Steven George Gerrard (born 30 May 1980) is a retired English footballer, who currently manages the Liverpool U18s side. Gerrard spent the vast majority of his career at Liverpool F.C. since making his professional debut in 1998 and is widely regarded as one of the finest players to have played for the Anfield club. He was made Liverpool captain in 2003 by Gerard Houllier and held the armband for 12 years. Under his captaincy, Liverpool have won the Champions League, FA Cup, League Cup and finished as runners-up in the Premier League. Gerrard has been heavily influential in almost every honour Liverpool has won whilst he has been part of the team. He has racked up over 700 appearances and scored over 150 goals during his career at the club. As a result of these feats, plus the fact that Gerrard is a "local lad" having been born in Merseyside, Gerrard is depicted as one of Liverpool's greatest footballing icons.
Gerrard was brought to Liverpool at the age of nine having been spotted by Liverpool scouts playing for his local side Whiston Juniors. Gerrard failed to achieve much success or recognition in his early days with the Academy, however he still earned trials with other clubs at the age of 14. One club Gerrard trialled with was Manchester United, however Gerrard has later claimed that this was a ploy by himself to pressure Liverpool into offering him a professional contract.
As a younger Academy player initially aiming to achieve success in a defensive midfield role, he was often overlooked as a top prospect due to his lack of height- being the same height as Michael Owen at the age of 15, however he experienced a significant growth spurt in his mid-late teenage years which would ultimately help take his career of the ground, but was also the source of various injury problems that would plague his early years as a professional. Injuries restricted Gerrard to a bit-part role for the Academy and Reserve sides during his football development, however despite this, he earned himself a professional contract on 5 November 1997.
A year later, on 29 November 1998, manager Gerard Houllier handed Gerrard his first-team debut for Liverpool, with the youngster coming on as a 90th minute substitute for Vegard Heggem in a 2-0 League victory at home to Blackburn. Injuries to midfielder and then-captain Jamie Redknapp gave Gerrard the opportunity to stake his claim for a place in the first-team, however this would be in a more advanced role than the more defensively-minded Gerrard was used to. Gerrard played 12 more times in the 1998-99 season, which included a European debut in a 1-0 home defeat to Spanish side Celta Vigo on 8 December 1998, however he was unable to make a notable impact on the team as he later reflected "I was out of position and out of my depth." Gerrard was also still struggling with persistent groin and back complaints- lingering consequences of his teenage growth spurt.
Despite these uncertain beginnings, the Liverpool management had seen enough to be sufficiently convinced Gerrard had what it took to succeed, and he entered the 1999-2000 season as a regular starter, partnering Jamie Redknapp in midfield. After starting the first eight games of the campaign, Gerrard was dropped for the Merseyside Derby match against Everton on 27 September 1999 in favour of Dietmar Hamann. Gerrard came on for Robbie Fowler with Liverpool trailing 1-0 and both teams down to 10 men, however he was sent off in the 90th minute for a studs-up, knee-high challenge on Everton striker Kevin Campbell. Gerrard was suspended for three matches. He came back from his suspension strong however, and netted his first Liverpool goal on 5 December 1999 in a 4-1 home League win over Sheffield Wednesday (below). The goal was a memorable one as he picked the ball up in midfield, danced through the Sheffield defence before drilling a low shot into the corner of the net.
Gerrard continued to feature regularly for the team for the remainder of the season, being used as a utility player as he filled in a variety of positions, including both right and left back and right wing. He was still however being hampered by groin and back problems. Gerrard completed the 1999-2000 season with 31 appearances and the one goal he netted against Sheffield Wednesday.
