Harry Kewell

Harry Kewell

Kewell in 2008
Personal information
Full name Harold Kewell[1][2]
Date of birth (1978-09-22) 22 September 1978
Place of birth Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Height 180 cm (5 ft 11 in)[3]
Playing position Winger
Attacking midfielder
Second striker
Club information
Current team
Watford (U21 Coach)
Youth career
Smithfield Hotspurs[4]
1990–1995 Marconi Stallions
1995–1997 Leeds United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1996–2003 Leeds United 181 (45)
2003–2008 Liverpool 93 (12)
2008–2011 Galatasaray 63 (22)
2011–2012 Melbourne Victory 25 (8)
2013 Al-Gharafa 3 (1)
2013–2014 Melbourne Heart 16 (2)
Total 381 (90)
National team
1994–1995 Australia U17 10 (1)
1997 Australia U20 3 (0)
1996–2012 Australia 56 (17)
Teams managed
2015– Watford (U21 Head Coach)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Harold "Harry" Kewell /ˈkjuː.əl/ (born 22 September 1978) is an Australian footballer coach and former player who is currently coaching Watford's Under 21s.[5][6] Kewell played for Leeds United, Liverpool, Galatasaray, Melbourne Victory, Al-Gharafa and Melbourne Heart. While at Leeds he was named the PFA Young Player of the Year in 2000. Internationally he has received 58 caps, and scored 17 goals, while playing for the Australian national team. A left winger also capable of playing as an attacking midfielder or second striker, he is often regarded within the media as "Australia's finest football export",[7] despite his career being blighted with injury.[8][9] In 2012, Kewell was named Australia's greatest footballer in a vote by Australian fans, players and media.[10][11][12][13]

Kewell scored a goal against Croatia which took Australia through to the knockout stages of the 2006 World Cup, the Australian national team's second World Cup. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Australian Professional Footballers' Association.[14] Kewell also has a British passport through his father's heritage. Former Middlesbrough midfielder-turned pundit Robbie Mustoe named Kewell as one of the greatest players he had played against but questioned his consistency and attitude after his initial injuries.[15] Former German international Michael Ballack has also highlighted Kewell's ability and inconsistency.[16]

Kewell has represented Australia at the 1995 FIFA U-17 World Championship, the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup, where Australia finished runners-up, the 2004 OFC Nations Cup, which Australia claimed for the fourth time, the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the 2007 AFC Asian Cup, the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, where Australia finished runners-up.

Playing career

Kewell was born on 22 September 1978 in Sydney, to an English father, Rod and an Australian mother, Helen. Harry grew up supporting Liverpool F.C. in English football's First Division. Kewell received his early schooling at Smithfield Public School[17] and secondary schooling at St. Johns Park High School before transferring to Westfield Sports High School.[18] During his time at Westfields Sports High School, Kewell played at representative level for both school and club competitions. He played in the New South Wales Youth League representing the under-13 to under-15 Marconi Stallions teams, coached by Stephen Treloar, while also attending other specialised training with the NSW Junior Soccer Academy, coached by David Lee.

Early career (1993)

At the age of 14, Kewell travelled to Thailand, Italy and England with the successful Marconi under-14 team that had recently won the state titles. The team played games against the junior team of A.C. Milan, as well as apprenticeship sides in England. This was the first time Kewell had been out of the country but provided him his first taste of football in Europe, having also attended a Premier League match for the first time as a spectator. At the age of 15, Kewell was offered the opportunity to travel back to England and trial with Premiership football club Leeds United for a period of four weeks as part of the Big Brother Movement in Australia. Kewell travelled to England with his future Socceroo team-mate Brett Emerton. Both were successful during their trials at Leeds; however, only Kewell was able to take up the club's offer due to his father's English heritage, which satisfied the visa requirements.[19]

Leeds United (1995–2003)

Harry Kewell signing autographs in 2001.

Kewell played for three seasons in the Leeds United youth-team, his first game for youth-team was against Sunderland in 1995 and scored his first hat-trick against Rotherham on 7 December 1996.[4] Kewell was handed his first team debut at the age of 17 in a 1–0 home defeat against Middlesbrough on 30 March 1996.[20][21][22][23] In 1998, Kewell was part of the Leeds United youth-team that claimed the 1996–97 FA Youth Cup final in a 3–1 aggregate win against Crystal Palace. The first goal he scored for Leeds came some time later, in October 1997, in a 3–1 League Cup victory over Stoke City. Around that time he was flatmates with Leeds goalkeeper, Nicky Byrne,[24] who would later become a member of boyband Westlife.

