SLOUGH Town FC legend Lloyd Owusu admits to being very fortunate and privileged after announcing his retirement from football.

Owusu, famous for his ‘raise the roof’ goal celebrations, enjoyed a 20-year playing career in both England and Australia.

He began life in football with The Rebels back in 1996 and brought the curtain down on his career with Sydney-based Hakoah FC last Thursday.

The striker announced his retirement via Instagram last week and tributes have been pouring in for the Ghanaian international.

Owusu said: “I’ve been very fortunate and privileged to have been able to live my childhood dream as a professional footballer.

“But as they say, all good things come to an end. As much as it hurts me to say, I’ve decided to call time on my career.

“It is something that I will never forget and will treasure all my life.

“I want to thank my mum, dad and two sisters for encouraging me to strive to be the man I am today.

“Also to my mentors, Danny Bailey and Brian McDermott, who have both guided me from day one.

“I was also privileged to play for my motherland of Ghana at international level and that was truly a dream come true.

“A big thank you to all my ex-teammates and fans that I came across, you all made me feel welcomed at every club.

“Now it’s time to concentrate on the next part of my career of coaching and giving experience and knowledge back to the youth of today.” Owusu started his career with Slough at youth and reserves team level before breaking into the first team in September 1996 under McDermott.

He made his debut against Bromsgrove Rovers and marked his first full start in style with four goals in a 6–0 win against Telford United.

Owusu was sold to Brentford, then managed by Ron Noades, in 1998 for a fee of £25,000.

At Slough, he was often deployed as an impact substitute and had pace and strength in abundance.

Owusu was an instant success at Brentford and led the scoring charts in Division Three (now Football League Two) with 24 goals.

In the 2001/02 season, he helped the Bees reach the Division Two play-off final at the Millennium Stadium.

Brentford lost the final 2-0 to Stoke City and Owusu was soon released. He scored 76 goals for the club in two spells.

Championship club Sheffield Wednesday then took the chance to sign Owusu on a free transfer, and again he became an instant hit.

He earned the nickname of ‘one-touch Owusu’ when heading past keeper Paddy Kenny with his first touch in an Owls shirt.

The striker was signed on a loan deal by Reading during the 2003/04 season, and he made the move permanent in the summer of 2004 when Steve Coppell was in charge.

Owusu was re-signed by Brentford boss Martin Allen on a free in summer 2005, and ex-Bees and Reading teammate and former Chelsea star Steve Sidwell said the striker had a big influence on his career.

“As a young kid walking into that Brentford changing room he took me under his wing,” he recalled, before joking: “Lloyd had a blinding career and he should be proud of the amount of flukey goals he scored.

“It was great to play with him and share so many memories. Well done and best of luck for the future.” Owusu earned his first cap for the Ghana national team in 2005 and was hopeful of playing in the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

It was the first World Cup which Ghana had qualified for, but he tore a groin muscle in a friendly against VFB Stuttgart that April.

As a result, Owusu could not finish the remainder of that season and was no longer in contention to play for his country.

Owusu then signed for Yeovil Town in July 2007 on a free before a similar move to Cheltenham Town in September 2008.

In March 2009, he was allowed to leave Cheltenham after the club were forced to cut costs and he joined Brighton & Hove Albion on loan.

Owusu scored seven goals in 14 appearances for Brighton to ensure they avoided relegation from League One. As a result, the striker was named as the League One Player of the Month for April 2009.

Owusu took on a new challenge when signing for A-League club Adelaide United on a two-year deal in June 2009. However, he was severely hampered after contracting swine flu and pneumonia and struggled to make an impact at Adelaide.

After a short spell at Chinese Super League club Guangzhou Evergrande, Owusu had his contract terminated by mutual consent in December 2010.

The Ghanaian spent pre-season with Cypriot Second Division club AEP Paphos in the summer of 2011.

Owusu made a handful of appearances for Barnet and Hayes & Yeading United (on loan) but left the Bees when his contract expired.

He re-signed for Slough in February 2012 to try and help manager and ex-teammate Steve Bateman achieve promotion.

In total, Owusu made 65 appearances for the Rebels and scored 20 goals. His last came in a 1-0 win against Northwood.

Slough Town general secretary, Kay Lathey has also paid tribute to Rebels’ historic striker.

She said: “Everyone at Slough wishes Lloyd the very best for the future. His really is a story of the local boy done good.

“He came through the youth ranks at Slough and went on to achieve great things within the game. It is stories like his that give local kids something to aspire to.

“Lloyd is a real character and it was great to have him back a couple of seasons ago, albeit for a few games. It sounds like his contribution to the game will continue through his coach and promotional work out in Australia.” Owusu returned to Australia in March 2012 to join FFSA Premier League club White City Woodville before a move to Hakoah.

‘Raise the roof’ Owusu ended his career with a total of 542 appearances and 194 goals.

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