MICHAEL OWEN had a cheeky way of making sure he was never late for training.
That’s after taking a HELICOPTER to avoid a fine.
The hilarious incident occurred when Owen was playing for Newcastle.
He joined the Magpies from Real Madrid in 2005 in a then-record £16.8million move.
However, the ex-England star needed a helping hand to avoid falling foul of new boss Graeme Souness.
Newcastle players had been ordered to report to training at 3pm sharp ahead of a trip to Blackburn.
But as Magpies legend Shay Given and his team-mates traipsed onto the field, there was no sign of Owen.
The goalkeeper feared the worst, with Souness lining up a fine for those who were late.
But Owen arrived at the nick of time after getting a lift in a chopper.
The helicopter landed next to Newcastle’s training pitch for the day.
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And Owen even had a cheeky quip for teammates as he jumped out of the chopper fully dressed in his kit.
Given told BBC 5 Live: “I had one funny story about Michael Owen.
“The manager said to us ‘right lads, obviously we’re away’, I think it’s Blackburn.
“Then he goes ‘make sure everyone’s on time for training’. I don’t care, normally I’d be there an hour and a half before training starts.
“‘Pre-activation, go in the gym, all this stuff, I don’t care about massages, just as long as you’re on the training ground for 3pm we’re good to go’.
“So we’re all walking out to training and no sign of Michael, next thing we hear the helicopter coming and he’s landed literally in the pitch, next to the one we’re about to train on.
“He had the full kit on, his boots on, and stepped off and goes ‘happy Christmas lads!’.
“And he couldn’t get fined because he was on time!”
It’s not Owen’s first experience in the air, having previously starred in a cringey advert for Dubai.
The clip saw him become a helicopter pilot while showing tourists the sights of the Middle Eastern city.
Owent spent four seasons at Newcastle, scoring 30 goals in 79 games.
He then spent time at Manchester United, where he won a Premier League title, and Stoke City before retiring in 2013.
Before Newcastle, Owen had one season at Real Madrid where he netted 16 times in 45 outings.
And prior to Spain, he scored 158 goals in 297 outings for boyhood club Liverpool.
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