Birthdate: 9 April 1975
Birthplace: Toxteth, Liverpool, England
Other clubs: Leeds United (2001-03), Manchester City (2003-06), Cardiff City (2007-08), Blackburn Rovers (2008), North Queensland Fury (2009-10), Perth Glory (2010-11), Muang Thong United (2011)
Bought from: Local / Manchester City
Signed for LFC: Joined 1991 - Professional 09.04.1992 / 27.01.2006
International debut: 27.03.1996 vs. Bulgaria
International caps: 26/7 (22/5 at LFC) - 15.06.2002
Liverpool debut: 22.09.1993
Last appearance: 13.05.2007
Debut goal: 22.09.1993
Last goal: 24.02.2007
Contract expiry: 29.11.2001 / 01.07.2007
Win ratio: 52.3% W: 193 D: 87 L: 89
Games/goals ratio: 2.02
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 7 / 1
LFC league games/goals: 266 / 128
Total LFC games/goals: 369 / 183
Robert Bernard Fowler is born and raised in Toxteth in Liverpool, an area where unemployment was rife. Fowler was an Everton supporter in his childhood and loathed Ian Rush's achievements with Liverpool especially since Rushie was very prolific against Everton. Fowler was chosen to play for the u-14 team in his school where he was spotted by Jim Aspinall, Liverpool scout. "He knew when and where to put the ball away, and run into space," Aspinall said. "He had such a lovely touch on the ball." Everton also had their eye on him at the time and Fowler featured in a few games for them when he was 14-years-old in their u-17 team. Fowler settled in at Liverpool and signed his professional contract on his seventeenth birthday. "Kenny Dalglish was manager when I signed for Liverpool," Fowler said. "When I was training there as a schoolboy, Kenny would sometimes drop me off at home. I couldn't wait to get into school the next morning to tell everyone what had happened!" Fowler got his first taste of the first team at the end of the 1992/93 season when he was twice on the bench; against Bolton in the FA Cup and in the final League match when Liverpool beat Tottenham 6-2. His international breakthrough came that summer with England's u-18 team who won the European title. Fowler started the tournament on the bench but ended up as top-scorer with five goals in four games, each goal was spectacular and highlighted his incredible talent. Fowler scored in his first match for Liverpool against Fulham in a 3-1 victory in the League Cup on 22 September 1993 and in the second leg against the Cottagers he scored all five in a 5-0 win! Fowler was only the fifth player in Liverpool's history to achieve that feat. In between the Fulham games he had started two League games without scoring but got on the scoresheet in a 2-1 win over Oldham following his five-goal extravaganza. Fowler scored his first hat-trick against Southampton in only his fifth League match and no less than 13 goals in his first 15 games for Liverpool. It was pretty obvious that he was a goalscoring phenomenon! He also made progress in the international set-up scoring on his u-21 England debut against San Marino in November.
A broken ankle in the FA Cup against Bristol City on 19 January sidelined Fowler until the beginning of March and he only scored three goals in his remaining 11 games, but nevertheless boasted a great record in his first season. Fowler scored one less goal than Ian Rush, 18 in total, but Fowler had started 33 games compared to Rush's 48. Fowler started the 1994/95 season by scoring five goals in the first three games including an incredible Anfield hat-trick against Arsenal in only four minutes and 35 seconds which is still a Premier League record! "I didn't really have a clue today's goals came so quickly," Fowler said perplexed after the match."I thought they were 15 minutes apart." Fowler was rewarded with a new four-year contract. With half of the season gone he had already scored 20 League goals. Roy Evans, who by now had succeeded Souness as boss, was ecstatic with his young genius: "Robbie has immense talent. He can be frightening," Evans said enthusiastically. "As long as he learns from players like Ian Rush, who knows how far he can go?" Fowler enjoyed playing along legend Ian Rush: "He knows everything about defenders and has told me about the strengths and weaknesses of everyone we've played against and that's made a big difference to me," Fowler said about his mentor. "In the games it's the same. He never stops talking, keeps on at me non-stop and that's helped me to develop this season. But I know I've been lucky. I'm learning from the best and if you don't learn from the likes of Ian then who can you learn from?"