Whilst the 1999-2000 season had been in many ways a breakthrough season for Gerrard, the 2000-01 season saw Gerrard firmly establish himself as one of football's brightest young stars. The season was highly successful for Liverpool as they won a treble of League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup. Gerrard made 50 starts for Liverpool during the campaign, which included each of the cup finals (he played the duration of all bar the League Cup Final). He also netted 10 strikes, one of which came in the UEFA Cup Final. Gerrard had grown into his more offensive role during the season and operated as a true box-to-box midfielder. He capped his memorable season with the PFA Young Player of the Year award.
Gerrard continued to progress in the 2001-02 season as Liverpool finished runners-up in the Premier League. The season also marked Gerrard's first participation in the Champions League. His Champions League debut came on 8 August 2001 away to FC Haka of Finland, a game which Liverpool won 5-0. He made his 100th appearance for Liverpool on 11 September 2001 in a 1-1 home tie against Portuguese side Boavista in the Champions League.
In the 2002-03 season, Gerrard helped Liverpool to more silverware as he scored Liverpool's first goal in a 2-0 win over Manchester United in the 2003 League Cup Final. The goal was a long range strike that took a deflection, which caused it to loop high over United 'keeper Fabian Barthez (below). Earlier on in the season, Gerrard was appointed vice-captain to Sami Hyypia as his influence and prowess in the side grew. Gerrard finished the season with seven goals in 54 games
On 28 September 2003, Gerrard made his 200th Liverpool appearance in a 3-2 away League defeat to Charlton Athletic. Shortly after, on 15 October 2003, in what was described as a "shock move," Gerrard- having been vice-captain for about a year- was promoted to club captain by Gerard Houllier, with Sami Hyypia taking the vice captaincy. Upon taking the armband, Gerrard stated: "I was captain of my school side and I used to go along to Anfield to watch the team and I always looked up to people like John Barnes who captained the team during the 90s. I used to watch Barnes with the captain's armband and dream that one day it would be me captaining the team I love." The move was controversial, due to Gerrard's age- being only 23 years old at the time, and the popularity and success of Hyypia's tenure, however Houllier justified his decision, stating: "I think Stevie has certain leadership qualities which I spotted very early in his career. When he was young, all he needed was time to mature. Now he is 23 and he is ready. There has been a maturing in his game and his personality." In November 2003, Gerrard signed a new contract at the club which tied him down until 2007.
The 2003-04 season was a disappointing one for Liverpool, who failed to win any silverware and finished fourth in the League. The shortcomings of the season saw the resignation of Gerard Houllier, who had been highly instrumental in Gerrard's development at Liverpool. In the summer of 2004, Gerrard was linked with a big-money move to the newly-wealthy Chelsea. Gerrard conceded that he was not "happy with the progress Liverpool has made", and that "for the first time in my career I've thought about the possibility of moving on." However after holding talks with new manager Rafael Benitez, Gerrard decided to stay at Anfield, and stated "I've gone with my heart. I've made a decision to stay at Liverpool and I am 100% committed to the club."
For the 2004-05 season, Gerrard was presented with the number 8 shirt- the shirt number he has worn ever since. The season began with a spell on the sidelines for Gerrard, as a foot injury sustained on 20 September 2004 in a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United kept him out of action until November. Upon his return, Gerrard made possibly his most dramatic contribution in a Red shirt yet. On 8 December 2004, Liverpool were playing their final game of the Champions League group stage. They were hosting Olympiakos and were required to win by a two-goal margin to progress to the knockout stages of the competition. Having gone 1-0 down in the first half, Liverpool equalised and then went 2-1 up in the 80th minute. In the 86th minute- four minutes from elimination from the competition- Gerrard received a knock down from Neil Mellor outside the box. Gerrard rifled a shot into the bottom corner of the net to send his side through to the next round (below).
Liverpool's League form was underwhelming however the season was proving successful in the cup competitions. Gerrard scored the only goal in both legs of Liverpool's League Cup semi-final tie with Watford, however he faced the disappointment of netting an own goal that helped Chelsea beat the Reds in the final. Liverpool had gone 1-0 up early in the match, however Gerrard misjudged his defensive header from a Chelsea free kick and equalised for Chelsea. This sent the game into extra time, which Chelsea ultimately won 3-2.
