made his Anfield return after a five-year absence all the more surprising.

Then Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez justified the decision by saying: "He's got a wealth of experience and gives us more attacking options. He's different to the other strikers we have. We have signed a player with so much passion for this football club and I think he will act as an example to every player here in how much he loves Liverpool.

"I'm not sure I've ever seen a player quite so happy to be joining a club before. He hasn't been signed because he loves the club. He's been signed because he's one of the best goalscorers ever to play in the Premiership and he can score goals for us right now.

"We have signed a player with a passion and a heart for this club that no amount of money can buy. We are close to a very high level right now but with Robbie we can go even higher."

Meanwhile, Fowler himself added: "Since I have left, deep down I have always wanted to come back and it has been a long time but I'm glad to say I'm back now. Leaving was probably one of my biggest regrets I have had in football. I'm chuffed to bits. I mean, I can't really believe it's happened again so I'm ecstatic to be honest."

His second stint would last for 18 months, in which Fowler scored 12 goals, taking his overall tally in a red shirt up to 183 in the process. As his career entered its autumn, he later played for Cardiff City, Blackburn Rovers, North Queensland Fury, Perth Glory and Muangthong United.

Ipswich Town celebrate Marcus Stewart's goal at Anfield on December 10, 2000.
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