Steven Gerrard MBE is the epitome of a Liverpool legend. Born in Whiston on 30 May 1980 he was recruited to the Liverpool Youth Academy at the age of nine under the tutelage of former Liverpool winger Steve Heighway.
Gerrard made his debut for the Reds on 29 November 1998 as a substitute against Blackburn Rovers. He went on to play 504 games for the club, scoring 120 goals along the way.
Some of these were legendary, including a 25-yard half volley in the 86th minute of Liverpool’s final Champions League group stage match against Olympiakos at Anfield to send the club through to the knockout round to the screams of ‘You beauty!’ by commentator Andy Gray. Liverpool went on to win the final, beating AC Milan in Istanbul.
Despite being on the verge of agreeing a move to Chelsea earlier that season, lifting the European Cup reminded Gerrard of the importance of Liverpool Football Club to him and he made a dramatic u-turn.
One of Gerrard’s only regrets during his time at Liverpool was the slip which allowed Chelsea to beat them and left the Reds lose the Premier League title race by two points to Man City.
Gerrard left Liverpool at the end of the 2015 season and headed across the Atlantic to play for LA Galaxy for 18 months before hanging up his boots. In January 2017 he returned to Liverpool as youth team coach and took his managerial badges. He was appointed Rangers manager the following year. In 2020/21, under Gerrard, Rangers won the Scottish Premiership title without losing a single league match, achieving their first league title in 10 years.
In November 2021 Gerrard took the manager job at Aston Villa. The vast majority of Liverpool fans see this appointment as valuable experience before returning to Anfield to take over from Jurgen Klopp one day. We can only hope.