The man, the myth & the legend, these words simply fit more perfectly on Stevie Gerrard than any other except Captain Fantastic.
I know John Wick is the man, myth & legend but in the real world, Gerrard is Mr. Wick, precisely for destroying the opposition’s goal net by his thunderbolts- from his legs.
Messi-Ronaldo maybe the GOATs for everyone, me? Nah.
Steven George Gerrard is my GREATEST OF ALL TIME, not because I support Liverpool F.C, not at all but because he made me fall in love with football, he made me fall in love with Liverpool F.C like never before. He is the man who breathed & lived Liverpool because he not only came from Liverpool’s youth but also stayed there through it all.
It is because of him that gave me the passion to write about football, watch this beautiful game so closely. Living & breathing not only football but more importantly Liverpool F.C.
Steven Gerrard is a being that epitomizes loyalty, intelligence, hard-work, talent, guts to never give up, inspiration, leadership, responsibility, commitment, determination, and to deliver under pressure. He understood his city, his people & the responsibility of representing one of the biggest clubs of the world. He understood the burden of living up to the standards of not only the club’s crest, a club he grew up supporting & loving but also the expectations of LFC faithful.
And knowing he was a local lad from the academy it became more important.
Steven Gerrard, unlike many who fade or crumble, embraced it & forged ahead.
Back in my younger days, I was never really much into football, even though my Grandad was an avid Liverpool F.C supporter, he however, passed away before I was even born, and probably the red supporter’s line ended in my family, but it wasn’t to be, maybe because his love for Liverpool transcended in me through his blood. It’s funny, how my family was never keen on football, especially club football, I mean my dad knew Liverpool & other clubs through my grandad but not closely like his dad. And living in a country which is entirely about Cricket, speaks for itself. Most of the families in my country are only fond of FIFA World Cup, same was the case with my family who always watched the world cup & supported Brazil, I used to watch with them too. I was barely, what? 6-8 years old back then.
Hell, I didn’t even know club football existed because it was all about Cricket & I was personally trained by my dad in cricket himself, since he was a professional cricketer. But even then there was just something about football that attracted me, it wasn’t until 2003, I was 13 years old probably back then, when I learned a little about Liverpool F.C, and immediately I was like that’s a name I love, it’s the team I support, and trust me I didn’t know anything about them, except their name, it is hilarious, I know right.
So, sadly, it rules out the “glory hunter” dogma, which would have given a kick to many of the rival supporters reading my piece here, haha!
I still wouldn’t follow or watch football but continued on with Cricket, but continued to look into Liverpool & it was until that MIRACLE OF ISTANBUL which made me fall into the right direction.
I watched Stevie, and the moment I watched him, I completely fell in love with him & the club, Liverpool F.C.
I delved deep into Liverpool, researched & read a lot about it, began to follow it regularly & the more I watched this beautiful club led by this GREAT, the more I began to fall for it, unequivocally.
The more I began to develop the understanding of what the club had gone through & back then what it was going through it made me develop more feelings.
And when I watched the unwavering support, loyalty & strength of the supporters united, taking care of each other & holding their heroes high in such torrid dark times, I began to understand what football means, what supporting a club means, what the true essence of unity is, what a family is actually about.
Watching Gerrard & knowing his story- his loyalty made me understand the deeper connection & impact football makes on us.
I started closely watching & following this club through the tough times, and continued onto the journey till today where Liverpool is what Liverpool always has been, A GIANT not of the old but of FOREVER.
It was all down to watching Steven Gerrard, the way he carried & led, the way he inspired.
Greatness comes to those who touch the souls and hearts of millions through the dark times and he did that, not only mine but of everyone around the world, true he didn’t win many trophies like his counterparts of his generation, he could have- had he left his boyhood club during the dark ages but he didn’t, in fact he gave us more than that, he taught us what loyalty is, he taught us what being true to your being is, he taught us no matter how hard the times get- you always have to stay strong & fight to forge on ahead with your family, he taught us to understand each other, he taught us that football isn’t just the game about money & trophies but it’s much more than that, it’s a way of life that unites everyone in good & the bad and teaches us to stay focused & keep trying while staying content.
I like to call it, “the connected feelings of all”.
So much so that latter down his years of retirement, he retired from international football just to focus on his career at Liverpool.
A sacrifice for the club he loved & admired more than anything.
An inspiration & a leader for the Liverpool faithful, he made his stature so big that we knew he’ll come up to save us when we need him, and he always did.
Now, I don’t need to tell you guys what he did on-field, how many crucial goals he scored, for a midfielder that put Liverpool through to win games & qualify in matches, I don’t need to tell you how he singlehanded lifted Liverpool in dire need & won games, saved Liverpool by scoring & leading from the front, putting his body on the line when the team which he led was far less superior than that of the rivals in the league or champions league.
When, Liverpool, precisely had no financial prowess and quality players in their ranks because of its previous owners and their treachery.
He understood the club & the foundation it was laid upon & the supporters of this mighty club because of them, the club & its soul survived, during these pathetic past owners who only drained Liverpool when archrivals United were busy commercializing themselves through branding/marketing, investing & making themselves a financial powerhouse, winning it all along with Chelsea, and Arsenal who kept on investing. Liverpool kept falling behind, people need to understand the recent history of Liverpool, especially that of the premier league era before mocking & trolling Liverpool for lagging so behind.
It is the spirit, foundation & love of the fans got Liverpool going & player like Stevie got it going all these years, the foundation laid by the GREATS- Shankly, Paisley & Fagan, THE LIVERPOOL WAY, had any other club been through what Liverpool has, it wouldn’t be on the map of the footballing world just like Nottingham Forest or Derby, etc. who once were the giants of England fighting Liverpool for trophies back in the old-old days.
Steven Gerrard made me love & understand football, he made me support Liverpool and my love for this club is all down to because of him.
He’s an inspiration to me & he set me on to this direction where I write about football, where I write about Liverpool.
The man who always gave us joy whenever he set foot on to the field, the man who never stopped giving his all for his club, the man who never let his people down, all over the world, the man who never regretted staying at Liverpool and being there for not only the club he loves but also for his people.
“I’d rather have 10 trophies with Liverpool than 20 with Real Madrid or Chelsea.”
“When I die, don’t bring me to the hospital. Bring me to Anfield. I was born there and will die there.”
“I’m born in Liverpool and I’m a Liverpool Supporter.”
“I’ve got absolutely no intention of ever going to play at another club.”
And he never left us, he never ever played for another club even after he had offers from other big European clubs during his retirement days, he left for MLS, instead.
We are forever grateful to everything you always ever did for us, we are thankful for the times you led us with head held high & kept showing us hope & light, leading the way.
Thank you for everything.