Fowler played an important role in beating Crystal Palace in the semi-finals of the League Cup by scoring the winner in both legs. He was looking forward to playing on Wembley for the first time in his career: "I've never been nervous before a game but Sunday might be different. When I was there before the atmosphere was first class but I'm sure that when I walk out of that tunnel and hear the roar of the crowd the hairs on the back of my neck will stand up." Fowler and Rush started up front as Liverpool beat Bolton 2-1 in the final. Fowler's best friend, Steve McManaman, was outstanding on the day and scored both goals for the club. Fowler got a nice birthday present when he was chosen the Young Player of the Year in the Premier League. He was also the only player who had featured in all of Liverpool's games that season and the team's top-scorer with 25 League goals in 42 matches, all in all 31 goals. Fowler had dyed his hair peroxide blond at the start of the 1995/96 season. He had also a new partner up front, Stan Collymore. But in the first two League games Evans used Rush and Collymore and the top-scorer from last season had to settle for being a substitute. Collymore got injured and Fowler was back in again. Fowler was slow out of the blocks but came into his own with a quadruple against Bolton on 23 September 1995. Evans was adamant that it had been the right decision: "I left Robbie out at the start of the season. He didn't like it at the time, but he realises now that it did him good. There will be times over the next couple of years when I need to boot him up the backside again."
Fowler was not out of trouble though. He was involved in an unsavoury airport brawl with Razor Ruddock in mid-September after returning from European action against Spartak Vladikavkaz. Fowler the culprit for many pranks was innocent this time. Ruddock picks up the story: "We were in high spirits after victory and enjoying a celebration drink on the plane home when Steve Harkness thought it would be a good idea to relieve himself in Robbie’s shoes as our young striker slept amidst the mayhem. When Robbie woke up, by which time I was fast asleep, he put his feet back in his shoes and quickly realised what had happened. Understandably, he wasn’t too pleased and when he demanded to know who’d done it, the lads pointed to me. As a result, he went into my bag and pulled out my new pair of £300 Gucci boots and proceeded to cut them up. It wasn’t until we were going through the airport I confronted Robbie, told him that I’d had nothing to do with the original stunt and demanded that he bought me new pair of boots to replace the ones he’d ruined. There was a big argument, a bit of pushing and shoving and having had enough of his bravado; I decided to teach him a lesson by punching him on the nose. Some of the other lads stepped in and although it was all over in a flash, the reporters who’d travelled with us were on the case and the story made the papers the next day. We’ve been the best of mates ever since."
Fowler was surely one of the most in-form strikers in Europe and scored two memorable goals at Old Trafford on 1 October 1995. The spotlight was on the infamous Eric Cantona who was returning from an eight-month absence after his misadventures at Selhurst Park. Fowler's equaliser was struck with such incredible venom from the edge of the box that Schmeichel never saw the ball. Fowler scored his second when he bumped Gary Neville out of the way and cheekily chipped the Dane. Cantona equalised from the penalty spot in a pulsating 2-2 draw that further established the boy wonder's reputation. Fowler scored a hat-trick for the second season in a row against Arsenal on 23 December and in the beginning of March scored two of Liverpool's three goals in the opening eight minutes against Aston Villa and at the end of the month Villa faced his wrath again when Liverpool beat them 3-0 in the FA Cup semi-finals. Mark Bosnich was becoming the best authority on Fowler's skills. He was in awe of the young striker: "He often shoots early, he doesn't mind where he shoots from, but he seems to get late fade on his shots like a golfer," the Villa 'keeper said. "He usually gets ten out of ten shots on target, and with nine out of ten he hits the corners. If he is doing that deliberately, his accuracy is quite amazing." Fowler's second goal in the cup semi-final was spectacular. A shot from the right corner of the penalty area into the upper left corner in off the post. Fowler also played his part in the 4-3 thriller
against Newcastle on 3 April 1996. Two goals from Fowler and the winning goal from Collymore in the last seconds secured a spectacular victory.
