Steven George Gerrard. Captain Fantastic. Liverpool’s number 8. A legend.
I am ashamed to never have written about Gerrard. If I look at the sports section of my blog, the laurels have gone to Luis Suarez. With Gerrard, I’ve never felt the need to write about his wonder goal or another solid performance where he’s pulled the strings from midfield and guided the team to another win under his captaincy. I’ve taken him for granted in a way. Ignored him because hey, it’s Stevie G. He puts a shift in and I KNOW he’ll come up with the goods. I know if the team is in a desperate search for a goal, he’ll strike the ball from 30 yards straight into the back of the net. You just expect it and don’t go ballistic. Somewhere, Liverpool fans have gotten so used to him being the anchor and carrying the team, that now when he’s decided to depart, you realise, holy smokes, he’s ACTUALLY going!
It hurts. I’ve been in this glum mood all day just thinking about the void he’s going to leave behind. I try to imagine a team without Gerrard and I’m perplexed. He is Liverpool. Simple as that. Ever since I’ve supported Liverpool, I’ve known Stevie G. I’ve grown up, screaming my lungs out when he’s scored and sunk myself into momentary ‘football fan’ depression when the team has been booted out of a cup competition. I’ve seen the highs and the lows with him and I’ve idolized him. I’ve seen true grit, determination, passion, power and footballing magic in him. Most importantly, I’ve seen his loyalty which in this day and age, means peanuts to the overpaid footballers.
Looking back at how much I’ve seen him play in Liverpool and England colours, I now realise that I really have gotten to know the beautiful game through him. I’ve found this crazy passion for a football team because of him. I turn into a typical football fan at times of glory and failure, because of him. That is why Steven Gerrard means so much more to me as a sports idol, than any other person out there.
I can’t even begin to list his achievements. There comes a stage when all this means nothing, at least to me. As the heart and soul of the club, serving Liverpool FC for 25 years, you don’t look at statistics and trophies anymore. You look at the individual for their overall contribution and what that person represents. I look at Gerrard and salute him for being a loyal servant and dedicating his best years to serving the club, even when temptation in the form of Chelsea knocked on his door. Even as he’s leaving, he’s reassured the fans that he will not play for a competing club against Liverpool FC.
It is the right time for him to go. He easily has a couple of years in him to produce consistent displays considering his age, but I would never want to see him bowing out at a time where inevitably, he runs out of gas. The departure means that he will leave untainted from all angles, rather than leave or retire with criticism. I’m sure he has regrets. Who doesn’t? I’m sure he wishes he had a Premier League medal at this moment in time. But then does this matter when he earned the love and respect from so many people for sticking with the team through thick and thin?
I will remember Gerrard for his goals, his through balls, his partnership with Torres, that goal against West Ham in the FA Cup and of course, Istanbul.
Steven George Gerrard – thank you.
You’re just too good to be true, can’t take the ball off of you,
You’ve got a heavenly touch, you pass like Souness to Rush,
And when we’re p***ed in the bars, we thank the Lord that you’re ours
You’re just too good to be true, can’t take the ball off of you..