Steven GerrardThis weekend Liverpool midfielder, Steven Gerrard, will play his last game at his team’s home ground, Anfield. After that, there is one more game to go for Liverpool before the player, dubbed by many Stevie G, or Mr Liverpool, will leave his boyhood club and move to California, where he has signed a contract to play for LA Galaxy. As one of the best midfielders in England during the nineties and noughties says farewell to the Premier League, we have eight facts about the number 8 which sum up the player. In part 1, we bring you the first 4.

1. No title

For such a famous and talented player, who has graced the pitch for 17 years at the top level, there is one massive disappointment for Steven Gerrard. He was never in a team that won the league. Stevie G made his first appearance for Liverpool in 1998, but by that time, Liverpool’s strength was well on the wane compared to the glory days of the 1970s and 1980s.

2. A Great Year

However, the youngster from Huyton, Liverpool, must have thought it was only a matter of time for a championship to arrive, especially as Liverpool won the UEFA Cup, FA Cup, League Cup, and UEFA Super Cup in 2001. Also, in 2001, Gerrard scored in a famous 5-1 win over Germany in a World Cup qualifier, and had cemented his place in the national side. However, despite three strong 2nd place finishes in 2002, 2009 and 2014, the trophy for the league title is one the Liverpool captain will never get his hands on.

3. Goals

Steven Gerrard has scored some great goals in key matches. He has a total of 185 goals for Liverpool and 21 for England. Here are three of the best: in 2001, he rode a challenge in the box and smashed a shot into the far corner against derby rivals Everton. His celebration as he ran down the Goodison pitch cupping his ears to the Everton fans showed how much beating Liverpool’s rivals meant – a passion the Liverpool fans loved! Second, in the dying minutes of extra time there was Gerrard’s famous equaliser in the 2006 FA Cup final against West Ham. Gerrard buried a 30 yarder to take the game into extra time, which saw Liverpool win the trophy. One of his most iconic goals was the first goal, a looping header, against AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final, which sparked Liverpool’s famous miracle of Istanbul, and Liverpool’s 5th European Cup

4. Local lad

It’s a cliche, but Gerrard is a dying breed, a one-club player. Born in Liverpool about 8 miles from Anfield stadium, the scouser joined the Liverpool Youth Academy aged 9 and signed full time when he was sixteen. Since then, despite interest from other major clubs, notably Chelsea in 2005, Stevie G has remained at the local club that gave him his chance. As one of the chants from the fans says:

Steven Gerrad is our captain / Steven Gerrard is a Red / Steven Gerrard plays for Liverpool / A scouser born and bred!

Next week we have numbers 5 to 8: Box to box, Off the field, What they say, and All time great

Vocabulary

Anfield: Liverpool’s homeground

dubbed: named, called, given a nickname

noughties: the years between 2000 and 2009

(to) grace the pitch: when a player is very talented, it is a pleasure to watch them on the field of play, they bring something special to the match

on the wane: weakening, slowly falling from a higher position; when the moon wanes it becomes smaller in the sky each night

(to) cement (someone’s) place: to become a regular; to secure a position in the team

(to) ride a challenge : when a player is tackled heavily, they don’t fall over or go to ground, but continue

(to) cup your ears: to place your hand behind your ears, as if you are listening to someone

(to) bury: to strike the ball hard and score; to hit a powerful shot that goes in to the net

a 30 yarder: a shot from 30 yards away from the goal

(to) spark: to start

a scouser: someone from Liverpool

Further Links

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grell

I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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