A tremendous occasion to showcase his talents awaited at Wembley in an FA Cup final against Manchester United. Fowler didn't seem to worry too much: "I never get nervous before a game and this one is no exception. We will enjoy it and hopefully make it a day for Liverpool fans to remember." To put it short, the game was terribly disappointing, ending in an 1-0 defeat, only memorable because it was Ian Rush's last game for the Reds. Rush said goodbye to his young protégé: "I leave it in good hands. Robbie will probably eclipse all that I have achieved at Liverpool." Yet another great season for Fowler was at an end. He was again chosen the Young Player of the Year, becoming the second player in history to achieve that honor. He had improved his scoring record from the previous season and scored 36 goals in all competitions as well as forming a promising partnership with Collymore. Fowler played his first senior international when he came on against Bulgaria on 27 March 1996. Souness who contributed to Fowler's meteoric rise by giving him his first chance in Liverpool's first team was not surprised: "Robbie can be anything he wants to be. All that can hold him back is how he handles success," Souness said. "He could be the greatest they've ever had at Liverpool in terms of finishing. Robbie has more natural ability than Ian Rush. Rushie had an incredible ability to sniff out a chance. Fowler has got that but has also got the ability to take the ball outside the box and do something great. Rushie relied on the ball to come into the box, whereas Robbie can go and do things on his own. He'll never have the craft of Kenny Dalglish, but if you're talking about being a goal-getter then he could be the best."
Fowler was included in Terry Venables' England team in Euro '96 on home soil that summer. Venables preferred Shearer and Sheringham up front so Fowler was third-choice striker. He finally made an appearance in England's third game of the tournament and one of the best England internationals ever when Holland were beaten 4-1. Sheringham, who had scored two goals, was substituted for Fowler 15 minutes from time. Fowler also made a substitute appearance against Spain in the quarter-finals in the 110th minute. England survived the penalty shoot-out but unfortunately for England, Germany beat them on penalties in the semi-finals. Rush was now gone and Fowler wore the number 9 shirt for the first time instead of number 23 at the start of the 1996/97 season. Fowler had a back injury and only scored two goals in his first eight matches. Collymore wasn't scoring much either, but there was a new kid on the block who kept the worries away for Evans. Patrik Berger scored two goals against Leicester and another double in a 5-1 victory over Chelsea. Fowler was out injured for three matches but following his return he scored 17 goals in his next 15 matches including four goals against Middlesbrough on 17 December 1996. His second goal in that match was his hundredth for Liverpool in 165 games, achieved in one game less than by Ian Rush. When Fowler achieved this feat he revealed a t-shirt underneath his Liverpool shirt which said: "God's Job's A Good 'Un".
It is said that lightning never strikes twice, but it did happen in the match against Newcastle at Anfield on 10 March. Another 4-3 victory was a fact and this time it was Fowler who scored the winning goal in the last seconds. He owned all the headlines in March. He got rave reviews from UEFA's chairman Sepp Blatter for trying to prevent a penalty against Arsenal which the referee gave Liverpool after Seaman had been judged to take Fowler down. Fowler dived and admitted it as soon as he got up. He took the penalty himself and missed but McAteer followed up to score. But his love affair with the UEFA didn't last long. Two days later Fowler was fined for his support for the dockers at Albert Docks who had lost their jobs, by wearing a t-shirt telling people to support the 500 sacked dockers, in a match against Brann in Bergen. The UEFA rules state that you can't show any political support in European matches and Fowler got a small fine. If Fowler wasn't a working class hero before he certainly was now. He scored his first goal for the national team on 29 March
against Mexico and was back in the headlines in April when his season was suddenly cut short. In a moment of madness he was sent off in the Merseyside derby when he clashed with David Unsworth. Fowler scored his last goal of the season in the 2-0 victory against Paris St Germain when the Reds crashed out of Europe and was suspended for the last three games of the season. Liverpool's campaign ended on a disappointing note once again. Fowler scored "only" 18 League goals compared to 28 the previous season but his overall for the season was 31.