Despite this, and despite Liverpool only finishing fifth in the League, Gerrard's season ended on a huge high. Liverpool reached the Champions League Final against AC Milan in Istanbul. Milan raced to a first half 3-0 lead, however Liverpool came out in the second half rejuvinated with Gerrard pushing his team forward. Gerrard netted a well-executed header to pull the score back to 3-1. After Vladimir Smicer scored a second for Liverpool, Gerrard charged into the Milan box where he was felled by Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso to win his side a penalty. Xabi Alonso's spot kick was saved however he netted the rebound to tie the match. Liverpool went on to win on penalties with Gerrard being named man-of-the-match. He would also later claim the UEFA Club Player of the Year award. It was from this game that the Liverpool fans began to tag him with the nickname 'Captain Fantastic.'
Despite Gerrard ignoring Chelsea's attentions the year before, speculation persevered that Gerrard was destined for a move to the Blues. Rumours were rife that Gerrard had contractual issues with Liverpool, however when pressed on the issue after claiming the Champions League trophy, Gerrard proclaimed "How can I leave after a night like this?" However, negotiations on a new contract at Liverpool stalled. With Chelsea having a large offer for Gerrard rejected by the club, on 5 June 2005, Gerrard rejected a £100,000 per week contract offer from Liverpool seemingly with the desire to push through a move to the Premier League champions. Liverpool's chief executive Rick Parry publicly stated Gerrard was leaving: "Now we have to move on. We have done our best, but he has made it clear he wants to go and I think it looks pretty final." However, the next day Gerrard made a U-turn and signed the four-year contract on offer from Liverpool. Of the situation, Gerrard later reflected:
"Madness broke out. I was sitting dazed at home, watching the TV, and when I saw fans burning an old No 17 shirt by the Shankly Gates, it did my head in. Show some respect. Don't you know how this is tearing me apart? Dad begged me not to go, but I replied, 'look at the TV, fans are burning my shirt, the club aren't stopping them, Liverpool don't want me any more'. I stared at the TV through flowing tears. I was suffocated by stress. My head was banging, and I was eating paracetamol like Smarties. I could see the great possibilities of Chelsea, but my heart wouldn't let me leave. Finally, my mind was made up. At 11pm that night, on July 5, 2005, I called my agent to tell Rick Parry (Liverpool's chief executive) that I wanted to sign. My heart stopped racing, and I put the paracetamol away. The following morning, I awoke with a smile on my face for the first time in weeks."
With his future finally sorted, Gerrard went from strength to strength in the 2005-06 season. He scored his 50th goal for Liverpool on 25 October 2005 in a 2-1 defeat away to Crystal Palace in the League Cup. He then made his 300th appearance for the club on 5 November 2005 in a 2-0 away League win against Aston Villa, with Gerrard also netting an 84th minute penalty in the game. He completed the season with 23 goals in 53 games, and was Liverpool's top scorer in every competition. He was named PFA Player of the Year in April, becoming the first Liverpool player since John Barnes in 1988 to win the award.
As with the season before, Gerrard capped the season with a memorable Cup final performance- this time in the FA Cup on 13 May 2006. Liverpool's opponents were West Ham and, with Liverpool the heavy favourites, West Ham took a surprise 2-0 lead early in the first half. Liverpool pulled a goal back when Gerrard launced a high, raking ball from the half way line over into the West Ham box that found the the foot of Djibril Cisse to bring Liverpool back into the match. Gerrard then brought the score level with a fierce short-range volley into the top corner, however Paul Konchesky later restored the Hammers' lead. With Liverpool still trailing in injury time and staring at an unlikely defeat, Gerrard collected a loose ball 30 yards out and arrowed a fierce shot into the bottom corner of the net (below). The goal is often recalled as Gerrard's finest, and it sent the match into extra time. Liverpool ultimately won the tie on penalties. Gerrard's goals in the match also meant that he had netted in all major cup finals (League Cup, FA Cup, UEFA Cup and Champions League).
