Love Island star Luca Bish has admitted he’s ‘never’ seen Michael Owen on the pitch, despite the former professional footballer announcing his retirement less than a decade ago.
Last night, Luca, 23, and his partner Gemma Bish, 19 – who are yet to become official – were named the runners-up in the 2022 series of the ITV2 competition, trailing behind winners Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu and Davide Sanclimenti.
Michael, 42, celebrated his daughter’s run on the show after the result, sharing a photo of them together on Twitter as he wrote: ‘She’s done us proud.’
Despite Gemma’s family seemingly snubbing Luca on Instagram, when they didn’t share a photo of the couple together to mark the end of the series, the pair have given their first interview since the final, talking moving in together and when Luca plans on making their relationship official.
During the exit interview, Luca addressed Gemma’s mum Louise Bonsall saying that he looked like a younger Michael Owen, a remark she made when she entered the villa during the meet-the-parents episode.
When asked how he felt about the comparison, the fishmonger replied: ‘I think when he was playing football, I was really young so I don’t think I’ve ever seen your dad. I’ve seen him now presenting and stuff but I don’t think I look anything like him there but maybe when he was younger.’
‘You need to see a picture of him when he was younger, side by side,’ Gemma suggested, as Luca added: ‘I’ve had nothing to go off. I’ve had people tell me about the goals he scored and all that.’
Michael made his final appearance for England in 2008, when the men’s national team went up against France, a friendly that resulted in a 1-0 loss for England.
In 1998, he became England’s youngest player and youngest goalscorer when he made his national debut, taking on the role of captain at several points throughout his career.
As a striker, he represented sides including Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle United and Manchester United, finishing his professional career at Stoke City.
In their exit interview, hinted at when he’s going to make his relationship with Gemma ‘official’, explaining that ‘there is a plan’.
‘It will hopefully happen in the next month and I’m sure you’ll see it unfold. It’ll be something to do with a swimming pool,’ he teased.
Gemma piped in to add: ‘He knows me well enough now to not do anything too cringe! So, I trust him and I’ll let him get on with it. I’m sure I’ll love it, whatever it is.’
As for whether or not they’ll move in together, Luca revealed he’s ‘happy to go wherever she wants me to go’, stating: ‘There is no middle ground – it’s Chester or nothing!’
‘I haven’t got too many commitments back home so it’s easier for me to move. Whatever makes us happy and whatever is right we’ll do. Hopefully if I move near her, in time we’ll get a place together,’ he said.
‘Just to be near her family I’ll love. Hearing stories about her barbecues and stuff like that, I’m quite excited and I feel like I’ll fit right in.’
Gemma also said that while she hasn’t ‘had a chance’ to speak to her mum ‘properly’ about Luca, ‘from the small bits I’ve heard, she’s really happy and likes him’.
Love Island: The Reunion airs on Sunday at 9pm on ITV2 and ITV Hub.