Ligament damage in Fowler's right knee received against a Norwegian XI in Oslo on 31 July 1997 kept him out for the first six matches of the 1997/98 season. Michael Owen was now the focus of attention, after getting his chance at the end of the previous season due to Fowler's ban. They finally played together for the first time against Aston Villa on 22 September at Anfield after Fowler had replaced Owen after an hour's play in the previous game. Fowler opened the scoring with a well-struck penalty and in the following League game against West Ham Fowler scored one of his best goals of his career. Bjørnebye's cross was headed out towards Fowler who wasted no time and lashed it in when the ball was still in the air. Fowler's temperament was back in question against Bolton on 1 November. He scored after only 48 seconds but in the seventy-fifth minute he elbowed Per Frandsen and was sent off. Fowler admitted he was in the wrong: "I know I raised my arm and if you do that you deserve to be sent off. Maybe it was frustration, I don't know. I had received a few nasty challenges, had just missed a one-on-one with their goalkeeper and then Frandsen had a kick at me. I caught him with my arm but it was not that bad and he made a meal of it. I'm still learning all the time and I've got to get stupid things like that out of my game."
On Boxing day Fowler scored two goals in as many minutes against Leeds in a 3-1 victory and netted two in seven matches in January, both in the League Cup. The first against Newcastle in the quarter-finals and the second one against Boro in the semi-finals. Fowler had set himself a high standard and not scoring a goal every two games was unacceptable. Fowler was relieved after his Middlesbrough goal: "They chanted my name throughout the game. My head has dropped a couple of times because forwards rely on confidence. This has probably been the worst run I've had since I started playing, not as regards scoring, but in terms of my form. I know I'm not a bad player and that you don't become one overnight. I'm still top scorer after all." Thirteen goals in 23 games was Fowler's record when he scored his last goal of the season on 27 January. He had gone four games without a goal when on 23 February a catastrophic collision with Everton's goalkeeper Thomas Myhre five minutes from time resulted in torn cruciate knee ligaments which kept him out of action for the next seven months. "After the season I have had so far, it is a shocking blow. What makes it worse is that I felt I was just coming back to top form, after I had gone through a bad patch. I tried to get up and run, but I was wobbling all over the place and couldn't stand up. I got to the hospital on Monday night, but didn't sleep a wink because the pain was so bad."
Fowler had learned a lot from this season both on and off the field: "Our fame away from football is frightening and, if I'm honest, I hate it," Fowler confessed. " When I was young it wasn't that bad but today it's got completely out of hand. At the moment, I'm taking drugs, everything. It's frightening what people say about you. It hurts. We get tested at Liverpool every week, yet people still write to the club and claim they've seen me doing drugs. Even taxi drivers are going around Liverpool spreading them. 'Robbie Fowler, he's doing coke, isn't he?'" Things had certainly changed over the summer at Anfield. Fowler started finally seven games into the season eager to impress new joint-boss, Gerard Houllier, who had arrived to dictate things alongside Evans. Fowler scored two goals in a 3-3 draw with Charlton. Liverpool's physio Mark Leather was happy with Fowler's attitude and progress who had been expected to be out for ten months rather than seven: "If everything is okay with the knee, then being out seriously injured can have been a very, very positive thing in his life," Leather said. "I know that is how he tried to look at it, that good could come out of the bad. The up-slope for young players is so fast today and everything happens so quickly that something like this really can be a blessing in disguise. They step out of the limelight and think about things, how desperately they want what is there for them and how it could be taken away from them."
Ten days later another two followed against Kosice in the UEFA Cup. Fowler didn't score in next three matches and was put on the bench as he needed the rest. Evans resigned in November and Gerard Houllier was sole manager with Phil Thompson as his assistant. First game under their management was against Leeds at Anfield. Fowler scored the only goal for Liverpool from a penalty but Leeds ran out 3-1 winners. But Fowler shone bright in the following match when he ran Villa ragged, not for the first time in his career. A brilliant hat-trick signalled his intentions. Houllier was happy: "It's difficult to say if Robbie is back to his best but that was certainly an important reference game for him. He went through a mental barrier and he now knows he can do it again. For the first time, he was dropping off, taking part in the build-up, he was strong and shielding the ball well and also good in the air. What we have had to do is to give him confidence by encouraging him, by trusting him and being patient with him." Fowler was still struggling for consistency not surprising given his lengthy injury and change of management. Fowler had to wait seven matches for his next goal. Two matches later on 16 January, Fowler scored his second hat-trick for Houllier in a 7-1 victory against Southampton. Further good news from the Fowler camp followed in January when he signed a new five year-contract with Liverpool. If January was all about the positives, the contrary was looming on the horizon. Two controversial incidents against Chelsea and Everton got Fowler in trouble.