In the 2006-07 season, Gerrard again amassed over 50 appearances and netted 11 goals in all competitions. The season culminated in yet another major cup final as Liverpool again made the final of the Champions League- again against AC Milan. This time however Gerrard would be unable to perform the same heroics that had seen him drag his Liverpool side to the 2005 Champions League and 2006 FA Cup titles as Liverpool lost 2-1. In the summer of 2007, Gerrard again signed a new four-year contract with Liverpool.
At the beginning of the 2007-08 season, Gerrard experienced an injury scare as he suffered a hairline toe fracture on 15 August 2007 in a game against Toulouse. The injury only kept him out for four days however, and Gerrard went on to make his 400th Liverpool appearance on 28 October 2007 in a 1-1 home League tie against Arsenal, with Gerrard netting Liverpool's goal. In the summer of 2007, Liverpool had signed Spanish striker Fernando Torres who Gerrard quickly struck up a fruitful partnership with. The two paired famously and netted a combined 54 goals- 21 of which were netted by Gerrard. Despite this Gerrard failed to lead his side to a Cup final, and Liverpool were only able to make 4th place in the League.
Gerrard's most prolific season for Liverpool came in 2008-09 as he helped propel his side to second place in the League- finishing only four points behind Manchester United but with a much superior goal difference. Gerrard underwent minor surgery on his groin at the start of the season, however he recovered quickly and went on to net his 100th career goal for Liverpool on 1 October 2008. The goal came in the shape of a well-executed free kick in a 3-1 victory at Anfield over PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League. On 10 March 2009, Gerrard made his 100th appearance for Liverpool in Europe when Liverpool hosted Real Madrid. Gerrard netted twice as he inspired Liverpool to a memorable 4-0 win. Gerrard formed a famous midfield partnership with Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano as Liverpool made a strong push on a first League title in 19 years. On 14 March 2009, Gerrard netted a penalty as Liverpool hammered rivals Manchester United 4-1 at Old Trafford and followed this up six days later with a hat trick against Aston Villa in a 5-0 win. Gerrard was Liverpool's top scorer for the season with 24 goals in 44 games, including 16 goals in the Premier League. Gerrard's exploits this season prompted France legend Zinedine Zidane to proclaim: "Is he the best in the world? He might not get the attention of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo but yes, I think he might be." On 13 May 2009, Gerrard was named the Football Writer's Player of the Year. Again, Gerrard signed a four year deal to tie himself to Liverpool until 2013.
Unfortunately, the 2009-10 season proved to be a big disappointment for Liverpool as they failed to capitalise on their second-place finish in the League the season before and fell to seventh. Gerrard was a regular in the first team, but seemed unable to produce the same standard of performances that had so often seen him almost single-handedly win matches in the prior seasons. His goal tally halved- finishing with 12 strikes from 49 appearances. He did achieve a personal milestone however on 5 December 2009, making his 500th appearance for Liverpool in a 0-0 draw away to Blackburn in the League.
After the season, manager Rafa Benitez was replaced by Roy Hodgson and Gerrard expressed his excitement that the club could regain their place at the top end of the table in the 2010-11 season. Gerrard's form improved this season, however he was restricted to just 24 appearances due to injury. On 19 September 2010, Gerrard netted a brace away to Manchester United that looked like earning the Reds an unlikely draw having been trailing 2-0, however United hit back to seal a 3-2 win. On 4 November 2010, Gerrard came off the bench in a Europa League tie against Napoli to net a 15-minute hat trick and seal a 3-1 win for the Reds. With Liverpool's League form still faltering, Roy Hodgson was replaced as manager by Kenny Dalglish. In Dalglish's first game in charge- an FA Cup tie away to Manchester United on 9 January 2011, Gerrard was sent off for diving in rashly on United midfielder Michael Carrick. On 6 March 2011 in a home tie against Manchester United, Gerrard sustained an injury that ruled him out for the remainder of the season.
