Steven Gerrard: Tribute to a Liverpool Legend

Steven Gerrard admitted it was the toughest decision of his life as he confirmed his departure from Liverpool at the end of the season but vowed to return after retiring, with the ambition of managing the club. Gerrard will be 35 in May and has decided to reject Liverpool’s offer of new terms. As a free agent he can talk to suitors – although the captain said he will not sign for another Premier League club.

Speaking on his decision Gerrard said, “This has been the toughest decision of my life, one both me and my family have agonised over for a good deal of time. It is my sincere hope and wish that one day I can return to serve Liverpool Football Club again, in whatever capacity best helps the club.” The 34 year old said that he was announcing his decision so that it won’t affect the team morale in the near future this season.

The Reds captain will bring the curtain down on a glittering Anfield career that has spanned nearly 17 years and included 11 trophies, as well as 695 appearances and 180 goals to date since joining the club’s youth system aged eight. He is the only player to score in a Champions League final, an UEFA Cup final, a FA Cup final and a League Cup final. He will be synonymous for, among other achievements, inspiring Liverpool’s remarkable fightback from three goals down to beat Milan in the 2005 Champions League final.

Nostalgia is an easy chord to twang away at but, with Gerrard set to leave at the end of the season, it does seem a bit as if a golden thread connecting Liverpool to their glorious past is about to be decisively severed. When Gerrard made his debut Steve McManaman was still playing. McManaman made his debut in a team containing Ian Rush. Rush made his debut alongside Phil Neal. Neal played with Ian Callaghan, who replaced Billy Liddell, who made his own debut alongside Bob Paisley, arguably the single greatest figure in Liverpool’s history and a central supporting joist of the glory years to come.

Source: Associate Press, Liverpool Echo, Liverpool FC, The Independent, The Guardian

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