Steven Gerrard's Anfield highs and lows
After 17 years of being adored by Liverpool supporters, Anfield icon Steven Gerrard now preparing to bring down the curtain on his enduring career at the club.
Gerrard will lead Liverpool into battle in the Premier League for the last time in front of the The Kop against Crystal Palace today, with the tears certain to flow as he takes his leave the stage he has dominated for so long.
There have been a host of glorious highs and a handful of desperate lows for Gerrard at Anfield since he made his Liverpool debut as a skinny teenager back in 1998 and here are a handful of his hits and misses.
The Debut (November 29th 1988)
Coming on for Vegard Heegem in a game against Blackburn, 18-year-old Gerrard made a total of 13 appearances in his debut season as a Liverpool first teamer.
First goal (December 5th 1999)
Gerrard is now one of Liverpool’s all-time top scorers, but it all had to start somewhere and his maiden strike at Anfield came in a 4-1 win against Sheffield Wednesday.
The trophies flow (2001)
After overcoming back and groin injuries that required surgery, Gerrard played a central role in the Liverpool side that won the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup. He was named as PFA Young Player of the Year that season.
Liverpool captain (October 15th 2003)
Liverpool boss Gerrard Houllier made a surprise move to strip Sami Hyypia of the captaincy and hand it to Gerrard. He has held on to it for the 12 years that have followed.
Olympiacos goal (December 8th 2004)
Liverpool’s Champions League dream appeared to be dying until Gerrard smashed a sensational late goal against Olympicos that proved to be crucial as they closed in on an improbable win in Europe’s elite competition.
Real Madrid battered (March 10th 2009)
With a first leg lead established in their Champions League quarter-final against mighty Real Madrid, Gerrard led from the front as he scored twice in a famous 4-0 Anfield triumph.
Derby day hat-trick (March 13th 2012)
Gerrard reflects on this occasion as one of his finest, as he fired a brilliant hat-trick to see off Everton under the lights at Anfield.
Seeing red (September 27th 1999)
Gerrard came off the bench in the Merseyside derby at Anfield only to be sent off in the closing minutes as Everton recorded a 1-0 win against their local rivals.
Flirting with Chelsea (2004 and 2005)
Jose Mourinho has tried to sign Gerrard on three occasions and the closest he came may have been in 2004, as the Liverpool skipper looked ready to join the Portuguese coach at Chelsea.
“This has been the hardest decision I have ever had to make,” he said as he confirmed his desire to leave in 2005. A handful of Reds fans burned a Gerrard shirt outside Anfield as it looked like he was about to leave.
That slip (April 27th 2014)
With the Premier League title within reach, Gerrard slipped at a crucial moment to allow Demba Ba to score the goal that sent Chelsea on their way to victory at Anfield. It was a moment that will haunt him forever more.
Quick-fire red card (March 22nd 2015)
Gerrard appeared to be frustrated after being left out of the Liverpool side for his side’s vital clash against Manchester United at Anfield and he allowed his anger to boil over as he was sent-off 38 seconds after arriving on the field.