Gerrard decides to leave Liverpool

Share Button
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard. Pic © David Rawcliffe/Propaganda

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard. Pic © David Rawcliffe/Propaganda

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will leave the club at the end of the season, bringing to an end to his 17-year career at Anfield.

Gerrard is set for a move to America, with LA Galaxy and New York Red Bulls said to be among the clubs interested in the 34-year-old’s services.

The Reds legend confirmed the decision in a statement today following earlier reports that he was set to quit the club he has played with for his entire career.

Gerrard told the club’s official website: “This has been the toughest decision of my life and one which both me and my family have agonised over for a good deal of time.

“I am making the announcement now so that the manager and the team are not distracted by stories or speculation about my future.

“Liverpool Football Club has been such a huge part of all our lives for so long and saying goodbye is going to be difficult, but I feel it’s something that’s in the best interests of all involved, including my family and the club itself.”

Since making his debut for the club as a substitute against Blackburn Rovers in November 1998, Gerrard has played nearly 700 games, scoring 180 goals.

Undoubtedly his biggest achievement was helping the club to win the Champions League in 2005, scoring Liverpool’s first goal in the final against AC Milan to spark an unforgettable comeback from 3-0 down at half time to eventually win on penalties.

He was also part of the club’s incredible trophy treble of the League, FA and UEFA Cups in 2001. He captained the side to further League Cup successes in 2003 and 2012 and also scored twice in the 2006 FA Cup final win over West Ham. Gerrard has also won two Community Shields and two UEFA Super Cups in his time at the club.

The former England captain confirmed he would not be retiring immediately but said he would not move to a competing club having previously had offers to leave Anfield for the likes of Chelsea, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

Steven Gerrard and Kenny Dalglish celebrate winning the League Cup in 2012. © Trinity Mirror

Steven Gerrard and Kenny Dalglish celebrate winning the League Cup in 2012. © Trinity Mirror

He continued: “I’m going to carry on playing and although I can’t confirm at this stage where that will be, I can say it will be somewhere that means I won’t be playing for a competing club and will not therefore be lining up against Liverpool – that is something I could never contemplate.

“My decision is completely based on my wish to experience something different in my career and life and I also want to make sure that I have no regrets when my playing career is eventually over.

“I can’t thank Brendan, the owners and everyone at the club enough for how they’ve handled this and I am leaving on great terms. Also, I would like to thank my teammates and all the staff for their help and continued support.

“It is a very special place to be part of. It is my sincere hope and wish that one day I can return to serve Liverpool again, in whatever capacity best helps the club.

“One point that is important to make is that from now until the last kick of the last game of the season, I will be as fully committed to the team as I ever have been and giving everything I have to help Liverpool win games.”

Despite a glittering career at the club, Gerrard is unlikely to achieve the ultimate goal of leading his boyhood team to its first league title in over two decades having come agonisingly close to doing so last season when Liverpool lost out to Manchester City.

He added: “My final message is for the people who make Liverpool Football Club the greatest in the world – the supporters.

“It has been a privilege to represent you, as a player and as captain. I have cherished every second of it and it is my sincere wish to finish this season and my Liverpool career on a high.”

About JMU Journalism Sport