He was sent off in the Leeds United-Galatasaray UEFA Cup 1999-00 semi-final match.[25] Playing mostly in a left midfield role and in attack, Kewell became one of Leeds' young stars in a troop of highly promising youngsters, eventually playing alongside fellow Australian Mark Viduka.

In the 1999–00 season, on the back of his most successful season at Leeds where he also won PFA Young Player of the Year was selected in the PFA Team of the Year, Italian giants, Internazionale, had unsuccessfully bid £25m for Harry but Leeds rejected the offer citing his value to their side.[26] The high point of this period was when Kewell helped Leeds to the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League in 2000–01.[27] However, the club began to suffer financial difficulties and, by 2002–03, having sold many of their best players, Kewell's efforts in front of goal merely delayed Leeds' slide from being relegated from the Premiership. Kewell's efforts at Leeds United gained him international recognition for his talents. He scored 45 goals in over 180 appearances for Leeds over eight years.[28][29]

Kewell left Leeds under acrimonious circumstances. In an interview given to the BBC shortly before his move to Liverpool, Kewell lashed out against the staff at the club, stating that the medical staff loved Lucas Radebe and that his teammates had ostracised him.[30]

Liverpool (2003–2008)

Having rejected more financially enticing offers from Milan,[26] Chelsea,[26] Manchester United,[26][31] Arsenal[26] and Barcelona,[26][32] Kewell moved to the club he supported as a boy, Liverpool for the start of the 2003–04 season.[33] Kewell was handed the famous number seven shirt, surrendered by Vladimír Šmicer.[34]

Kewell's transfer was highly controversial because it was alleged by former England captain, Gary Lineker, in an article in July 2003 that a significant portion (£2,000,000 of the £5,000,000) went to Kewell's unregistered agent, Bernie Mandic to ensure that he ended up at Anfield.[35][36] In a related matter, Kewell sued Lineker in 2005 for defamation of character, but, with the jury unable to agree on a verdict, the parties had to settle out of court.[37]

Kewell made his debut for Liverpool in the opening game of the 2003–04 English Premier League season, a 2–1 home loss to Chelsea on 17 August 2003.[38] Kewell scored his first ever goal for Liverpool in a 3–0 away win over great rivals Everton in the Merseyside derby with a great first time strike. Kewell completed his first ever season at Anfield equal second with Emile Heskey by scoring seven goals, nine behind Michael Owen as Liverpool's top goalscorer for the 2003–04 Premier League season. Kewell also finished as Liverpool's top scorer in the UEFA Cup, scoring goals against Olimpija Ljubljana, FC Steaua Bucureşti and PFC Levski Sofia which ended Kewell's season total of 10 goals. Kewell kicked off his 2004–05 season very poor, not scoring a goal in his first 14 games, even though he had injury problems and finally scored his first goal in round 15 in the Premier League in a 1–1 away draw against Aston Villa. That was Kewell's only goal of the season in the Premier League and overall, it was one of his worst seasons ever. Kewell started and played in the 2005 Football League Cup Final and the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final.

On 25 May 2005, Kewell became the only Australian-born player (Craig Johnston was born in South Africa) to win the UEFA Champions League, playing in Liverpool's win over Milan in the 2005 Champions League Final on penalties. Kewell was controversially selected by manager Rafael Benítez ahead of the defensive midfielder Dietmar Hamann, signalling the club's intent to attack from the outset. The gamble proved unsuccessful, and an injured Kewell was substituted early in the first half with a torn abductor muscle. Liverpool were losing 1–0 at the time and Kewell was infamously booed off the pitch by Liverpool fans with many suggesting he had faked the injury.[39][40] It also emerged during the summer of 2005 that Kewell had been playing throughout the season with an undiagnosed sports hernia, also known as 'Gilmore's groin.'

