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Stevie G on the move

Bad day for football, bad day for Cricket

Written by . Published on January 2nd 2015.


Stevie G on the move
 

RETAIL panic set in across Liverpool today as official confirmation came that LFC captain Steven Gerrard is to leave at the end of this season.

While the news sent shockwaves through the Kop, in the city centre’s Wag Quarter they were wondering how to cope with the bombshell.

Will Mathew Street’s designer mecca Cricket close for the day as a mark of respect? What will the Liverpool Hilton do on red carpet nights? What will the local paparazzi do on red carpet nights? 

Mr Gerrard, celebrity wife Alex and their young daughters, are most likely bound for that gold mountain for soccer stars of a certain age, America.

The couple are practically royalty around these parts and there is a micro industry of restaurants, shops and event organisers who will be quivering as the pair sing So Long Farewell, very possibly followed by California Here We Come. 

Gerrard described his Anfield exit as the toughest decision of his life. Yet his close mates in footballing say he is doing the right thing.

He’s been offered a 12-month contract by the club, but by heading across The Pond he is guaranteed a number of playing years and continuing celebrity status, with the millions of dollars that go with it.

In Liverpool, Gerrard has reached the pantheon of glory that includes the likes of Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley and Kenny Dalglish. Anfield Red flows through his veins.

 

Alex Gerrard Enjoys Some Retail TherapyAlex Gerrard could be set to swap Mathew Street's Cricket for for LA's Rodeo Drive

Had he stayed it could have been more of a case of watching from the sidelines, and then left it too late to re-charge his career in the final years of his playing life.

In many ways Brendan Rodgers, by semi-retiring Gerrard, has made the decision easier.

Gerrard will be remembered and revered in this city long after Rodgers and some of the other managers, have long been forgotten.

And don’t be surprised if he is back. In an interview today, former LFC coach Gerard Houllier, the man who initially spotted Gerrard’s potential, said the world famous midfielder has all the qualities to some day lead the Reds to greatness as their manager.

"I wouldn’t be surprised if one day we see him become the boss at Anfield. That would be very pleasing to see," he said.

“He understood that he had to live for his job, and not to use his job to live. He devoted everything for football and that’s why he was successful. He became world class because he made a lot of sacrifices."

'I won't be lining up against Liverpool - that is something I could never contemplate'

 

Steven-Gerrard-Champion

In today’s statement, posted on the club’s website, Liverpool FC said the Reds captain will bring the curtain down on a glittering Anfield career that has spanned nearly 17 years and included 10 trophies, as well as 695 appearances and 180 goals to date since joining the club's youth system aged eight.

“Gerrard will not retire from professional football at the conclusion of the 2014-15 season. No decision on his new club has been made yet, but he will continue his career outside the United Kingdom and at a side that will not bring him into direct competition with Liverpool,” added the statement.

The 34-year-old admits it is with a heavy heart he will depart Liverpool, describing the decision as the 'toughest of his life', but has chosen to make it now to avoid speculation about his future.

Until then, the No.8 insists he will continue to concentrate all his efforts on helping Brendan Rodgers' side achieve both domestic and European success.

Explaining his decision, Gerrard said: "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.

"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.

"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."

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