Michael Owen: who is dad of Love Island contestant Gemma, why daughter entered 2022 villa, and net worth

Viewers have predicted that Gemma and her famous father could be the new ‘I was in Blazin’ Squad’ that Marcel Somerville became known for in his season

Love it or hate it, Love Islandis back on our TV screens once again and, as has become standard for the dating show, features a contestant who boasts something of a claim to fame - Gemma Owen, daughter of former professional footballerMichael Owen.

With the new series having officially kicked off on Monday (6 June) evening, Gemma’s presence in the villa was something of a talking point online, with many on Twitter discussing her famous father.

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But who exactly is Michael Owen? This is what you need to know.

Who is Michael Owen?

Owen, 42, is an English former professional footballer who played for teams like Liverpool and Real Madrid, as well as for the England national team.

He was born in Chester, Cheshire, on 14 December 1979, to mother Jeanette and father Terry, who was also a professional footballer who played for clubs like Chester City and Everton.

Owned signed a professional contract with Liverpool when he was 17 and on 6 May 1997 scored on his Liverpool debut in a match against Wimbledon at Selhurst Park.

Liverpool’s Michael Owen tries to take the ball past Fulham’s Martin Djetou during the Premier League match at Loftus Road in west London 23 November 2002 (Photo: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

He played with Liverpool from 1996 to 2004, Real Madrid from 2004 to 2005, Newcastle United from 2005 to 2009, Manchester United from 2009 to 2012 and Stoke City from 2012 to 2013.

Owen is the sixth all time top scorer for the England team, and England’s second highest goalscorer in competitive international matches, behind the likes of Wayne Rooney. He played for England at the 1998, 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups and the 2000 and 2004 UEFA European Championships.

In 2013, Owen revealed that he would be retiring from football, when he said: “It is with an immense amount of pride that I am announcing my intention to retire.”

He added: “I have been very fortunate in that my career has taken me on a journey I could only have dreamed of.”

Since retiring, Owen regularly appeared as a sports pundit and commentator. He has also become involved in breeding and owning racehorses.

Michael Owen looks on prior to the Premier League match between Leeds United and Aston Villa at Elland Road on March 10, 2022 in Leeds, England (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Owen met his future wife, Louise Bosnall, when they were at primary school in 1984. The pair got engaged on Valentine’s Day in 2004, and married on 24 June 2005.

Prior to their marriage, the couple welcomed their daughter, Gemma Rose, on 1 May 2003. They then had their son, James Michael, on 6 February 2006, their third child, Emily May, on 29 October 2007 and their fourth child, Jessica, on 26 February 2010.

It has been reported that Owen has an estimated net worth of $50 million.

Who is his daughter Gemma?

Gemma Owen is Owen’s daughter and is one of the original line up for the new season of Love Island 2022.

Gemma is 19-year-old and is an international dressage rider who has competed in the field for Great Britain since she was 11.

She is also a business owner who launched her brand OG Beachwear earlier in the year.

Gemma Owen is part of the original lineup for the new season of Love Island (Photo: ITV)

When it comes to relationships, Gemma said: “I will always go for what I want.

“But, at the same time, I’m not going to mess up something for someone who is in a proper relationship or get in the way of a couple if they have a genuine connection.

“I wouldn’t do anything to another girl that I wouldn’t be happy with them doing to me.”

Following the first episode of the new season that aired on Monday (6 June) evening, reaction to Gemma’s presence in the villa has been mixed, with some viewers branding her as “rude” following some awkward interactions with the other islanders.

In a twist on the usual format, viewers decided on the first coupling, which saw Gemma couple up with Liam (Photo: ITV)

At one point, Gemma told Luca that his last name, Bish, was “unfortunate”.

Others have also pegged Gemma as the new Marcel Somerville who, in season three, shared on a countless number of occasions with his fellow islanders that he used to be in Blazin’ Squad.

However, when Gemma shared her last name with the boys in a chat during the episode, no-one quite seemed to pick up on the link to her famous footballer father.

Has Michael Owen said anything about Love Island 2022?

Owen himself hasn’t commented on his daughter’s involvement in the new season of the ITV show, however, speaking to the Daily Mail, Gemma said that her father wasn’t exactly “buzzing” about her taking part.

However, he told her: “I’m not going to tell you what to do.”

Newcastle United’s new signing Michael Owen holds his daughter, Gemma, as he is introduced to the fans at St James’ Park on August 31, 2005 in Newcastle, England (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

She said: “He’s very supportive in whatever I decide to do. He didn’t have a massive tantrum or anything like that. He’s pretty chilled, he trusts me not to do anything to embarrass him.

“He took it quite well.”