In November 2005, after recovering from the injury sustained during the final, Kewell spoke to the official Liverpool website, saying that he had a strong desire to repay his manager Rafael Benítez for showing confidence in him by fielding him in the Champions League Final.[41] He also thanked his wife and friends for the support shown to him while he recovered from injury.[41] He also re-stated the severity of the injury which had forced him off in the final and told his doubters that they were misguided to question the severity of his injury.[41]

Kewell's form for Liverpool in the 2005–06 FA Premier League season showed what he was truly capable of, scoring goals and plenty of assists, lending support to his assertion that his prior mediocre performance was the result of poor health rather than apathy. Kewell scored his first league goal at Anfield in over two years when Liverpool beat Tottenham Hotspur 1–0 in January,[42] he was also the only scorer when Liverpool beat Manchester City 1–0 at Anfield[43] and scored the last goal in a 3–1 win over derby rivals Everton just under a month later[44] in one of his best displays of the season. Kewell was also one of Liverpool's best performers in the FA Cup semi-final win over Chelsea which Liverpool won 2–1.[45]

Kewell played in the 2006 FA Cup Final, only to be substituted in the 48th minute due to abdominal pains (the supporters reaction this time was more sympathetic compared to the previous year's Champions League final). It was later confirmed by Liverpool that he had torn a groin muscle,[46] but was expected to be fit for the World Cup.[47]

On 30 April 2007, Kewell made his comeback after almost a year out of club football. He came on as a 55th-minute substitute for Liverpool Reserves in a 'mini-derby' against Everton Reserves.[48] On 5 May 2007, he came on as a substitute in the second half of Liverpool's match against Fulham at Craven Cottage, having not played for Liverpool since his substitution in the 2006 FA Cup Final.[49] On 13 May 2007, Kewell came on as a substitute in the second half against Charlton Athletic in the last game of the Premiership where he scored his last ever goal for the club.[50] Speculation on whether he was to be selected in Liverpool's upcoming Champions League Final in Athens rapidly became positive for Kewell after providing an excellent game against Charlton. Kewell provided a cross in for Dirk Kuyt to assist towards a Xabi Alonso goal and then scored a penalty on the 90th minute.[50] He played in the Champions League Final in Athens, coming on as a second-half substitute for Boudewijn Zenden. Liverpool lost the final 2–1 to A.C. Milan.[51]

Kewell was injured for the start of the 2007–08 season, and he faced an uncertain future at Liverpool having suffered yet another injury, which sidelined him for the first month of the Premier League season. Kewell returned as a substitute in Liverpool's League Cup victory over Cardiff City on 31 October, coming on in the 71st minute.[52] He then came on as a substitute in the Premier League and UEFA Champions League against Blackburn and Beşiktaş respectively.[53][54] Kewell put in a great performance by setting up two goals for Fernando Torres and Dirk Kuyt as Liverpool beat Marseille in impressive fashion 4–0 away victory to secure qualification to the knockout phase of the Champions League. After his return, Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez stated on the club's website and to other members of the media that a new contract for Kewell to continue his career at Anfield was not out of the question.[55] Many believed that if Kewell could stay injury free until the season's end he would be offered the chance to remain with the club.

Kewell found himself unable to make the team after Liverpool's FA Cup defeat to Barnsley. Benítez revealed that Kewell was in extra training with the reserves in a bid to win a new contract.[56] His chances of a new contract were hindered however, when seeking games and match fitness, he travelled with his national team to play in a game against Singapore. Kewell returned to England with a groin strain,[57] unfortunately leaving less time to prove himself worthy of a new deal. His first goal of the 2007–08 season was for the Liverpool reserve team in their 2–0 win over rivals Manchester United.[58] Because of injuries, his future at Liverpool was uncertain.[59] In May 2008, it was revealed Liverpool would not be offering Kewell a new contract at the club.[60]

Galatasaray (2008–2011)

On 5 July 2008, reigning Turkish Süper Lig champions, Galatasaray, signed Kewell to a two-year deal, and he was presented with the number 19 shirt.[61]

He said "I wanted to move on and this is the best way. I can't wait to get started, it's just what I'm looking forward to, a new challenge."[62] Kewell's transfer to Galatasaray provoked strong criticism from fans of his former team Leeds United as he was a Leeds player when two of their fans were killed in clashes before a UEFA Cup semi-final against Galatasaray in Istanbul in April 2000.[63][64] Kewell responded and in an open letter he stated "I chose the No 19 shirt when I signed for Galatasaray SK as a sign of respect for Leeds because that was the number I got when I first became a regular member of the Leeds United starting XI. I felt that it might be a way to demonstrate that I had not forgotten where it all started and I was hoping that in a small way it would help the healing process of the tragedy that occurred on 5 April 2000. To blame the Galatasaray club for the tragedy in Istanbul is simply wrong and discriminatory."[65][66][67]

