Someone forgot to tell Crystal Palace it is bad manners to travel to Liverpool and crash a celebration for one of its greatest players to ever don the red kit. Playing his final game at Ansfield before joining the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer later this summer, Liverpool center midfielder Steven Gerrard was honored before and after the game won by Crystal Palace 3-1.
Gerrard joined the Liverpool Academy youth team at the age of nine and joined Liverpool’s senior team in 1997 at the age of 17. A fixture with England’s National Team with 114 caps until his retirement from international play in 2014, Gerrard is beloved by England fans and is arguably considered its greatest player and captain. He is equally adored by Liverpool fans who have watched Gerrard remain as the only player left from the 1990’s as he amassed over 500 games played for Liverpool’s senior team.
Liverpool wanted to make today special for Gerrard, his teammates and family, and its fans. Those in attendance were not disappointed in the pre and post game festivities which were more entertaining than the lackluster play displayed today and throughout the season by Liverpool.
Before the game, Anfield’s DJ played REM’s “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It,” and The Stranglers’ “No More Heroes.” Fans also held up colored paper that displayed Gerrard’s white number 8 sandwiched between a yellow giant “S” and “G”. After the game, fans and players wiped away tears as Gerrard addressed the crowd with his three daughters standing by him on the pitch.
Gerrard addressed the crowd with the following words.
“I’m absolutely devastated that I won’t be playing in front of these supporters again. These supporters stand out more than any other club. They’re the best there is.”
He further addressed his teammates and the club’s future.
“As you can see there’s unbelievable potential in the squad. I look at the players in front of me who I’ve shared a dressing room with for many years. I absolutely love them to death and I wish them every success in the future.”
With one game left in his Liverpool career, on the road against Stoke City on May 24, Gerrard has 17 years of memories and accomplishments to take with him before he joins the Galaxy and instantly becomes one of MLS’s biggest stars. He will always be able to take great pride in the fact he captained his country and club team. Gerrard can also take with him two FA Cups, three league cups, one UEFA Cup, and one UEFA Champions league title. From a personal perspective, Gerrard is the only player ever to have scored a goal in a FA Cup Final, a League Cup Final, a UEFA Cup Final and a Champions League Final. That is truly amazing considering the talented players who have played in these kind of matches.England and Liverpool may never again experience such a talented and classy player who is viewed as a hero by even grown men. Good luck as you move on to the MLS, lad!
And that’s as I see it!
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Internal photo courtesy of www.theguardian.com
Cover photo courtesy of www.myhero.com
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Scott D. Mikulski