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pounds 3.25m home win for ex-star; McManaman sells up - and breaks Wirral house price record.

Byline: BY LIAM MURPHY Daily Post Staff

HE IS a close friend and former teammate of Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler whose housing deals are reputed to have made him Britain's wealthiest soccer player.

Now Steve McManaman has dipped into the property market himself to sell his own home, which is claimed to be one of the most prestigious addresses on Merseyside.

The former Liverpool, Manchester City and Real Madrid star has said farewell to his West Wirral home, Brackenwood, which went for pounds 3.25m, bringing him a handsome profit on the pounds 900,000 he paid for it 2002.

The five bedroom family house on Kings Drive, in Caldy, only yards from the home of Liverpool legend Ian Rush, was sold earlier this year to an unknown buyer.

Set in about two acres, the house has been fully modernised and refurbished, and is described as a "large five bedder" with a triple garage but does not have a pool or gym.

A local estate agent who deals with some of the area's most expensive properties, said the price obtained for it marked a step-change in what people were prepared to pay to live in Wirral's most exclusive areas.

Ironically, the previous most expensive family home to be sold in Wirral is close by and was snapped up for a reported pounds 2m-plus by Fowler, who is said to have made his fortune by splashing out on whole streets of terraced properties in Salford.

When he played for City, the crowd used to chant "We all live in a Robbie Fowler house." Paul Lea, of agents Bradshaw Farnham and Lea, confirmed that his company had been involved in the sale of Brackenwood but said confidentiality contracts meant he could not disclose any details.

However, he said his agency had around 13 prospective buyers prepared to spend more than pounds 1m, and two of those could afford to pay in excess of pounds 2m.

Mr Lea said: "This is by far the most expensive sale in Wirral.

"These sort of sales tend to be done without the property

actually going on the market. For example, it would never be seen on our website."

Lindisfarne, another property on Kings Drive, has recently been marketed nationally with a price tagof pounds 7m.

It boasts eight bedrooms, a drawing room, sitting room, music room, dining room, orangery, morning room, offices, as well as a flat for staff.

There is also a pool, sauna, snooker room, wine cellar, lifts to all floors and two acres of land.

Agents Strutt & Parker believe the house to be one of the very best in Wirral and could well end up breaking records for price.

Local councillor Jeff Green said the sale demonstrated the popularity of what is already a well-known and desirable area in which to live.

He said: "It's important that Wirral has property across the range for people, whether they are for first time buyers or homes at a higher level for major investors in the area.

"It's a great sign that people are coming to Wirral with that level of resources, and it can only

CAPTION(S):

Steve McManaman with his wife, Victoria' The luxury home that Steve McManaman has sold for pounds 3.25m: Robbie Fowler - has made a fortune out of property: Steve McManaman with the League Cup in 2001
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 28, 2006
Words:557
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