Kewell made his debut for Galatasaray in the Turkish Super Cup where he came on as a substitute on the 66th minute, scoring his first goal for Galatasaray just 20 seconds later with his first touch in the 2–1 win over Kayserispor, while also providing the assist for the second goal.[68] His second goal for the club came in the first league game of the season against Denizlispor, where Galatasaray won 4–1.[69] On 23 October 2008, Kewell scored the only goal in Galatasaray's UEFA Cup win over Olympiacos.[70] A week later Kewell played in Galatasaray's first Turkish Cup match where they drew 1–1 with Ankaraspor.[71]

On 2 November 2008, Kewell scored his fourth league goal in Galatasaray's home win over Gaziantepspor, after a week full of overwhelming speculations in the Turkish media about his injury.[72][73] Following medical consultations in Australia, it was announced on 12 December 2008 that Kewell would need surgery to repair an inguinal hernia,[74] and the operation took place on 15 December 2008.[75] Of the nine games that Kewell had scored in before his injury, Galatasaray had won them all, including 2 UEFA Cup games, 6 league games and a Turkish Super Cup match.

In a UEFA Cup Round of 32 match against FC Bordeaux, Kewell scored a goal from 35 metres out,[76] bringing the score to 2–1. Galatasaray ended up winning the game and proceeding to the Round of 16.[76] On 12 March 2009, during the UEFA Cup Round of 16 match against Hamburger SV, Kewell had to play as a centre back for 40 minutes after the sending off of teammate Emre Aşık, but managed to fulfill the role adequately despite playing out of position. In the second leg of the Round of 16 clash he was again played as a centre back, scoring a penalty whilst doing so.[77]

Kewell warming up before a match with Galatasaray in July 2009.
Kewell warming up before a match with Galatasaray in July 2009.

In the 2009–10 season, Kewell scored 14 goals in 28 matches in all competitions. He netted 9 times in 17 league appearances,[78] playing as the main striker in most matches due to an injured Milan Baroš. In a 2009–10 Turkish Cup play-off Kewell scored in a 2–1 win against Bucaspor on 28 October 2009 to put the side into the group stage phase of the tournament.[79] Finishing on top of their group, Galatasaray were eliminated at the quarter-final stage against Antalyaspor.[80] During the 2009–10 UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds Kewell scored Galatasaray's second goal in a 4–1 away win against Israeli club Maccabi Netanya on 30 July 2009.[81] Kewell would then score in a 5–0 win against Estonia's Levadia Tallinn on 20 August 2009.[82] Galatsaray qualified for the group stage phase. On 22 October 2009, Kewell scored in a 4–1 win over Dinamo Bucureşti in Istanbul.[83] In the return leg on 5 November 2009 he scored after 22 minutes in a game which resulted in a 3–0 win to Galatasaray.[84] Galatasaray faced Atlético Madrid in the 2009–10 UEFA Europa League knockout phase where they lost 3–2 on aggregate to the eventual champions.[85]

On 15 August 2009, Kewell scored two penalties in a 4–1 home win to Denizlispor.[86] Almost two weeks later on 31 August he scored a goal after 74 minutes in a 2–0 away win to Ankaraspor in Round 4 of the Turkcell Süper Lig.[87] Kewell scored his fourth goal of the campaign in a 4–3 win to Trabzonspor on 18 October.[88] Two weeks later he scored in a 2–0 win to Sivasspor at home on 1 November.[89] By Round 13, Kewell scored his sixth goal of the Turkcell Süper Lig in a 1–1 draw to Manisaspor on 22 November.[90] Two weeks later on 6 December he scored after 56 minutes in a 1–1 draw to İstanbul BŞB.[91] Just five days later in an away game against Antalyaspor, the game was locked at 2–2 until after 67 minutes Kewell broke the deadlock to win the match for Galatasary 3–2 on 11 December.[92] On 19 December, Kewell would score his ninth and final goal for Galatasaray in the 2009–10 season in a 1–0 win to Gençlerbirliği where he netted on the 77-minute.[93] In January, fellow Socceroo teammate and captain Lucas Neill would join Kewell at Galatasaray after he was transferred from Everton.[94] Under coach Frank Rijkaard, Galatasaray finished third on the 2010–11 Süper Lig table, and qualified for the 2010–11 UEFA Europa League Third qualifying round, where Kewell's contract with Galatasaray expired after the 2009–10 season.[95]

