Birthdate: 22 September 1978
Birthplace: Smithfield, Australia
Other clubs: Leeds United (1995-2003), Galatasaray (2008-11), Melbourne Victory (2011-12), Al Gharafa (2013), Melbourne Heart (2013-14)
Bought from: Leeds United
Signed for LFC: £5m, 09.07.2003
International debut: 23.04.1996 vs. Chile
International caps: 58/17 (22/7 at LFC) - 16.08.2012
Liverpool debut: 17.08.2003
Last appearance: 16.02.2008
Debut goal: 30.08.2003
Last goal: 13.05.2007
Contract expiry: 01.07.2008
Win ratio: 51.08% W:71 D:32 L:36
Games/goals ratio: 8.69
Honours: FA Cup 2006; Champions League 2005
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 8 / 1
LFC league games/goals: 93 / 12
Total LFC games/goals: 139 / 16
Player profileKewell was on tour with the Australian soccer academy in England in 1995, when he was spotted by Howard Wilkinson who contacted Leeds. Three months later he played his first game in the Premiership for Leeds only 18 years of age. Kewell was voted Young Player of the Year in the Premier League in 1999/00 and was a prominent player for Leeds who reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2000/01. Leeds suffered financial ruin and sold off their key players, including Kewell. He had always been a true Red and showed his allegiance by turning down more lucrative offers in financial terms to go to his beloved Liverpool. Kewell began his career at the Reds in promising fashion, playing 49 games in the 2003/04 season, scoring 11 goals. Nine of those goals came in the first half of the season which turned out to be his best spell for the club. Houllier left with Benítez taking over but injuries and subsequent loss of form hindered Kewell's progress at Liverpool. Benítez seemed puzzled by his injury problems. "One day Harry is okay, and the next he says he is unfit. We don't know exactly what the problem is. It changes each day. One day he says it's the groin, then it's ankle. Another day he says he can play." It wasn't until the latter half of the 2005/06 season that he seemed to approach his best form but that was only for a brief spell. Kewell was quite unlucky at Liverpool proved by the astounding fact that he was forced to be substituted in three successive finals; against Chelsea in the League Cup in 2005, Milan in Istanbul 2005 and West Ham in the FA Cup 2006!
Australia qualified for the first time since 1974 for the World Cup, in Germany 2006. Kewell hoped for an injury-free spell and played in the opening 3-1 win against Japan. He scored Australia's second goal in a 2-2 draw against Croatia and guaranteed his team a place in the last 16 where the Aussies faced the Italians. But once again he was out of action as he suffered from septic arthritis, a bacterial infection in his left foot. Australia lost 1-0 to Italy. Kewell's injuries kept him out for most of the 2006/07 season and the player that turned out in the 2007/08 season was just a pale imitation of the one that used to terrorise defenders with his skills. When Kewell's contract expired in July 2008 he departed Liverpool for Turkish champions Galatasaray where he signed a two-year contract. Twenty-two goals from 63 Süper Lig matches in three seasons in Turkey represented a decent goals-per-game ratio that Liverpool supporters never came remotely close to witnessing between 2003 and 2008. Kewell's agent, Bernie Mandic, delivered a damning verdict of Liverpool medical team. "Kewell lost three-and-a-half years of his career at Liverpool because the guys over there in England had, quite literally, no idea what they were talking about," said Mandic. "It was a disgrace the way Harry was treated." Kewell survived the South African World Cup without adding to his lengthy injury history but he was sent off for deliberate handball in Australia's group match with Ghana and with that went his "World Cup dream".
Kewell signed a three-year contract with A-League club Melbourne Victory in 2011 and declared: “I am proud to be Australian and want to give something back to the game. It has always been my ambition to play in my home country.” Kewell's first season playing in the country of his birth was successful in that he scored eight times for Melbourne in 25 league matches. Sadly Kewell was forced to return to England after one year in Australia because the mother of his wife, Sheree Murphy, was seriously ill. "It was one of the toughest decisions we've had to make," Kewell said in a statement. "I enjoyed playing for Victory and living in Melbourne, but family comes first and together we made a decision that it was best for us to remain close to our family at this time." On 12 July 2012, Harry Kewell was named Australia's greatest football player voted by Australian fans, players and media. Kewell had a short spell in 2013 at UAE Pro League club Al Gharafa where he played just three games. In June he signed for A-League club Melbourne Heart, returning to Melbourne but with a rival to his former club, Victory.
