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Chasing fairy tales: A fan's homage to Steven Gerrard

A fan recollects what it was to watch Steven Gerrard single-handedly carry Liverpool

CONTRIBUTOR
Feature 17 May 2015, 18:36 IST
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Steven Gerrard Anfield
Liverpool fans are still coming to terms with the fact that Steven Gerrard is retiring

“I have no regrets,” said Steven Gerrard after Liverpool lost 3-1 to Crystal Palace in his last home game at Anfield. It was a sad end to one of the finest footballing careers in recent memory. As Steven Gerrard picked up the mike and addressed ‘The Kop’ for one last time it was difficult to believe this was it.

We had all hoped for a fairytale ending, a hat-trick in the last game, the moments of magic for one last time. We should have known better. I don’t know how many times it would take before I accept that fairy tales don’t happen. We saw the cancer survivor Lance Armstrong go down for drugs, we have waited to see Stevie win the league for over 10 years, we saw Tiger Woods fade.

Yet somewhere deep down within us, we still yearn for, we still believe in fairytales. Its time to get real, they just don’t happen. From John Terry’s slip in the Champions League final in 2008 to Stevie’s fall against Chelsea last year, we have seen the cruelty of sport.

On Saturday, we all believed that Steven Gerrard was going to be magical once again. On the other hand, I, along with millions of Liverpool fans around the world believe that what Gerrard achieved at Liverpool over 17 years is worth more than multiple Premier League victories.

While Stevie G might say that he feels sad about it, his actions speak otherwise. He was sought after by every top club in the world; Real Madrid, AC Milan, Chelsea and many others. Who did not want him? And yet he stayed on at Liverpool knowing fully well that he would most probably not win the one trophy missing in his collection there.

Deep down, Steven Gerrard cherished the ovation he got on Saturday much more than the trophies he could have won had he gone to other clubs. And perhaps nothing would have been more fitting than Anfield chanting his name even in defeat.

It was a picture of Steven Gerrard’s career. It showed the quality of the team he dragged on for more than decade. It was for a large part, Steven Gerrard and 10 other men on the pitch. This man marshalled us, motivated us and took us forward, he stayed in a mediocre team out of loyalty for us, and on Saturday we paid him back for everything. The ovation, the reception, the tears, the anguish and the pride, the slight twinge of regret, it had everything.

The man who made us dream

The regret was not Stevie’s though, it was ours. The regret was that we could not give more to the guy who, in his prime was perhaps the finest midfielder in Europe, gave everything for them. We can try to make up for it though, by always remembering the man who made us dream.

I won’t talk about the future today, nor will I compare Steven Gerrard to other greats of his era. He is above any such comparisons today. This post is only to thank the man who gave so much joy and pleasure to me and to all of us over all these years.

Bad day, horrible mood – come home, put on the TV, see Stevie score a last minute winner and stay upbeat for all week. Over and over again over all these years. Today I won’t talk about what could have been.

One of the very best

I will only talk about what happened, and to tell the truth, this career has been nothing short of remarkable. There was a reason why perhaps one the greatest footballers of all time, Zidane, called Steven Gerrard the finest player in the world in 2009.

There was a reason why Alex Ferguson called him the most influential player in all England, or why Pirlo said that he was the finest midfielder of his generation. There is a reason why the man regarded to be perhaps the finest footballer ever, Pele, said that Gerrard was the finest player in the world ahead of all others in 2006.

This man never hogged the limelight. This was the wolf who lived for the pack. I can only say one thing right now, Thank you Stevie. Thank you for proving me wrong, fairytales do happen. Your career was nothing less.

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