On 16 July 2010, it was revealed that Kewell had rejected an approach from A-League side Gold Coast United in favour of staying in Europe.[96] Galatasaray offered a new 1-year contract, but it is believed that Kewell preferred a longer contract.[96] On 19 July 2010, Galatasaray announced via its official website that the parties had agreed to a 1-year extension of Kewell's contract.[97] On 21 July, the details of Kewell's contract were revealed; he would receive a lump sum fee of €1.8million and a salary of €30,000 per match.[98] It was also revealed that Harry would wear number 99 for the 2010–2011 season.[99][100] Kewell scored his first goal of the 2010–11 season in a 1–0 win against Gaziantepspor on 14 September 2010.[101] Kewell scored his second goal of the season against Beşiktaş in a 2–1 loss on 29 November, having been down 2–0, Kewell scored for Galatasary after 90 minutes.[102] Kewell opened the scoring after 27 minutes as Galatasary beat Kasımpaşa 3–0 on 5 December 2010.[103]

On 7 February 2011, Kewell scored Galatasaray's third goal in a 4–2 win against Eskişehirspor, he was substituted off the field after 63 minutes for Milan Baroš who would then score Galatasaray's fourth goal.[104] Following a solid but not sensational season at Galatasaray there had been continual speculation that Kewell could be heading back home to Australia, with the Newcastle Jets reportedly a keen investor. The interest in the Socceroo coincided with Nathan Tinkler buying out the Novocastrian club in late 2010. Kewell scored his last goal for Galatasaray in a 3–2 away win against Gençlerbirliği on 15 May 2011.[105] On 19 May 2011, Kewell's wife, Sheree Murphy, posted on Twitter that Harry would play his last game for Galatasary against Konyaspor because no contract had been offered to him.[106] Galatasaray finished in eighth spot on the Süper Lig table with 46 points as Kewell scored 5 goals in 20 appearances for the 2010–11 season.[107]

Kewell was a fan favourite among Galatasaray supporters; his working discipline and dignified personality were appreciated by his teammates and board members in Galatasaray as well. He was described as fully professional with a charming character, always smiling and dedicated to his family.[108] His nicknames at Galatasaray were Büyücü Harry meaning Harry the Wizard (inspired by Harry Potter) and the Wizard of Oz (Turkish: Oz Büyücüsü).

2011 transfer speculation

On 4 June 2011, it was reported that both Kewell and Lucas Neill had been offered contracts from newly promoted Premier League club QPR.[109] On 5 June, it was revealed by The Sunday Age that Kewell's manager, Bernard Mandic, informed Football Federation Australia that Kewell was considering an offer from Melbourne Victory.[110] Melbourne Victory chairman Anthony Di Pietro and several other directors met Kewell at St Kilda restaurant Cafe Di Stasio in a bid to bring him to Melbourne.[110][111] Kewell's management was understood to have wanted a percentage of any increase in membership and merchandise sales that Kewell would likely to deliver in Melbourne.[110][111] According to media reports, Kewell was keen to spend more time with wife and their three young children, after playing with Turkish club Galatasaray for the past three seasons while his family was based in England.[110] Di Pietro said that Kewell was about to holiday with his family and had indicated he would seriously consider the Melbourne Victory offer.[110]

It was then reported that Kewell was on the verge of signing for Melbourne Heart, however the club were not prepared to meet his wage demands. Kewell's management had requested $2.5m a year, a percentage of gate takings, a beachside home, two luxury cars and that Kewell could personally select players for the team's 23-man playing roster, although these demands were refuted by Mandic.[112] It was reported that both Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets were also chasing Kewell's signature.[113] On 25 June, it was reported that several clubs were hoping to lure Kewell to Australia and Adelaide United chairman Greg Griffin said that his club would not stand in the FFA's way if a deal – even with fierce rival Melbourne Victory – required an "additional kick".[114] On 28 June, it was reported by Fox Sports Australia that Eddie McGuire said Kewell would be officially presented with a Melbourne Victory shirt when the Melbourne side would face Scottish side Celtic in a friendly at AAMI Park on 13 July, which proved untrue.[115]