Gerrard again had an injury-disrupted season in 2011-12. A chronic groin injury kept Gerrard out for the beginning of the season. Gerrard made his return to the side on 15 October 2011 in a match against Manchester United. Gerrard netted a second half free kick as Liverpool drew 1-1. Soon after however Gerrard developed an infection in his ankle, which kept him out on the sidelines again. He made his return on 26 December 2011, coming off the bench in a 1-1 draw against Blackburn. Four days later, Gerrard netted an impressive finish to seal a 3-1 victory over Newcastle United, taking the ball into the box and, from a tight angle, expertly slotting between the legs of Newcastle 'keeper Tim Krul. On both 11 and 25 January 2012, Gerrard netted a penalty against Manchester City as Liverpool beat their wealthy opponents 3-2 on aggregate in the League Cup semi-final. Gerrard went on to help his side claim their first piece of silverware in six years with a penalty shootout victory over Cardiff in the League Cup Final on 26 February 2012. On 13 March 2012, Gerrard scored a memorable hat trick in the Merseyside Derby against Everton, sealing his side a 3-0 win. Gerrard then helped his team reach the 2012 FA Cup Final, however he was unable to prevent opponents Chelsea claim a 2-1 victory.
Gerrard began the 2012-13 season reaching two personal milestones. On 9 August 2012, he scored his 150th career goal for Liverpool in a 3-0 home victory over FC Gomel in the Europa League- a goal which also made Gerrard only the third Liverpool player to have scored in 14 consecutive seasons for the club, after Billy Liddell and Ronnie Whelan. Gerrard then reached 250 League games as Liverpool captain in the season opener away to West Brom on 18 August 2012. Unfortunately the match would not be one for Gerrard to remember as Liverpool suffered a 3-0 defeat.
On 23 September 2012 Gerrard netted his first league goal of the 2012-13 season, opening the scoring in the 46th minute in a 2-1 loss to Manchester United. The occasion was particularly poignant as it was Liverpool's first home game since the release of the Hillsborough files. On 4 November 2012, Gerrard made his 600th appearance for Liverpool but had to share the spoils in a 1-1 draw vs Newcastle. On 9 December 2012, Gerrard netted an own-goal but stayed on the winning side in the 3-2 victory over West Ham. Over the winter period, Gerrard's form was widely praised and he went on to be named the Standard Chartered Player of the Month for January 2013. On 3 February 2013, Gerrard netted a fierce, volleyed shot from long range away to reigning champions Manchester City. The goal put Liverpool 2-1 up, although the match finished 2-2.
Over the coming games, Liverpool were awarded a number of penalties which Gerrard converted to bring him up to 10 goals for the season. His tenth goal came on 31 March 2013 as he converted a penalty to net Liverpool's second goal in a 2-1 win away at Aston Villa. Soon after, Gerrard produced an excellent goalline clearance with a diving header after Christian Benteke had headed the ball at goal from a Villa corner. Gerrard was roundly applauded for this, and he himself suggested his clearance had won Liverpool the game.
Early in the 2013-14 season, on 16 September 2013 in an away match against Swansea, Gerrard captained Liverpool for the 400th time. Although the game to mark the occasion was an exciting one, Liverpool had to settle for a point as it finished 2-2. Gerrard had to wait until October to break his goalscoring duck for the new season. His goal came on 5 October 2013 in a match against Crystal Palace, with Gerrard netting a penalty after Raheem Sterling was felled in the box. Just two weeks later, Gerrard scored his 100th Premier League goal for the club, equalising from the penalty spot in a 2-2 draw with Newcastle. On 1 December 2013, Gerrard scored his third goal of the season, curling in a free-kick from the left of the pitch to score the equaliser against Hull. The match however, ended as a 3-1 defeat.
