Steven Gerrard and The Missing Page in Liverpool’s Scrapbook

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As I write this Liverpool Football Club sit proudly at the top of the Premier League table and for want of a more suitable phrase ‘this shit just got real’.

Missing Page - Gerrard

Of course there’s a legion of old-timer Kopites who have seen all this a dozen times or more, but similarly there is a whole generation of reds who have never been caught up in such a groundswell of optimism and belief that the title might, just might, be coming back to Anfield.

The city is buzzing.

Liverpool and Everton have both completed a 100% successful month of March, each winning 5 out of 5 whilst Everton’s former boss Moyes is systematically unravelling the tapestry woven over 2 decades by Alex Ferguson. These are happy days indeed.

If Brendan’s charges can pull off what has previously seemed unthinkable, I will celebrate as wildly as the next fan, drunk on adoration for my cherished football club.  Adding  to the enjoyment and pride will be the overwhelming sense of joy that I would feel for all those younger fans who have eaten, breathed and slept LFC for their whole lives without witnessing a championship winning team parading around Anfield Road.

Being a soppy old sod, who still gets emotional during ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, there is one sight that I have only ever seen in my recurring dreams, that I just know will finish me off….

Back in April 1999 a young Huyton lad called Steven Gerrard joined the action for his first taste of a Merseyside derby with just  20 minutes remaining and the reds hanging on to a single goal lead. Twice in the final moments of the battle Everton shots eluded David James and a goal seemed inevitable. Twice the young number 28 stretched to clear the danger from almost on the goal-line. Leaping up, the leggy teenager pumped his fists in celebration and was mobbed by his team-mates.

Steven Gerrard had arrived in earnest. If he had never done another thing in a Liverpool shirt, he would be remembered forever.

Two years on and it’s 31st March 2001 and Liverpool were going head to head with Manchester United, at the peak of their powers. Gerard Houllier was at the helm and optimism was rife as the reds headed towards a cup treble. Steven Gerrard was now a fixture in the side and the match against champions-elect United was seen by some as an irritant ahead of a midweek trip to face Barcelona at the Nou Camp.

However no match between LFC and MUFC is played at anything other than maximum intensity. After 15 minutes Steven Gerrard provided one of the great moments in recent Anfield PL times. Up against Roy Keane, Gerrard dominated from the right side of midfield and on the quarter-hour mark he advanced forward and, measuring the distance, unleashed a snorter of a shot which seemed to accelerate as it travelled, screaming its way past Barthez’ despairing dive and ripping into the Anfield Road net. A thing of beauty.

Steven Gerrard could have hung his boots up that night and he would always be considered a legend.

Later that year Stevie celebrated cup success in Cardiff (again) and Dortmund, and helped his mates qualify for the Champions League.

The Champions League has been blessed with many great Stevie G moments over the years, and in December 2004 it was Steven’s right foot which spawned the ‘Oh…..You beauty…!!!’ classic by Andy Gray to secure Liverpool’s passage beyond the group stages at the expense of Olympiakos.

Once again, this moment alone (because of what it ultimately lead to) could justify legend status.

Better was to come. Istanbul 2005. We all know the story. Every moment is etched in the memory of every reds diehard. The sight of Gerrards header sailing beyond Dida, and the skipper’s call to arms to the vast support as he raced back for the restart is as familiar now as it was 9 years ago. (Yes, nine years!).

But there was so much more to Steven Gerrard that steamy evening. He was a hero amongst heroes. As the game went into extra time and legs were being seized by cramp, Stevie filled in as emergency right back and produced a display based on pure guts and willpower.

By now Steven Gerrard was almost beyond legendary status.

How could he top that?  Impossible, surely. However, we now know otherwise. Cardiff 2006 saw the greatest rescue act in the long history of FA Cup finals. As his 30 yard shot screamed into the net in front of us as the game entered injury time, we danced in delirious joy.

