Humblebrag? Twitter users mock Michael Owen’s congratulations to Emma Raducanu

She has achieved an incredible amount at the age of 19, capping off a fantastic year with a BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award.

Emma Raducanu is so young that she was not even born when the footballer Michael Owen was a teenage athlete, captivating the nation with a summer of similarly precocious performances. Which is perhaps why he felt the need to educate her.

Owen, adesso 42, sent a tweet congratulating Raducanu for winning the award, while noting she was “the same age as I was waaaaay back in 1998” – the year in which he won the PFA young player of the year award while playing for Liverpool and burst on to the international scene at the World Cup in France.

The tweet was taken by commenters as self-aggrandisement, spawning thousands of imitations from commenters amused by what they saw as his attempt to perform a “humblebrag” – sneaking a boast in under the auspices of a magnanimity.

Some have ironically replicated the format, referencing moments from their own lives such as “me winning the best tame tawny owl in Ferndale competition in 1982", "me winning the hotel darts tournament in Mallorca in 2013” or even “me eating a sausage roll a few weeks back".

Raducanu, from Bromley, era crowned sports personality of the year on Sunday after a year of unprecedented sporting success, which culminated in her winning the US Open.

She beat strong competition for the award from rivals including the England footballer Raheem Sterling, the leading scorer for the team that made it to their first international final since 1966 in the Euros this summer; Tom Daley, who won gold for the first time at his fourth Olympics in Tokyo, after standing up for LGBTQ+ equality; Dame Sarah Storey, who became the most successful Paralympian of all time in Tokyo; Adam Peaty, who was Britain’s most successful swimmer; and Tyson Fury, whose trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder went down as one of the greatest title bouts of all time.

Raducanu’s career so far echoes Owen’s trajectory, in which the teenager from Liverpool became an overnight global star after scoring an impressive solo goal against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup in France. As England’s youngest player and scorer, he was named sports personality of the year for his performance.

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