On 12 January 2014, Gerrard made his 650th appearance for Liverpool, and marked it with a goal from the penalty spot in a 5-3 win at Stoke. Less than a week later, Gerrard scored the equaliser from the penalty spot in a 2-2 draw at home to Aston Villa. On 28 January 2014, Gerrard started in the 222nd Merseyside Derby and scored the opening goal, rising to meet a header from a Luis Suarez corner. Later in the game, Gerrard had the chance to take a penalty, but he gave it to Daniel Sturridge who missed. Liverpool won the match 4-0. From early 2014, Gerrard began to adopt a deeper defensive midfield role- something that he revealed Brendan Rodgers had wanted to implement since he took over as Liverpool manager 18 months earlier. He performed well in the new role again on 8 Februrary 2014 as Liverpool beat Arsenal 5-1 at Anfield, however he did concede a penalty with a late tackle on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain that Mikel Arteta converted. He added two assists to his name during the match, as Martin Skrtel first converted his free kick and then his corner to give Liverpool an early 2-0 lead. Four days later, Gerrard showed his coolness and calmness as he converted a 90th minute penalty in a 3-2 win at Fulham. Gerrard and the rest of the Liverpool team celebrated the goal with the fans wildly, as the three points put Liverpool firmly into the title race, and potentially on the road to a surprise triumph that would finally add the last piece of silverware to Gerrard's trophy collection. Gerrard also provided the assist for Daniel Sturridge's goal in the match, with a curling ball over the top of the defence.
In the following game, Gerrard scored again from the penalty spot, pulling a goal back as Liverpool crashed out of the FA Cup with a 2-1 loss away to Arsenal. Less than two weeks later, Gerrard once again scored from the spot, rounding off a 3-0 win at Southampton. On 16 March 2014, Gerrard scored twice from the penalty spot in a 3-0 win at Manchester United. This made him Liverpool's all-time top scorer against United. He also had the chance to add a third from the spot, but his effort struck the post. He netted again on 26 March 2014, striking a free kick into the top corner of the net in Liverpool's 2-1 home win over Sunderland. Gerrard's form in his new defensive midfield role garnered much praise, and he collected the Standard Chartered Player of the Month award for March 2014. On 6 April 2014, Gerrard struck two penalties as Liverpool claimed a 2-1 victory away at West Ham, and furthered their chase for the Premier League title. The goals took Gerrard past Kenny Dalglish into sixth place in Liverpool's goalscoring charts.
On 11 April 2014, Gerrard was announced as the joint winner of the Premier League Player of the Month award for March 2014, alongside Luis Suarez. On 27 April 2014, Liverpool hosted Chelsea in the third-to-last game of the season with the Reds in control of the title race. Gerrard however slipped in first half injury time to enable Chelsea striker Demba Ba to bare down on goal and gift the visitors a 1-0 lead. The game ultimately finished 2-0 to Chelsea, and Liverpool ceded control of the title race to Manchester City. Gerrard was however named in the PFA Team of the Year later that evening. He also finished third in the PFA Player of the Season vote, and runner up in the FWA Player of the Season vote- both times losing out to team mate Luis Suarez. On 11 May 2014, Gerrard assisted both Liverpool goals in their end-of-season 2-1 victory at home to Newcastle, both times with in-swinging free-kicks. The Reds ended their season in second place to Man City.
In the new season, Gerrard had to wait until only the third game to open his goalscoring account- again with a penalty. On 31 August 2014, he netted a spot kick won by Joe Allen away to Tottenham as Liverpool won 3-0. The goal meant Gerrard had now scored in 16 consecutive seasons for Liverpool- the most in Liverpool history for a player, overtaking Billy Liddell (15). It also meant Gerrard had now scored more penalties for Liverpool than any other player (43), overtaking Jan Molby. He next netted on 16 September 2014 in Liverpool's UEFA Champions League comeback match at home to Ludogorets, following their five year absence from the competition. With the score at 1-1, Javier Manquillo won a penalty in the last minute which Gerrard converted to seal the victory. The goal was his 40th in European competition- the most amount of goals ever scored by a Liverpool player in European competition.