Once again, if Steven George Gerrard had walked away from football that night he had already done more than enough to become the stuff of folklore.

2009 saw his partnership with Fernando Torres, and Rafa’s Liverpool playing some exhilarating football. In one magical week the reds smashed four goals past Man United at Old Trafford and Real Madrid at Anfield.  Gerrard was the dynamic force behind both victories. Who will ever forget his kiss for the camera?

Getting boring now… Gerrard’s legend status was raised a notch.

Throw in a hat-trick against Napoli and a treble against the blues from across the park, as well as so many sweet strikes, whipped crosses and pin-point cross-field passes, his development into a mature ambassador for the club and  you’ll see that Steven Gerrard has done just about everything in a red shirt.  Everything – except for one thing.

There’s still one page missing from the Steven Gerrard LFC scrapbook.

And that is why this particular lifelong LFC supporter, who has followed the Reds around England and across Europe, and who has seen some truly great, great players wearing the Liver Bird on their breast, will without doubt be dewy-eyed with a giant lump in his throat if he gets to see Steven Gerrard lift the Premier League trophy this spring.

For all the memorable moments he has given us and we have shared in, the Holy Grail is now within touching distance.

If any Liverpool player deserves it, then our inspirational number 8 deserves it.

Come on … make me cry.

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  1. You won’t be the only one with moist eyes. I like what Brendan said the other day, let’s not get nervous, let’s enjoy this. Let’s savour every match, every tackle, every pass, every goal, every rendition of YNWA. We’re top of the league, playing sublime football, breaking records and scoring for fun.

    The thing that made me laugh the other day was people saying how poor Spurs were. It’s strange, they were also poor when we played them at the Lane, Everton and Arsenal were poor when they came to Anfield, Norwich are always poor when the face Suarez, resolute Southampton were poor at St Mary’s, and as for Utd at Old Trafford … It’s really weird how many teams are poor when we thump 3, 4 or 5 goals past them. We must be very lucky! 😉

    1 game at a time, let’s win this thing. YNWA

    • You are so right I have been supporting LFC for 49 years and it has been tough to not see them win a leaque trophy over the last 20 plus years. The we have attacked the teams this year and nullyfied their resistance to make them look ordinary has given everyone the impression that the opposition was weak or they never pitched, the factor is that LFC put the fear factor into the opposition so much so that they looked ordinary, sometime you must give give credit where credit is due. This will happen to City & Chelsea when they come to Anfield, we will go unbeaten until the end of this season as momentum is with us. YNWA -Mitch

    • Great article, you write if any LFC player deserves to win the EPL title it is Stevie G. Your wrong mate, if any player period were deserving of winning the EPL title it is Captain Fantastic. He embodies everything I love about Liverpool FC and as a player. Heart, determination, pride, passion, belief, LOYALTY! He is a world class player there is no argument there; but name one other who would refuse to win trophies and silverware to do everything possible to make his team better. You can’t you just don’t find that anymore it’s all just a business there is no loyalty no devotion nothing like what Stevie G brings week in week out to Liverpool. I only hope that come the end there’s only tears of joy and none of sorrow. YNWA

  2. 4 am in Kuala Lumpur nine years ago, Stevie made me cry simply with his battle cry gesture, urging his troops to fight on for the bird on his chest.

    I would have been OK to lose that match, to be supporting a gallant set of fighters. But we prevailed and prove the doubters wrong.

    LFC has never won it easy. We work miracles when the odds are stacked against us.

    Alaves 5-4? Who would have thought?

    What makes him legendary is his willingness to show everybody that when the chips are down, he is willing to say: “this is my club, and I‘ll be damned if we go down without a fight!”

  3. No one can deny that Steven Gerrard deserves to win the league with liverpool no one. But thoughts for our legends Messers Sami Hyppia and Jamie Carragher who also deserved to win the league. Imagine if they were part of our defense today? we’d be running away with the league right now

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