The date: 27 February 1999. Venue: Stamford Bridge. Opponents: Chelsea.
Fowler decided to follow up rumours about Graeme Le Saux' sexual orientation by turning his backside towards him and shake it about. Le Saux' retribution came swiftly. He poleaxed Fowler from behind. Incredibly enough Fowler got a two-match ban while Le Saux was banned for just one match.
The date: 3 April 1999. Venue: Anfield. Opponents: Everton.
Fowler "snorted" the line after scoring the first of his two goals in the 3-2 victory. Fowler said his actions were in response to the "smackhead" taunts he'd endured at Goodison Park last October and on the streets of Liverpool: "I would like to apologise unequivocally for my celebrations after scoring in the match against Everton. I have been greatly distressed and hurt over the last few years by the constant allegations levelled against me over drug use which have not only affected me but have been very upsetting to my family as well." Fowler received a two-match ban for the Chelsea incident and four for the snorting. Following the Everton game he featured in three matches without scoring and was then forced to sit out the remaining six matches of the campaign.
Fowler's controversial behavior on the field inspired rumours Liverpool's manager was unhappy with him and he was on his way. Houllier's response was swift and to the point: "Robbie knows that he has been part of my plans and he knows all that I have done for him this season. If he wants to leave, all he has to do is come and see me and I won't stand in his way." Fowler scored in the first game of the 1999/00 season against Sheffield Wednesday as well as one of the goals of the season on 28 August, a piledriver from 30 yards in off the bar at Highbury. Fowler had felt pain in his ankle before the match against Everton on 27 September but decided to play. Fowler only lasted an hour before being replaced. He underwent an operation and was expected to be out for three months. Fowler made three substitute appearances in December and scored his third goal of the season against Wimbledon on 28 December. He had now scored 150 goals in total for Liverpool: 95 goals were scored with his left, 30 with the right and 25 headers. 127 goals were inside the box including 11 from the penalty spot and 23 outside. His ankle was sore after the Wimbledon game but he wasn't prepared for the earth shattering news that he had to be operated on again. He didn't play for four months until he came on against Everton on 21 April. He made couple of more substitute appearances before being given a chance in the starting line-up in the penultimate game of the season against Southampton. He didn't get on the scoresheet and his brief campaign was effectively finished. Fowler wasn't even on the bench in the final match and rumours of a rift between Fowler and Houllier after the Southampton game were flying about. Kevin Keegan chose Fowler for his Euro 2000 squad but he didn't make an appearance in the finals. England exited quickly.
Fowler was carried off in a 2000/01 pre-season match against Glentoran following a freakish collision with the goalkeeper and was out for six weeks. Fowler scored in his tenth game of the season against Chelsea in the fourth round of the League Cup, a dramatic winner in extra-time. He ran straight to Houllier as to show him his gratitude. However, Houllier admitted he may be willing to offload Fowler. "All players have their price. Robbie is not on the transfer list, but we look at all our players and assess things when it suits us." These words didn't seem to convey anything at the time but the truth was that Liverpool had accepted a £12 million bid from Chelsea in December 2001 but Fowler wanted to stay put. Fowler was in the headlines for all the right reasons when he scored a hat-trick against Stoke in the League Cup, which was his favourite competition, having scored 25 goals in 29 matches. Fowler was the star of the show when he scored a sensational goal against Birmingham in the League Cup final on 25 February which resulted in a penalty shoot-out victory for the Reds. A lob far outside the box ended in the net: "It was one of those shots which can either end up in the crowd or in the back of the net," Fowler said. "Fortunately for me it finished in the back of the net. It is up there with the best goals I have scored, especially when you consider it was in a major final."