On 27 September 2014 in the derby game at home to Everton, Gerrard netted a free-kick to put Liverpool 1-0 ahead. Unfortunately however the Reds would concede a last-minute equaliser to draw the match.
Gerrard continued in his deep-lying role in midfield, however with the Reds' season, and particularly their defensive displays faultering badly, Gerrard's ability to protect the back four came under increasing scrutiny from fans, who also questioned the wisdom behind Rodgers' continued selection of the now-34-year-old to play 90 minutes so often. Rodgers defended his captain, however admitted to considering deploying Gerrard back into a more advanced role. On 29 November 2014, Rodgers appeared to concede that Gerrard's continued inclusion in the starting XI was not justifiable, and he was named on the substitutes' bench for the Reds' 1-0 win over Stoke, despite this representing the 16th anniversary of Gerrard's first team debut. Gerrard came off the bench midway through the second half as Liverpool searched for their winner, and Rodgers hinted after the match that this may become the primary role Gerrard occupies in the Liverpool squad in the future.
After the match, both Gerrard and Brendan Rodgers were forced to publicly deny that they had fallen out. Soon after, Liverpool confirmed that they had made Gerrard the offer of a new contract, with his current deal expiring in the summer of 2015. The media reported that Gerrard was to take some time to decide whether to sign the deal, with his expected playing time over the next seasons the key to his decision. Gerrard returned to the starting line up on 2 December 2014, but again filling a more advanced position, and produced a man of the match display as Liverpool beat Leicester City 3-1 at the King Power Stadium. Gerrard scored Liverpool's second goal, slotting home from close range after Leicester captain Wes Morgan deflected the ball into his path. This was Gerrard's first goal from open play since January 2014 and his first ever against Leicester City.
Gerrard scored again on 9 December 2014 in Liverpool's Champions League clash with Basel at Anfield. With the Reds down to 10 men and trailing 1-0, with a win needed to secure progression to the next round, Gerrard netted a free kick with 10 minutes remaining, sparking memories of his heroics against Olympiakos almost 10 years earlier to the day. Unfortunately, Liverpool could not go on to find the winner, and bowed out of the Champions League.
On 1 January 2015, Gerrard scored two penalties in Liverpool's home tie with bottom club Leicester. Despite this, Liverpool produced a poor performance and allowed their 2-0 lead to slip, ultimately drawing the match 2-2. A number of fans criticised Brendan Rodgers' decision to pair Gerrard with Lucas in midfield as calls were still made for Gerrard to have a reduced role in the Liverpool team. That evening however, media reports were rife that Gerrard was set to announce that he would not be signing a contract extension with Liverpool and would leave at the end of the season. The following morning, Gerrard confirmed this to be the case.
In a statement, Gerrard stated "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'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."
Brendan Rodgers praised Gerrard, saying "It is almost an impossible task to find the words to appropriately sum up Steven Gerrard and his importance to Liverpool. This is an era where the word 'legend' is vastly overused, but in his case it actually doesn't do him justice."
On 5 January 2015, in his first game since his intention to leave Liverpool was announced, Gerrard scored twice as Liverpool overcame League Two side AFC Wimbledon 2-1 in the FA Cup. Gerrard's first goal was a header following a cross from Javier Manquillo, and his second was a free kick in the second half. On 7 January 2015, Gerrard confirmed that he was to sign a contract with LA Galaxy to seal a move to the MLS side in the summer.
