(Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)
"God"—that's what Robbie Fowler was known as to the Anfield faithful.
That single statement should make it perfectly clear just how high Robbie was regarded.
He is the fourth-highest goalscorer in the history of the Premier League and scored more than 30 goals for three consecutive seasons. He was also voted PFA Young Player of the Year for two consecutive years in 1995 and 1996.
Robbie holds the record for the fastest hat-trick in Premier League history, in only four minutes, 33 seconds. Arsenal were put to the sword on that day.
Probably the most natural finisher I've ever seen, Robbie was outstanding with both feet as well as comfortable in the air. Never one to rely on pace, he was all about movement and awareness.
He scored on his debut in Liverpool's League Cup win over Fulham and scored all five goals in the second leg at Anfield two weeks later, making him only the fourth player in Liverpool's history to score five in a senior fixture.
This was only a sign of things to come.
Fowler claimed the match ball with his first league hat-trick in only his fifth league game, Southampton were the unlucky victims. Robbie went on to score 12 goals in his first 13 games.
Despite an outstanding scoring record, Fowler struggled to break into the England starting line-up, mainly due to the preference of Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham as a partnership.
A knee ligament injury in late 1997 caused Fowler to miss the remainder of the season and the subsequent 1998 World Cup. While Robbie was out, youth team prospect, Michael Owen was given his chance...we all know he he fared!
Fowler was now considered third choice striker behind Owen and, the recently acquired, Emile Heskey. Despite this Robbie had a very successful 2000-01 season, scoring 17 goals and lifting three cups.
Fowler's expectation of first team football led to clashes with Gerard Houllier and Phil Thompson. This is turn led to a transfer to Leeds.
After a decent start to his Leeds career, Robbie aggravated an old hip injury, causing him to miss a chunk of the 2002-03 season and even then he struggled for form and match fitness.
But his Leeds goalscoring record still reads 30 games, 14 goals. Not bad for an injured, out of form player.
A transfer to Manchester City didn't bring a change of luck and his time at the club was marred by the same issues he had at Leeds.
Somehow, Fowler ended up back at Liverpool and he was greeted like "God." Fans rejoiced.
While not a regular during his two seasons back at the club, Fowler scored some valuable goals.
He eventually joined Cardiff, then Blackburn before moving to his current club, Australian side, North Queensland Fury.
The young Robbie Fowler was a phenom and if he had kept up with the pace he set, we would be talking about Robbie Fowler the legend, as opposed to Robbie Fowler the Liverpool legend.
That slight difference ironically makes a world of difference.
Injury, and the emergence of Michael Owen, stopped Fowler becoming the world beater he had the talent to be.