STOKE CITY manager Tony Pulis has added to the tributes being paid to Michael Owen as he prepares to call time on his illustrious playing career.
The legendary striker will officially retire once the Potters have ended their Premier League campaign against Southampton at the St. Mary’s Stadium this afternoon.
Owen has spent this season with Stoke and although he has only been restricted to just one FA Cup start and seven appearances in the league as a substitute Pulis has nothing but praise for the 33 year old.
“He’s had a fantastic career,” the manager said. “He hasn’t played as many games here as he would have hoped and will disappointed about that, but he has been brilliant in the dressing room.
“The longer the season has gone on, the more he has blossomed, the more he has come out with the group as well. They have been a lot closer to Michael and Michael to the group over the past couple of months.
“Michael will be part of the squad at Southampton. He’s been fantastic around the place; a really, really good lad.
“People are talking about David Beckham’s career, but Michael’s career has been absolutely outstanding as well. There will be a send-off for him at Southampton at the end of an absolutely wonderful career.”
Owen isn’t the only man whose Stoke career is coming to an end this weekend as long serving Director of Football John Rudge is also heading into retirement after more than a decade of distinguished service at the Club.
Pulis added: “I think the world of ‘Rudgey’. He has been a very good servant to this area, firstly with Port Vale where he did a wonderful job and they still have a very high respect for him.
“And at this football club for the past 14 or 15 years he has conducted himself in a wonderful manner.
“I expect him to pop back in and see us at the Football Club and he will be very welcome, from boardroom level all the way down.”