On 4 February 2015, Gerrard made his 700th appearance for Liverpool, playing the duration of the side's 2-1 away win over Bolton in the FA Cup. On 10 February 2015, Gerrard scored a penalty to help Liverpool claim a 3-2 win over top 4 rivals Tottenham at Anfield.
On 22 March 2015, to the surprise of some, Gerrard was left out of the starting line-up to face Manchester United at Anfield. With the Reds a goal down, Gerrard was brought on at half time. He sparked the crowd up with a fiery challenge, but then stamped on the leg of Ander Herrera, receiving a straight red card after just 38 seconds. United eventually won the game by two goals to one. After the game, Gerrard apologised to the players and fans for letting them down.
On 2 May 2015, Gerrard scored the winner against QPR in a 2-1 win at Anfield, heading home from close range after a Philippe Coutinho corner fell straight into the path of his run. This came just after Gerrard had a penalty saved. The next weekend he scored the equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Chelsea, just his second goal against the London side. The skipper headed in at the far post from a Jordan Henderson free kick.
On 16 May 2015, he made his final appearance at Anfield against Crystal Palace, he was given a guard of honour by both sets of players. Disappointingly for the skipper, the game ended 3-1 to the away side. His final appearance for the club came in the biggest defeat of his career, a 6-1 thrashing away to Stoke. Fittingly, the Red's only bright point was the skipper, who netted Liverpool's only goal of the game.
Gerrard ended his Liverpool career as the player with the third most amount of appearances, with 709, and the club's fifth all time top goalscorer with 185 over his 17 year career at his boyhood club.
Gerrard took official control of the team on 1 July 2017, and managed the side for the first time a few weeks later, winning his first friendly 7-0 against Burton Albion.
Gerrard combines a great passing ability, drive, shooting prowess and a good tackling ability meaning he is sometimes referred to as the complete midfielder. He is often seen running from box-to-box, creating chances for himself and others, but also coming back into his own half to help defend. It is this ability which has led to him scoring a great number of goals, as well as assisting many, throughout his years at Liverpool. He has varied his style of play throughout his career according to his talents, experience and physical capabilities. Beginning as a tough-tackling, primarily defensively-minded midfielder in his youth, he progressed to become a genuine box-to-box central midfielder in his early 20s, an attacking midfielder-cum-second striker in his mid-late 20s and eventually to a deep-lying playmaker in his later years.
- FA Cup (2): 2000-01, 2005-06
- League Cup (3): 2000-01, 2002-03, 2011-12
- UEFA Champions League (1): 2004-05
- UEFA Cup (1): 2000-01
- FA Community Shield (2): 2001, 2006
- European Super Cup (2): 2001, 2005
- FWA Footballer of the Year: 1 (2009)
- PFA Players' Player of the Year: 1 (2006)
- PFA Young Player of the Year: 1 (2001)
- PFA Fans' Player of the Year: 2 (2001, 2009)
- PFA Team of the Year: 8 (2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014)
- FA Premier League Player of the Month: 6 (March 2001, March 2003, December 2004, April 2006, March 2009, March 2014)
- Liverpool top goalscorer: 4 (2004–05, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2014-15)
- UEFA Club Footballer of the Year: 1 (2005)
- UEFA Champions League Final Man of the Match: 1 (2005)
- UEFA Team of the Year: 3 (2005, 2006, 2007)
- FIFA/FIFPro World XI: 3 (2007, 2008, 2009)
- Standard Chartered Player of the Month: 3 (March 2012, January 2013, March 2014)
- FA Cup Final Man of the Match: 1 (2006)
- BBC Goal of the Season: 1 (2006)
- England Player of the Year: 2 (2007, 2012)
- No. 2 on 100 Players Who Shook The Kop (2006)
- No. 1 on 100 Players Who Shook The Kop (2013)
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- Steven Gerrard career stats at Soccerbase
- Steven Gerrard's profile on liverpoolfc.com
- Steven Gerrard player profile at LFCHistory.net