CHESTER-born former footballer Michael Owen has taken people behind the scenes of his state-of-the-art horse racing stable.

The former England international, who burst on to the football scene as a teenager in the 1990s, now dedicates his energy and passion to horses Manor House Stables in Hampton, Malpas.

In a new video, he compares thoroughbred racehorses to top flight footballers, and explains techniques to prevent the horses from picking up injuries by keeping them in tip top condition.

Chester and District Standard:

Michael Owen

He said: "Just like me at thirty years of ages, sometimes you need help to get out on that pitch."

Manor House Stables is set in 160 acres of Cheshire countryside. It was converted from a cattle barn by Michael and his wife Louise, before opening for business in 2007 as a training yard with 30 horses.

The stables have gone from strength to strength with continued investment and improvement. The facilities have grown to accomodate 90 horses.

On the Manor House Stables website, Michael added: "My main passions in life have always been my family and football, but I suppose a close third, is horse racing. The joy of owning a racehorse is indescribable, from buying them as youngsters, watching them develop and seeing their first visit to a racecourse. I have owned horses for many years and whenever I have time off, you‘ll find me down at the stables!"

In the video, Michael Owen talks about one of his favourite horses, called Kachy, that always sticks its tongue out when he visits.

Michael was born in Chester and began his senior career at Liverpool in 1996, progressing through the youth team to score on his debut in May 1997.

The former Hawarden High School pupil was Liverpool's top goal scorer from 1997–2004, scoring 118 goals in 216 appearances for the Reds.

He moved to Real Madrid for a transfer fee of £8 million in mid-2004 before returning to England the following season where he played for Newcastle and, controversially for a former Liverpool player, Manchester United.

As recently as last weekend, Owen was still being booed by the Kop faithful at Anfield as he turned out for a charity match alongside Liverpool legends Steven Gerrard, Robbie Fowler and Ian Rush.