Harry Kewell (full name: Harold Kewell) is one of Australia’s best and well-known footballers. He was born in Smithfield, Sydney 22.09.78. He grew up in Sydney, Australia. His father, Rod, was English. And his mother, Helen, was Australian.
He went to school at Smithfield Public School, Westfield Sports High and New South Wales Academy. When he was 15 he and his friend Brett Emerton (who also play on the Australian national team) went to England to trial with Leeds United. They were both offered contracts, but only Harry was able to get a work permit because his father was English.
Harry Kewell is married to the English soap star Sheree Murphy. They got married in Las Vegas in May 2003 and have two children together, son Taylor and daughter Heather Toni
Harry made his debut for Leeds as a 17-year-old on 30 March 1996. But however, he scored his first goal some time later, in October 1997, against Stoke City. In Leeds, Harry played mostly on the left side of the midfield. He was praised as one of the biggest talents in English football. And some thought that he was the greatest footballer ever to come from the “Socceroos.” Harry and his Australian team-mate Mark Viduka formed a great striker partnership. A partnership which was one of the big reasons that Leeds United reached the Semi-final of the UEFA Champions League in 2000-01.
But by 2002-03, the club started to struggle financially. And Harry was sold to Liverpool FC. But he left Leeds under harsh circumstances. Right before his move to Liverpool he made an interview with BBC where he critizised the staff at the club. He ment that the medical staff only worsened his injuries.
Harry moved to Liverpool from Leeds United for the start of the 2003-04 season, after rejecting an offer from Manchester United. Liverpool paid £5m for the Australian attacker. But the transfer was controversial, because £2m of the transfer fee, was paid to Kewell’s unregistered agent to make sure that he ended up at Anfield. And whenever Kewell visits Elland Road, the home fans won’t let him forget how he betrayed the club.
On 25th May 2005, Harry Kewell became the second Australian (after Craig Johnston, Liverpool) ever to win the UEFA Champions League, when he played in the final against AC Milan. Kewell was selected in the starting 11 in that match, but was injured and substituted early in the first half. Many of the spectators booed him, believing Harry was withholding effort in such an important game. Since October 2004, Kewell has had a number of injuries and had often just played a few games before a new injury forced him back on the sidelines.
In November the same year, Harry Kewell made an interview with the Liverpool FC official website, saying that he wanted to repay his manager Rafael Benitez for showing him the support he gave him by fielding him in the UEFA Champions League Final. He also thanked his family for the support he needed to recover from the injury. And Kewell’s form in the 2005-06 season proved that he was on is way back to old glory. However, in the FA Cup Final he was injured again, but he was expected to be ready for the World Cup.
His International career (Australia)
Harry Kewell played in Australia’s World Cup Qualifying match against Iran in 1997. At the Azadi Stadium in Tehran, Kewell scored his first ever goal for the Australian national team, and gave “the Socceroos” a 1-0 lead. But Iran equalized later in the match and the game resulted in a 1-1 draw. And that just tensed up the return game in Melbourne, Australia. In the return game, Harry scored his second goal for the national team, but Iran stroke back and it ended with 2-2. Iran was qualified for the World Cup on away goals.
In 2005 Australia qualified for the World Cup 2006, in Germany. They qualified for the first time in 32 years. To reach the World Cup, Australia had to beat Uruguay over a two-legged play-off. Kewell played a very good match in the Socceroos defeat of Uruguay, when he came in as a substitute and turned the game around. The match ended in a penalty shootout and Kewell scored Australia’s first penalty in the 4-2 win.
Kewell played in the Australia’s FIFA World Cup 2006 opening match against Japan. Even though the reports said that he had a groin injury. He did not start the second group match against Brazil, but he came in, and missed a great opportunity alone with the Brazilian goalkeeper Dida. Harry was reported to FIFA for verbal abuse in referee Markus Merk after the game. But he wasn’t suspended.
In the third group game against Croatia Kewell scored the equalizing 2-2 goal. Australia only needed a draw to qualify for the second round, and Kewell goal was described as the most important goal ever scored by an Australian. He was called “King Harry of Australia” by the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard.
In the second round match against Italy, Harry didn’t play, because of yet another injury. Australia lost the match 1-0 after a late Italian penalty caused by Lucas Neill. They discovered that he suffered from septic arthritis, a bacterial infection in the left foot. And he still hasn’t returned to the football pitch.