When the curtain closes on the 2014/15 season on the 24th of May, we will be saying goodbye to Liverpool, England and Premier League legend Steven Gerrard. No matter where your loyalties are, his class and talent in the middle of the park cannot be denied, and he will be a much missed figure around the league and especially at Anfield. Here he has spent 17 years in the centre of their midfield where he has played alongside, and against, some of the best players in the world.
Although he has famously never lifted the Premier League trophy (despite coming agonisingly close last season), Stevie G has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success at Liverpool and will be able to walk away from the club with countless fantastic memories. He has also been a staple of the England setup for many years, becoming a leader of the team and the captain for several years.
Having been the linchpin at one of England’s biggest clubs for so many years, it means that Gerrard has never been far from the public eye. Despite this, he is not a player that makes the headlines for the wrong reason and he is famous for being a class act both on and off the pitch. He is a positive role model for youngsters looking to get into the game, and he will no doubt remain an important figure both for Liverpool and England in the years to come.
With Gerrard’s farewell tour nearly complete, here are 10 facts about the Liverpool legend.
His career was nearly over before it began
During a kick-about with friends as a youth, Gerrard sustained a freak accident which nearly cost him his career. After the ball got stuck in a hedge, he went to kick the ball out but instead kicked a garden fork. This went through his shoe and into his big toe. One doctor said that his toe would need amputating, but the doctors at Liverpool FC decided that it would heal with treatment, which it fortunately did.
His path to stardom started at the age of 9
Gerrard originally started playing for his hometown team, the Whiston Juniors. Here he was spotted by Liverpool scouts, and he would join their academy at the age of 9. He had tryouts at a few different teams, including Manchester United, but he would eventually sign his first professional contract with Liverpool in 1997. He made his first-team debut on the 29th of November 1998, coming on as a substitute against Blackburn Rovers. It would mark the beginning of a long and storied career in England, which comes to a close on the 24th of May over 700 appearances later.
His cousin, Jon-Paul Gilhooley, was killed in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster
The impact of the Hillsborough tragedy in 1989 is still felt around the league, and nowhere more so than Anfield. All of Liverpool are deeply affected by the tragedy, and particularly skipper Steven Gerrard. Gerrard was just 8 years old at the time, and his 10 year old cousin, Jon-Paul Gilhooley, was killed in the disaster and is the youngest of the 96 victims. Gerrard ended his autobiography with the powerful message “I play for Jon-Paul”.
He has accumulated dozens of trophies in his career
Although Gerrard is not quite done yet and will look to win more trophies over in the MLS, he already has a pretty full cabinet (despite 1 very notable omission). During his time at Liverpool, Stevie G has lifted 2 F.A Cups, 3 League Cups, 1 Community Shield, 1 UEFA Cup, 2 UEFA Super Cups and a famous Champions League trophy in 2005. Individually, the midfielder has won dozens of awards, including PFA Young Player of the Year, PFA Players’ Player of the Year, UEFA Club Footballer of the Year, FWA Player of the Year, Goal of the Season plus dozens more.
Steven Gerrard kisses the Champions League trophy Photo: GETTY IMAGES
He is married to fashion journalist/model Alex Curran & has 3 daughters
After dating fashion journalist/model Alex Curran for 5 years, the couple got married in 2007. Curran has launched her own fashion line, written a fashion column for the Daily Mail and has experience in modelling. The couple have 3 daughters, Lilly-Ella (2003), Lexie (2006) and Lourdes (2011).
He was awarded an MBE in 2006
In 2006, Steven Gerrard was awarded an MBE in the New Years’ Honours List. This was for services to sport, and followed Liverpool’s stunning come-from-behind Champions League Final victory over A.C Milan where they overturned a 3-0 deficit to win the game on penalties. Upon receiving the award, Gerrard stated “I’m absolutely thrilled and honoured to receive this recognition for playing a game I’ve loved all my life”.
He knocked down a 10 year old with his Bentley in 2007
Gerrard was involved in an unfortunate, low speed collision in 2007 when schoolboy Jamie Hellawell stepped into the road in front of the Liverpool skipper’s car, resulting in minor fractures. Gerrard stayed with the boy until the ambulance arrived, he apologised to the family and visited the boy in hospital. Upon finding out that the boy’s favourite team was Man United, Gerrard got in touch with England teammate Wayne Rooney and got him to sign a pair of boots. He then stayed behind to sign autographs for the other patients.
He is 3rd on England’s all-time appearances list
Gerrard has an impressive 114 caps to his name, putting him 3rd on the all-time appearance list. He became the 6th player to earn 100 caps back in 2012, and although England have not enjoyed a huge amount of success, Gerrard has been a solid fixture in the setup for over a decade and been a terrific leader. He has appeared in the 2000, 2004 and 2012 Euro’s, as well as the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups (captaining the team in 2010 and 2014).
He has scored 185 goals in 708 appearances for Liverpool
Gerrard has been a constant goalscoring threat for the Reds, regardless of where he is playing on the pitch. As well as the ability to score from open play, he has scored dozens of unforgettable free-kicks and he is also an assured penalty taker. Of his 185 goals, 119 of these have come in the league which puts him 16th on the all-time list. Pretty impressive stuff from a midfielder, with Frank Lampard being the only midfielder to top this. He is Liverpool’s 5th highest scorer of all-time, having recently overtaken Robbie Fowler.
He is the 3rd player to make 500 or more Premier League appearances for 1 club
Loyalty is not too common in the modern game, but Steven Gerrard has stayed with Liverpool his entire career and enjoyed a long and successful career there. On the 25th of April, Gerrard became just the 3rd player to make 500 more Premier League appearances for 1 club. He joins Ryan Giggs of Manchester United, and his former teammate Jamie Carragher.