A brief spell stateside aside, Steven Gerrard was a one-man club.
On 29th November 1998, a skinny, 18-year old lad from the city made his debut for his hometown club. His appearance on the bench was so unexpected, he wasn’t even on the matchday programme for the game. Coming on a right-back in a baggy shirt, number 28 on his back, Steven George Gerrard would go from an unknown to one of the most important players in the history of Liverpool Football Club.
In a Reds’ career that spanned 17 years, Gerrard spent 12 of them with the captain’s armband, embodying the passion of the supporters and the city every time he went out on to the pitch at Anfield, at Old Trafford, at the Millenium Stadium, at Istanbul or anywhere the game took him. Chances to leave the club came almost every summer, with Mourinho’s gloried Chelsea making him their number one target transfer window after transfer window. After retiring without winning the Premier League, many quizzed him about the deal in hindsight. But, it’s his mentality and commitment to his club that stands out as much as his 60-yard passes and last-minute goals; ‘Winning one trophy at Liverpool would mean a lot more to me than winning 10 somewhere else.’
Chelsea, Real Madrid, Inter Milan – the teams lined up to sign the former Liverpool and England captain but time and again he stayed put. A short spell out of the limelight of his city in LA is how he finished his playing career, but with intentions to get into management he’s already coaching an under 18 side. No prizes for guessing what club that’s for…