Liverpool Football Club is not like any other football club. The club has seen triumph and tragedy, the very highest moments a club can experience, and the lowest anyone can go through with. Many players pass through the gates of Anfield and leave a mark on the club; on the fans. Some are remembered long after they hang up their boots and their names are still sung on the Kop.
And there is a local lad, a Liverpool legend, Steven Gerrard.
I have techincally been a Liverpool fan for 23 years, since I was born. I remember many great moments watching Liverpool football club; Cardiff (many times over), Wembley, and of course, Istanbul, to name but a few. Throughout my time following Liverpool, one name has been present on the team sheet, and that name was Gerrard.
To sum Gerrard’s career for Liverpool FC in one post is absolutely impossible, but to see the passing of such an immense talent isn’t right, so I am going to do my best. Gerrard is more than just a good player. He grew up in the city of Liverpool, played on the streets of the city, watched heroes of the 80’s play league winning, european conquering football. He dreamed of pulling on the red of Liverpool and running onto the pitch of Anfield, and his natural talent, limitless drive, and passion for the game and the club made his dreams come true.
Gerrard’s passion for the club runs deeper than many fans. Not only does he captain his club, score in front of the Kop, and raise trophies above his head, but he understands the pain of those who suffered in the darker days of Liverpool’s past. He lost a cousin, Jon-Paul Gilhooley, the youngest fan to travel to Hillsborough and not to return. He stands as a fan on the pitch and in the team, a connection which warmed him to his faithful support in a way very few players have ever experienced or ever will again.
His career did not only see highs. The lows of his flirtations with Chelsea in 2004 and 2005 threatened his hero status at Liverpool. He came so close to signing for Chelsea that some Liverpool fans burnt his shirts in the street, and some began to turn their back on their fearless captain. Even the promise of increased wages, trophies, ad the league title that illuded him throughout his time at Anfield was not enough to sway his decision to pull on Liverpool red.
I wish I could have been in Liverpool to watch his final game for Liverpool, to see him receive all he is due from the Kop, and to see him bow out at Anfield, but it was not to be. Watching his best moments for Liverpool, his best goals for the club, and reading about his success has made me appreciate all that we as Liverpool fans have enjoyed throughout his 17 season Liverpool career, and just how much we will miss when he is gone.
My Top Ten Steven Gerrard Moments
Steven Gerrard has had many great, and some not so great moments, in a Liverpool shirt. Here is a breakdown of my top ten Steven Gerrard moments:
10. Liverpool v Everton, Anfield, 06/04/1999: This was the first time that I really remember Gerrard’s name. I can sort of remember the times when he began playing for the club, I can remember the back injuries, but this was the first time I remember thinking, that’s Stevie G. It wasn’t a great goal, it was two on the line clearances against the blues.
9. Liverpool v Everton, Anfield, 13/03/2012: Some of his less brilliant moments have come against Everton. They have already been mentioned on this list for a less prolific feat, but the hatrick against our local rivals was a really great moment in Gerrard’s Liverpool career. And what a celebration in the middle of the Everton fans constant baby jibes.
8. Liverpool v Manchester United, Anfield, 31/03/2001: What a goal. What an absolute screamer. It left Barthez stranded, it helped us win the game, it was just epic. I don’t think I will ever forget the goal.
7. Liverpool v Manchester City, Anfield, 13/04/2014: This was the only time when I have felt like we were going to win the league , and what a feeling it was. It was strange, I have wanted to see Liverpool win the league for as long as I can remember, but at that moment, when he did that talk in that huddle, I wanted to see him win it, not just the club. That says a lot about the guy. We dared to dream for us and we dared to dream for him.
6. Liverpool v Alaves, Dortmund, 16/05/2001: This was the first match played midweek that I was allowed to stay up and watch until the final whistle. It was a dramatic final, fnishing with a golden own goal from a Gary Mac free kick. But it was Gerrard’s goal in that final that I remember. It doubled our lead and was the first time I remember thinking that he was dependable and necessary in the midfield. It also was part of a memorable treble s
5. ‘I’m Staying’, 06/07/2005: We all thought he had gone, some thought he was a traitor, some burnt his shirts in the streets. Then the news came that he had signed, and that was it, he was no longer a Liverpool player. Until you realised that the signing was by Liverpool to retain their captain. In that moment, he cemented his status as a god-like captain.
4. Manchester United v Liverpool, Old Trafford, 14/04/2009: The day I sat in jamie Carraghers bar when we were 1-0 down to our rivals, and saw a brilliant comeback. It was the day that Gerrard famously kissed the camera, and it was the day that produced the best piece of fanzone footage ever.
3. Liverpool v Olympiakos, Anfield, 08/12/2004: Disappointingly, I was in a school Orchestra performance on the night that was the miracle at Anfield, and I missed the goal scored live. But oh what a goal, and what a piece of commentary just to make sure you never forget it (not that you would!)>
2. Liverpool v West Ham United, Cardiff, 13/06/2006: I remember this final almost as clearly as I remember Istanbul. We just didn’t do finals easily in those days. A dramatic opening, a miraculous comeback, and the goal of the season. It really was a Gerrard final. Everything involved him, went through him, it was epic.
1. AC Milan v Liverpool, Istanbul, 25/05/2005: Who are we kidding, this was probably the greatest single evening in the history of Liverpool FC. He may not have single handedly created and scored the goals that won Liverpool the final, but Gerrard took the spark the fans provided and created a fire that burnt AC Milan’s dreams of winning the Champions League that night.
Watching him kiss the trophy with Carragher, watching his rouse the fans, and once all was done, go to the Hillsborough collective and say ‘This one’s for you’ was hands down the greatest night I’ve ever experienced as a Liverpool fan, and I can easily say was one of the best moments I have had on any night of my life.
Quotes from the best
Don’t just take my word for it that Steven Gerrard is one of the best players of his generation. Here are some quotes from past and present footballers and managers about Stevie:
For me, he is the greatest player to ever pull on a Liverpool shirt. His status at the club stands above legend; his name will never never be forgotten at Anfield. He once famously said that the name in the front is more important than the name in the back. While this will always be true at Anfield, Gerrard epitomised what it is and should be to be a Liverpool player.