On 5 July, it had officially been reported by the Sydney Morning Herald that Harry Kewell would not be playing in the 2011–12 A-League season, stating that it was "all about the money".[116] One day later an article was reported on SBS's The World Game website that Harry Kewell's manager, Bernie Mandic, had explained why an innovative proposal to bring the Socceroos star to the A-League failed at the final hurdle and that Mandic claimed that Football Federation Australia's head of corporate affairs and communications, Kyle Patterson, had made Kewell look like a greedy villain by misrepresenting the facts[117] On 7 July, The Australian stated that there had been claims that Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC had signed him.[118] On 9 July, The Courier Mail reported that Football Federation Australia would not bow to the demands of Kewell's manager but were confident that Kewell would be an A-League player by the time the 2011–12 season would begin in October.[119]

On 10 July, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Kewell proposed that part of the money he received to play in the 2011–12 A-League season would be used to build an academy to nurture talented and disadvantaged youth, having reported that Kewell said he remained uncertain about whether a deal could be reached to play in the A-League next season and was disappointed that he had been portrayed as greedy.[120] The Age reported that despite Kewell's stalled attempt to finish his career in the A-League, his exasperation was "disappointed and even a little bit sad" about what had happened since he showed some interest in returning to Australia to play in the A-League.[121]

On 4 August, ABC Melbourne reported that after patient negotiating with Kewell's agent Bernie Mandic since June 2011, Melbourne Victory had given Kewell an ultimatum to sign by that Thursday or to find somewhere else to play for the 2011–12 season.[122] Kewell reportedly asked the club for an extension to consider his position when his management had contacted Melbourne Victory on Thursday night, the club granted Kewell and his management three days (until Monday 8 August) to decide whether he would accept the complex deal that would be consequently withdrawn by Melbourne Victory after the deadline.[123]

Melbourne Victory

Harry Kewell being unveiled as Melbourne Victory's new signing in 2011.

On 20 August 2011 it was announced Kewell had signed a three-year contract with A-League club Melbourne Victory.[124][125][126] Melbourne was hyped up with "Kewell Fever" with many hundreds of fans welcoming him at Melbourne Airport and over two thousand fans attending AAMI Park, where he was given his number 22 jersey by chairman Anthony del Pietro. Kewell played his first friendly against Adelaide United on 23 August at Hindmarsh Stadium, coming off at half time. Coach Mehmet Durakovic rated his performance as "phenomenal" and went on to say "Harry's really a professional footballer, and should be ready for 8 October".[127]

Kewell made his first appearance in the 2011–12 A-League season in a 0–0 draw against Sydney FC on 8 October in front of an attendance of 40,000 at Etihad Stadium.[128] Kewell scored his first goal for the Victory from a penalty against Gold Coast United on Saturday 26 November 2011 at AAMI Park, Melbourne, after teammate Archie Thompson was brought down in the box in the first minute. On 31 December 2011 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Kewell scored his second goal in the 4th minute from a cracking shot outside of the box. After a slow start to his A league first season, he started to get his talented form back resulting in a few best on ground performances.His fourth goal came from a free kick just outside the box against Gold Coast United in Launceston, Tasmania on 1 February 2012. His goal wasn't enough to seal the game as Melbourne conceded a late goal in the last minute from Gold Coast's Micheal Thwaite to end in a 1–1 draw.

He scored his fifth goal against Central Coast Mariners on 10 February from a cracking volley in the box which helped Melbourne get a crucial 2–1 win over the top side. It allowed Melbourne Victory a hope of making the finals with six games remaining.

On 18 February, Kewell scored two goals at the Suncorp Stadium to give Melbourne a hope of drawing against Brisbane Roar in a classic 3–2 loss. He was taken off in the 77-minute which resulted in Melbourne Victory having a few less chances of scoring. He has scored three goals from two matches at Suncorp Stadium.