Fowler had been in and out of the starting line-up in Liverpool's successful treble season but proved a valuable player in the final run-in. He scored a great free-kick against Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup semi-final. He was a substitute in the UEFA Cup final against Alaves but scored Liverpool's fourth goal that almost proved the winner. He only played for the last 13 minutes against Arsenal in the FA Cup final win but Michael Owen scored two goals following Fowler's introduction into the game. Speculation was rife that Fowler was unhappy and didn't get along with Owen. Houllier was fed up: "We have unity in this squad and what has been written about Robbie Fowler is rubbish. The first person to congratulate Michael Owen on Saturday was Robbie. Some of the things I read amaze me. It seems to me people are always trying to stir things every time we have a big game. Everyone can see Robbie was as ecstatic as anyone on Saturday."
One crucial match was left of the season against Charlton at The Valley. Fowler was sensational and scored two goals which clinched second place, Liverpool's best-ever Premiership finish and a place in the Champions League. Fowler was happy with the season: "It means a lot to me as a Liverpool lad to be here and I want to remain a part of it. I have never rolled over and died when I have faced a challenge and I’m not going to start now. Some people have said certain things about Liverpool this season. I hope they are eating their words now. Apart from the three cups and third place, we have beaten our two biggest rivals, Manchester United and Everton, twice in the same season, which I am told had never been done before." Fowler got into trouble with Phil Thompson on Melwood in August 2002 when Thompson was in the goal picking up a ball and Fowler hit him with a well-placed shot. Seen as a threat to Thompson's authority Fowler was dropped from the squad facing Arsenal in the Charity Shield. After issuing an apology to Thompson he was back in the first-team fold and scored his first goal of the season against Haka in the second leg of the Champions League qualifier. Fowler started in the defeats against Bolton and Aston Villa, but he was back on the bench for three matches.
Fowler talked about his problems in October: "If I pick up a paper seven days a week, I can guarantee I’ll probably be in at least five times. Playing at a big club everyone is always looking for stories so I know it comes with the job. I’m not saying it’s an excuse for how I’m playing but when you go out and feel you have to try and prove people wrong all the time you can end up trying too hard. Maybe I’m trying too many fancy things, passes and stuff which won’t come off. I try not to let all the stick affect me but there’s only so much a person can take. I’m not a loud or obnoxious person who always wants to be in the paper. Maybe there are people who think they see a different side to me if they only see me out with a gang of lads or whatever. Maybe I come out of my shell more then and people get the wrong perception of me. But I never try to upset anyone." A true Fowler highlight was a hat-trick against Leicester on 20 October 2001. Fowler had clearly not though been in ideal form. He had only scored four goals in ten starts and seven substitute appearances that season when it was announced on 27 November that Liverpool had agreed to sell Fowler to Leeds. Fowler completed the £11.75 million transfer two days later. Roy Evans once famously said he would rather jump in the Mersey than sell Fowler. Houllier was asked why Fowler was sold: "It wasn’t our decision to let him go. Robbie wants to go and to see a local boy moving on is a sad thing for the club. More than most he felt it difficult to fit in with the rotation system. I can understand that he found it hard. Robbie felt that a move at this moment in time would help his career and you have to respect that. He feels the time is right to move on and it was his decision."
