Gemma Owen: All the clues the Love Island star’s dropped about her dad, Michael Owen

19-year-old has yet to outright declare her famous parentage

Amanda Whiting
Friday 01 July 2022 20:22 BST
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Gemma talks about her dad on ‘Love Island’

Love Island contestants are flirty, but they’re hardly known to be coy. Still, Gemma Owen, daughter of Michael Owen, has yet to announce to the rest of the cast that her father is the famous England footballer.

The ITV2 series returned on Monday (6 June) with a new batch of contestants who entered the Spanish villa in the hopes of finding romance with a side of summer fame.

But one of the contestants is already famous, at least by association. And while Gemma hasn’t publicly declared her sporting parentage, she has dropped a couple of clues.

The first came early as Gemma, a dressage rider, described her life outside the villa to fellow contestant Liam LLewelyn.

“I feel like you have a big house,” Gemma’s audience-assigned love interest responds when he finds out she keeps a dozen horses. Of course, the horses don’t reside in the house, but Liam’s larger point goes unaddressed.

Next, though, the 19-year-old peppers Liam, who is doing his masters in strength and conditioning, about his career as an athlete. By the time she’s through asking him what tier of professional football he reached before tapping out, Liam is suspicious. He guesses that Gemma’s ex-boyfriend might be a footballer. So close!

Gemma and Michael Owen in 2005

In a separate conversation, Gemma dropped that her surname is “Owen”. As it’s a common surname in the UK, the cast can’t be faulted for not joining up the dots yet, but the dramatic tension is building.

And during Thursday (9 June) night’s episode, as she assured football fan Luca Bish that he’s the kind of guy she’d bring home to meet her family, Gemma came as close as ever to blurting out her father’s name. “He appreciates a guy who’s into sport,” she said of her dad, who also owns race horses. “I’ve heard you talking about football and about racing.”

Finally, on an episode from 30 June, one of the bombshells directly asked Gemma about her father. But even Antigoni, who’s relatively new to the villa, didn’t mention Michael Owen by name.

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“Sorry if I sound ignorant, but is your dad quite famous and very well known, he played for England right?” Antigoni asked as the girls got ready for the evening’s events.

Ekin-Su, who was listening nearby, then joined the chat by asking Gemma if she knew David Beckham’s sons. Gemma admitted that she went to nursery with them, but didn’t offer any additional details.

Speaking directly to the camera in series premiere, Gemma gave a morsel of insight into life as the former Liverpool great’s daughter. “My dad does have an opinion on who I date,” she said in the season opener.

You can read The Independent’s review of the first episode of Love Island here.

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