Kewell did not continue with the club after his first season and returned to Europe to be closer to his mother-in-law as she battled cancer.[129]


On 6 April 2013, Kewell signed to Al-Gharafa in the Qatar Stars League for the remainder of the 2012–13 season as an injury replacement for Mark Bresciano.[130] Kewell made his debut on 7 April as a substitute against Al Sadd.[131][132] Kewell finished his third and final game of the season in Qatar with his only goal, against Qatar SC on 18 April.[133] With the current terms of his contractual commitments to Al-Garafa completed, Kewell was seen back in Melbourne around 48 hours later,[134] with his future career uncertain.

Melbourne Heart

In June 2013 it was announced that Kewell would play for Melbourne Heart in the 2013–14 A-League season.[135] Following the first game of the season against Melbourne Victory Kewell was diagnosed with whiplash, ruling him out for three weeks. In training for his round 5 return Kewell suffered an ankle injury.[136] On 25 March, it was announced that Kewell would retire from professional football at the end of the A-League season. His last game was on 12 April against Western Sydney Wanderers.[137]


On 26 March 2014, Kewell announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 35.[138] On 19 October 2016, it was announced that Kewell had been chosen as the recipient of the Alex Tobin Medal, Australia's most prestigious football honour, for his achievements during the course of his career.[139]

International career

Kewell playing for Australia

Kewell became the youngest player to debut for the Australian national team when he played against Chile on 24 April 1996, aged 17 years and 7 months.[140][141][142] In November 1997, Kewell was selected to play for Australia in the country's 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifying game against Iran. At the Azadi Stadium in Tehran, in front of an estimated crowd of 100,000, Kewell scored his first ever goal for his country and gave Australia a 1–0 lead. Iran eventually drew level and the game resulted in a 1–1 draw, which set up a tense return game in Melbourne.

A then-record crowd for a football match in Australia of 85,513[143] – at the Melbourne Cricket Ground – witnessed the second leg of the World Cup qualifier against Iran, as well as Kewell's second goal.[144] The Socceroos eventually stretched their lead to two goals but Iran fought back and scored two vital away goals to finish the game 2–2 and qualify for the 1998 World Cup in France[144] on away goals.

2006 World Cup

On 16 November 2005, Australia qualified for the 2006 FIFA World Cup after they beat Uruguay.[145][146] It was the first time Australia had qualified for the World Cup since 1974 when it was held in West Germany. Kewell was considered instrumental in the Socceroos' defeat of Uruguay, turning the course of the match after he came on as a substitute. He scored the first penalty for Australia in the deciding penalty shoot-out, which they went on to win 4–2.[145][146]

Kewell played in Australia's opening game of the 2006 World Cup against Japan in Kaiserslautern. He did not start for Australia in their second group match against Brazil but again came on as a substitute, missing an early opportunity when Brazilian goalkeeper Dida punched the ball out dangerously. Kewell was reported to FIFA by referee Markus Merk for verbal abuse after the match but he escaped being sanctioned.[147]

Kewell scored Australia's second goal in the 79th minute against Croatia to equal the score at 2–2 and qualify for the Round of 16 for the first time.[148] Australia only needed a draw to qualify for the Round of 16. He was also awarded Man of the Match for his performance,[148] which made him the second Australian to win the Man of the Match award at a World Cup after Tim Cahill who had won the award earlier in the tournament for his performance against Japan.[149] Due to suspected gout,[150][151] (later diagnosed as septic arthritis – a bacterial infection in the joints of his left foot[152]) Kewell was unable to play against Italy in the knockout stage, which Australia lost 1–0 and saw Australia eliminated from the 2006 FIFA World Cup.[153]

Harry Kewell at an award presentation after the 2007 Asian Cup

2007 Asian Cup

Kewell did not play for the national team for a year following the World Cup, and made his national-team comeback in a friendly against Singapore on 30 June 2007. The match was Australia's last before the 2007 Asian Cup and Kewell came on as a substitute in the 65th minute; scoring his eighth international goal and providing a cross for the final goal in a 3–0 victory.[154][155] Kewell was a key part of the Australian squad for the Asian Cup. Kewell scored his 9th international goal for Australia in a 4–0 win over Thailand in the Asian Cup.[156] After the group stage, in the quarter-final against Japan, Kewell was sent on to the pitch to replace Mark Viduka in the 61st minute, in a 1–1 draw. A penalty shootout was required to break the deadlock and Kewell's first penalty shot for Australia was stopped. Australia ultimately lost the shootout and were eliminated from the Asian Cup.[157]