Robbie's farewell words were to the point: "I have had nearly 15 years with Liverpool and eight wonderful years in the Liverpool team, but I think it must be obvious to everyone that the time has come to move on. There’s no doubt that the thing I will miss most about Anfield will be the fans. They were always top quality and gave me tremendous support through the good and bad times. Thanks to you all for your support." Again the unthinkable happened in 2006 when Robbie Fowler the prodigal son returned to Liverpool in a sensational move over four years after he had left Merseyside for Leeds. He scored 14 goals in 33 matches over a 14-month period at Leeds before moving to Manchester City where he stayed three years, scoring 27 goals in 92 matches. Five days after re-signing for the Reds, he came on as a substitute for Peter Crouch in a home game with Birmingham City. Liverpool had just taken the lead when he entered the pitch but he was unable to add to the score, although he did have an acrobatic injury-time overhead-kick disallowed for offside. The goals started to come again, five in the League before the end of the season being enough to ensure him an additional year's contract at Rafa's Reds. Fowler scored seven goals during what would turn out to be his final season at Anfield, three penalties against Sheffield United, two against Galatasaray in the Champions League and strikes against Reading and Arsenal in the League Cup. That took his final total for Liverpool up to 183 goals from 369 games. Denied the chance to say a proper farewell to the Anfield public by the sudden move to Leeds in 2001, Robbie and his young family proudly walked around the pitch at the end of the final League game of 2006/07 to say goodbye.
On 21 July 2007 Fowler signed for Championship club Cardiff City. His two League Cup goals at West Bromwich Albion in the third round of the competition amazingly led to Cardiff being paired with Liverpool in the next round. He played the whole 90 minutes for Cardiff at Anfield and received a rapturous reception from the home supporters but was unable to prevent his new club going down to a 2-1 defeat. Unfortunately, Fowler's injury jinx was soon to strike again. The recurrence of a hip injury plus damaged ankle ligaments sustained in a training-ground incident with his captain, Darren Purse, meant that his first-team opportunities were limited for the rest of the season and it wasn't a major surprise that he was not fit enough to be considered for a place in Cardiff's FA Cup final squad for the big match against Portsmouth at the new Wembley.
Fowler signed a three-month deal with Paul Ince's Blackburn before the 2008/09 season, but only made three starts and three substitute appearances without scoring a goal. He signed a two-year contract with Australian side North Queensland Fury in February 2009. Fowler was said to have dubious motives for his move to Australia but answered his critics by releasing a short statement to the local newspaper in Townsville: "I'm not here for a holiday. I have come here and I want to enjoy my football and I want to play as much as anyone but certain things dictate that sometimes you can't play. I'm prepared to work hard and get on that pitch. I'm not just here to enjoy the sun, it's pride in myself."
After just one season with North Queensland Fury, at a time when that club had severe financial problems, Fowler was released from his contract to effectively become a free agent again. Towards the end of April 2010 it was Western Australia club Perth Glory who were able to announce that the 35-year-old Fowler had agreed to become their 'foreign marquee player', which meant that his wages would be excluded from the club's salary cap. The move appeared to suit both the player and his new club well, the Perth Glory Chairman commenting: "It's exciting for football fans in Western Australia that a legend has decided to play for us." At the end of the first week of April 2011 Fowler was commended by Pep Segura for showing a 'great attitude' as he trained with Liverpool's reserve-team squad. Segura, who had taken over from John McMahon on a temporary basis until the end of the 2010/11 season. explained that Fowler wanted to maintain his fitness-levels but added that "his presence can have a significant impact" upon his young side. During April 2011 Robbie also spent a week as part of Bury's backroom staff, about which he said of his managerial ambitions "I know you can't play forever and being a coach or manager is obviously the next step you take after playing. I want to stay involved in football so this is the next route."
In July 2011 Fowler made an unexpected move from Australia to Thailand's Muang Thong United. At the start of October 2011 he was made caretaker coach of the Thai club. Early 2012 Fowler quit Thailand and moved back to Liverpool as his wife wanted to go back home but prior to the launch of a new Indian League Fowler was one of a few big-name stars sold at an auction. Fowler went for £338,000 to Kolkata but said himself he wasn't sure if he would play there. In the end nothing came of it. Fowler trained with Blackpool for a while towards the end of the 2011/12 season. Blackpool manager Ian Holloway seemed keen to add him to his squad as the Seasiders attempted to make an immediate return to the Premier League. Fowler was unable to agree personal terms with the club and retired from playing. Fowler re-ignited his association with Liverpool by being part of the club's entourage of their 2012/13 pre-season tour in America. Fowler's genius for goals will never diminish and he can be rightly called the most natural goalscorer who has ever featured for Liverpool.