Michael Owen seen outside Old Trafford with half-and-half scarf ​

It's one of the most heated rivalries in football - unless you're Michael Owen

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Former professional footballer Michael Owen has been spotted outside of Old Trafford wearing a half and half scarf ahead of United’s clash with Liverpool, to the bemusement of both sets of fans.

The 2001 Ballon d’Or winner who failed to achieve legend status at any club he represented is understood to be “excited” about the win-win situation he finds himself in ahead of the big match.

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“This game holds a special place in my heart as I played for both United and Liverpool and still support both clubs to this very day, so whatever happens on Sunday, I’ll be smiling,” said a giddy Owen.

“To be honest, life has been fantastic for me recently as I was delighted to see new owners at Newcastle and l was especially pleased to see Real Madrid hammer Shakhtar Donetsk 5-0 mid-week, as believe it or not, I support both of those clubs as well.”

When quizzed by a set of Mancunians about his half-and-half scarf, an unphased Owen seemed to pacify the angry mob by mentioning his 94th-minute winner against Man City back in 2009, a moment he intends to dine out on for the rest of his life and a time United fans love to journey back to.

“They love me around these parts” continued Owen. “I could walk the streets of Liverpool or Manchester and despite having fans shout things like ‘boring twat’ and ‘snake’, I know that underneath all of the hostility is respect.”

Paddy Power News managed to speak to Lancashire scarf maker Polly Perkins, who was responsible for creating a bespoke half-and-half scarf for Owen, who had this to say.

“We tried to talk Michael out of the half and half idea, but he wouldn’t have it. If you look close enough, one half has an image of him in his Liverpool kit and the other has an image of him in his United kit.

“He’s also asked us to create a quarter and quarter and quarter and quarter scarf which is to include Madrid and Newcastle on it too, however, we are struggling to find a photo of him in a Newcastle top – all we have is him in a hospital bed or on a physio table.”

When asked about his time at Stoke City and the chance of a scarf divided into five, Owen declined to comment.

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