2010 World Cup


Kewell did not play either of Australia's first two matches against Qatar and China. Kewell was made captain for Australia's qualifier against Iraq at Suncorp Stadium on 1 June 2008. He scored the only goal with a header in the 47th minute as Australia won 1–0.[158] Kewell also scored the third goal against Qatar in Australia's 3–1 win to put them into the final qualification round.[159] In a World Cup qualifier warm up game against the Netherlands, he scored a penalty won by Joshua Kennedy.[160] Australia went on to win 2–1 with Kewell playing a vital part for the national team in the first half.[160] Australia then played Uzbekistan, winning 2–0 with Kewell scoring a penalty.[161]


Kewell did not play in Australia's opening game of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, a 4–0 loss to Germany.[162][163] After the loss, Kewell said that the morale of the team remained high, ahead of a clash against Ghana. During the game against Ghana on 19 June, Kewell was sent off for blocking a goal by handling the ball.[164] Standing on the goal line, Kewell attempted to block the ball from entering the goal net with his chest, however the ball ricocheted off his arm; he received a straight red card for the offence on the 24-minute. Asamoah Gyan went on to score the resulting penalty and the game was drawn 1–1,[164][165] severely damaging Australia's hopes of progressing past the group stage. This was the 150th red card issued in a World Cup game.[166] Kewell denied rumours that he was behind a supposed rift in the Socceroos camp.[167] After the game Kewell said that he was devastated by the decision made by referee Roberto Rosetti and felt that the red card "killed" his World Cup dream.[168][169]

2011 Asian Cup

Harry Kewell started in all of the Socceroos' matches in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, and scored three times for the green and gold in the Qatar-based tournament.[170] His first goal came in Australia's first match, against India,[171] with a left footed shot from outside the penalty area. Kewell's second goal came in Australia's quarter-final match against Iraq with a header in the 118th minute in extra-time, which gave Australia a 1–0 win and put them into the semi-finals of the Asian Cup for the first time in Australia's history.[172] Kewell continued his fine form in the semi-final against Uzbekistan by opening the scoring in the first five minutes, helping his side to a 6–0 win and progress to the final,[173] where they were beaten 1–0 by Japan.[174]

Management career

Following his retirement, Kewell worked with junior players through his academy in Australia for a few months, and in 2015 he successfully completed his UEFA 'B' and 'A' licenses.[175]


On 23 July 2015, Kewell was appointed head coach of the Watford Under-21 team.[5][6] On 10 August 2015, Kewell coached his first game for the club, ending in a 0–0 draw at Sheffield Wednesday.[175]

Personal life

Kewell was born in Smithfield, Sydney. Kewell is married to English soap actress Sheree Murphy, whom he met at the Majestyk nightclub in Leeds in 2000.[176] The couple married in Las Vegas on 24 May 2002[177] and have four children, son Taylor (born 2001) and daughters Ruby (born 2003),[178] Matilda (born 2008) and Dolly (born 2012).

As of May 2008, Kewell has become the face of Australian men's fashion brand, Politix.[179] He advocated the introduction of Western Sydney A-League expansion team Sydney Rovers FC, having grown up in Smithfield in Sydney's west. He is also a supporter of the Canterbury Bulldogs rugby league team.[180]

Career statistics



Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
1995–96 Leeds United Premier League 200200
1996–97 100100
1997–98 29544202113585
1998–99 386651222140149910
1999–2000 3610133212011255531720
2000–01 172590526210
2001–02 278300011072235115
2002–03 3114741010051041167
2003–04 Liverpool 367230021083049112
2004–05 181200010012003112
2005–06 27336001006004033
2006–07 210000000100310
2007–08 10011001003031504
Turkey League Turkish Cup Turkish Super Cup Europe Total
2008–09 Galatasaray Süper Lig 268510011194137137
2009–10 179421194128146
2010–11 20523003232675
Australia League Asia Total
2011–12 Melbourne Victory A-League 25842584
Qatar League Asia Total
2012–13 Al-Gharafa Qatar Stars League 310310
Australia League Asia Total
2013–14 Melbourne Heart A-League 16201620
Totals England 2745746266313536711163807968
Turkey 63221161111121105913418
Australia 4110441104
Qatar 310310
Career totals 38190613274146488212151512490



Australia national team

International goals



Leeds United





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