Liverpool captain and legend Steven Gerrard will make his final home appearance for the Reds in their late kick-off against Crystal Palace on Saturday. It is sure to be an emotional day for the Liverpool captain and the Anfield faithful.
The veteran midfielder is leaving his Premier League career behind to start a new chapter of his career in the MLS with LA Galaxy.
Steven Gerrard is the very real definition of a hero to most fans. He is the man they turn to when they are in trouble, when they need inspiration and when they need strength.
Throughout his career, Gerrard seems have come up with the goods just when his team needed him to. At times he has carried mediocre Liverpool teams on his shoulders and taken responsibility in tough times.
Steven Gerrard has never hidden when his team needed him and that is why he is considered such a legend at Anfield. Every child growing up as a Liverpool fan will have looked up to Gerrard as a role model and an inspiration.
Some would say that Steven Gerrard is the greatest Liverpool player they have ever seen, and for my generation he probably is. I am not old enough to remember the likes of John Toshack, Kevin Keegan, and was just a toddler when Kenny Dalglish was sporting the Liverpool shirt.
For me Gerrard is the iconic Liverpool player. He is a Scouser born and bred and has given everything to his team. He has spurned opportunities to move elsewhere and win the big trophies, because he is loyal to his team.
For a lot of Liverpool fans I believe that Gerrard is regarded as their man on the pitch, the Scouser who got lucky enough to pull on that famous red shirt with such distinction.
There are very few players left in the modern game who are one-club men, but Gerrard has been just that. Gerrard has made over 500 appearances for the Reds and scored 119 Premier League goals and Frank Lampard is the only midfielder to have scored more goals in the Premier League era.
Gerrard had the opportunity to join Premier League rivals Chelsea, but decided to stay on Merseyside and attempt to win the league title with the Reds. One of the few regrets from his Liverpool career will no doubt be that he never lifted the Premier League trophy.
He came so close to ending that wait for a league title victory last season, when the Reds finished second, after a rather unfortunate slip-up by Gerrard against Chelsea cost his team dearly in the final reckoning.
The slip-up may have cost the team, but Steven Gerrard has given enough to the Reds cause down the years for the fans to have forgiven him, especially in the famous Champions League final of 2005 when Gerrard basically dragged his team to victory.
Steven Gerrard has taken a lot of stick from rival’s fans down the years and that stick was illustrated perfectly by some of the Chelsea fans last weekend. They held up banners and sang the song about Gerrard’s slip-up last season.
However, when he was substituted late in the game both sets of supporters gave him a standing ovation, which banner aside, showed that Gerrard seems to command respect from even rival’s fans.
I believe that most Everton, Manchester United and Chelsea fans have a grudging respect for the former-England captain, even if they are not willing to admit it.
Steven Gerrard is an emotional guy and today’s game will no doubt mean a lot to him. Former teammate Jamie Carragher has urged Gerrard not to cry, but it may well be difficult for the 34-year-old to control his emotions.
Today’s game may be the last time that Gerrard appears at Anfield, but something tells me that the Liverpool hero will be back at Anfield in some capacity in the near the future.
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