Towards the end of March 2013 Kewell announced that he would be retiring as a player after Melbourne Heart's match against the Western Sydney Wanderers in the middle of April.
Appearances per season
A more detailed look at the player's appearances
|2||West Ham United|
Goals per season
A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring
|50||10.08.2004||Grazer AK||Arnold S. Stadion||Europe|
|100||29.01.2006||Portsmouth||Fratton Park||FA Cup|
The Telegraph report on Liverpool - Chelsea on 17.08.2003. More
Match report from The Telegraph on Leeds United - Liverpool on 12.04.1999. More
Match report from The Guardian on Chelsea - Liverpool from 22.04.2006. More
Match report from 31.12.2005 on Liverpool - WBA from The Guardian.More
An article by Oliver Kay from the Australian on 27.06.2005.More
"Harry Kewell is a great signing for the Reds - a very versatile footballer, who can play in several positions. He is a proven goal-scorer - a class act & he could become another Ray Kennedy - ghosting in to score vital goals."
"Things haven't gone as well as I had hoped but I think I've made a contribution in my 18 months. I'm my own biggest critic and I don't need people to tell me when I'm playing well and when I'm not because I know and tell myself.
"I don't think I hide from my bad games but, at the end of the day, everyone has them from time to time. I'm still feeling the injury to my abductor at the moment. It's giving me a bit of grief and I could probably have done with a little bit longer to get over it completely. I'm not a player who has been injured regularly but I can't remember the last time I went into a game not feeling a strain somewhere on my body. It's not just me. I'd be surprised if anyone goes out 100 per cent fit because there are always knocks and niggles.
"But the competition for places is so tough that everyone knows you could be one match away from the bench. That is pressure. That level of fear brings the best out of people and I hope it's true of me."
Kewell in November 2004
"One day Harry is okay, and the next he says he is unfit. We don't know exactly what the problem is. It changes each day. One day he says it's the groin, then it's ankle. Another day he says he can play."
Harry Kewell's injuries puzzles Benítez - from March 2005
"I'm delighted I'm playing again so I can concentrate on football. I'm enjoying my football again, which is the main thing. I owe a lot to the manager for sticking by me when everyone else was giving me stick. I want to pay him back for that. The Liverpool fans have probably been the most frustrated with me and I want to pay them back as well, so it's great to hear them behind me."
Harry Kewell on his way back to his best in the 2005-2006 season
"We've spoken about the wide areas and how we need players who can beat defenders, and Harry can do that. Sometimes you don't know how difficult it is for a player who wants to play but is still injured. He tries, though sometimes it's difficult to believe because you just never know [whether he is fit]. In Harry's case I think he had bad advisers around him. Now he's focused on his game and that's best for him and us. I always had faith in him. It's just good to see him working really hard.
The first time I saw Harry play was with Leeds against Manchester United against Jaap Stam. He played really well. He's the kind of player you need as a manager, the kind you want to sign. But he's had injuries, problems, and we were disappointed. Now we've supported him, given him confidence, and he's giving us crosses and dribbles."
Rafa of the improved Harry Kewell of 2005-2006 season
"We had spoken about bringing in players who would have the fans on the edge of their seats and I can't think of a better description for the qualities that Harry will bring to Anfield. When you consider the calibre of rival clubs from all over Europe competing for his signature, it's a huge boost for us ahead of the new campaign and an indication of Harry's belief in what we want to achieve here. We have worked very hard to bring the player here against intense competition and I want to pay tribute to David Moores, Rick Parry and the board for their efforts. Like them, I could not be more delighted at the successful outcome."
Houllier on Kewell's capture
|Club||Season||Club rank||League apps||League goals||Total apps||Total goals|
|Leeds United||1995-1996||England Premier League||2||0||2||0|
|Leeds United||1996-1997||England Premier League||1||0||1||0|
|Leeds United||1997-1998||England Premier League||29||5||35||8|
|Leeds United||1998-1999||England Premier League||38||6||49||9|
|Leeds United||1999-2000||England Premier League||36||10||53||17|
|Leeds United||2000-2001||England Premier League||17||2||23||5|
|Leeds United||2001-2002||England Premier League||27||8||33||11|
|Leeds United||2002-2003||England Premier League||31||14||41||16|
|Melbourne Victory||2011-2012||Australia 1||25||8||25||8|
|Melbourne Victory||2013-2014||Australia 1||16||2||16||2|