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Gerrard started out playing for local team Whiston Juniors. He was
noticed by Liverpool's scouts aged just 8, and joined the Reds as a
schoolboy in 1987. He played relatively few games, with late growth
spurts restricting him to only 20 games between the ages of 14 and 16.
Aged 14, Gerrard had trials with various clubs, including Manchester
United. In his autobiography he claimed that this was "to pressure
Liverpool into giving me a YTS contract." During this time he had an
accident involving a rusty garden fork and could have lost his toe.
Gerrard signed his first professional contract with Liverpool on 5
November 1997. He was paid £700 a week
1998–99: Debut season
Gerrard made his debut for the Liverpool first team on 29 November 1998
as a second-half substitute for Vegard Heggem against Blackburn. His
first start came in the UEFA Cup against Celta Vigo. Due to an injury to
Jamie Redknapp, Gerrard went on to play 13 games for Liverpool that
1999–00: First team regular
The 1999–00 season saw manager Gérard Houllier start with Gerrard
partnering Jamie Redknapp in central midfield. After being in the
starting line-up for the first six games, Gerrard was relegated to the
substitutes' bench for the local derby against Everton.
Gerrard replaced Robbie Fowler after 66 minutes but went on to receive
the first red card of his career for a foul on Everton's Kevin Campbell
in the 90th minute. Later that season, Gerrard scored his first senior
goal in a 4–1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday.
His back was causing him regular problems. At the time, many journalists
[who?] surmised that fans would never see Gerrard complete anything
close to a full season. However, manager Gerard Houllier took the
practical approach and sought specialist help. After visits to the
renowned sports consultant Müller-Wohlfarth, it was diagnosed that
Gerrard's pains were a result of accelerated growth in a short period of
After treatment he and Liverpool F.C. were assured that these problems
would not recur. Gerrard then suffered from groin problems. He was said
to need four operations for this correction. He then saw Liverpool F.C.
doctors and kept his faith with Liverpool. He was sent to a Frenchman
for his treatment by Gérard Houllier.
He worked hard to recover and soon his groin injuries were no longer a
problem. It had also been claimed that because of a 3 inch growth in his
height during one year that the growth in his body caused many of the
problems. In his early career it was said by some that it was impossible
for him to play two games a week.
2000–01: The "treble" season
2000–01 brought Gerrard his first trophy successes: he put his injury
problems behind him and made 50 first team appearances, scoring 10
goals, as Liverpool won the League Cup and FA Cup. On 31 March, 2000,
Gerrard scored a cracking 25-yard goal, the first in a 2-0 Anfield
victory over Manchester United. This was voted by fans as Liverpool's
best ever Premiership goal.
In the UEFA Cup final against Alavés, Gerrard scored his first major
final goal as Liverpool won 5–4. At the end of the season Gerrard was
named PFA Young Player of the Year.
2001–02: Growing influence
Following the 2001 "treble" season, Gerrard became increasingly
influential in the Liverpool side as he became more experienced and his
injury problems waned. He played an important part in Liverpool's
2001–02 season which resulted in the club finishing second in the
Premier League with their best points tally in over a decade.
During the course of this season, Houllier suffered serious health
problems which resulted in him having to undergo major heart surgery. At
this point Liverpool looked like becoming a force in English Football
once again, but after Houllier's illness the team began to go backwards.
The team's performance became increasingly erratic and reliant on
Gerrard and Michael Owen to win matches with flashes of inspiration.
2002–03: League cup winner
Gerrard suffered a period of poor form during this time, culminating in
his substitution during a Champions League match with Basle at half time
with Liverpool 3–0 down. After the game Gerrard was the subject of
public criticism by Houllier, who suggested that he was not fully
focussed on his football.
Gerrard claimed in his autobiography that the end of his parents
marriage had deflected his attention from the team. Gerrard quickly
recovered from this poor spell and once again began to assert sizeable
influence on the team. The season culminated in a series of outstanding
performances from Gerrard, which included him scoring the first goal in
Liverpool's 2–0 Worthington Cup final victory over fierce rivals
2003–04: Captain of Liverpool
By the start of the 2003 season, Gerrard had established himself as
Liverpool's on-field leader and he was officially recognised as club
captain, replacing Sami Hyypia. Houllier handed the responsibility to
Gerrard in October 2003, perhaps hoping that he could inspire his
teammates to improve their performance, but also to compel him to take
responsibility for his own indifferent disciplinary record – a tactic
which apparently worked as throughout the season he was booked only
His then Liverpool team mate, Michael Owen, in his autobiography
expressed relief at Gerrard being named captain as it took the pressure
off him. Gerrard also penned a four-year contract worth £60,000 a week.
However, while Gerrard excelled as Liverpool's captain, the team
continued to stall and the 2003–04 season ended with no trophies and a
lack of optimism about Liverpool's future prospects for success under
For the first time it was suggested [who?] that Gerrard may have to move
away from Anfield to fulfill his potential. The previous season had seen
Liverpool fall well short of competing for top prizes and they only just
scraped into a Champions League place on the last day of the league
The Liverpool board decided that change was essential and Gerard
Houllier departed as manager. This led to frenzied media speculation
that Gerrard would also leave Anfield, but the appointment of Rafael
Benitez convinced him to stay to see what the new manager could deliver.
2004–05: Champions League Winner
Gerrard taking a freekick for Liverpool.Liverpool struggled early in the
season under the new management. The club were not helped by the sale of
Michael Owen to Real Madrid and a serious injury to striker Djibril
Cisse. Injuries severely affected the rest of the team, including
A foot injury sustained against rivals Manchester United on 20 September
2004 ruled Gerrard out of first team football until late November 2004.
By that stage the club were already out of realistic contention in the
Premier League and they were also under pressure to stay in the
Liverpool went into the final group game requiring a two-goal win to
progress into the last 16 of the competition. Gerrard scored a 25-yard
strike in the last five minutes against the Greek team Olympiakos to
secure the team's progress, after being 1–0 down at half-time to a
Rivaldo free kick and required three second half goals to go through.
Liverpool had been struggling for goals after Owen's sale and Cisse's
injury. However, they launched a comeback scoring 2 goals before Gerrard
secured their place in the knockout stage with the crucial third goal
with a late strike from outside the box. He has since claimed that this
was his most important, if not his best, goal for Liverpool to date.
Liverpool won their two-legged ties against Bayer Leverkusen, Juventus
and Chelsea in the knock out stages and they went on to reach the
Champions League final.
However, in the meantime, the club only finished 5th in the league -
more than thirty points behind the champions Chelsea. Liverpool did
reach the Carling Cup final, but were beaten 3–2 by Chelsea after extra
time. Gerrard headed an own goal with Liverpool winning with ten minutes
left of normal time. This proved to be one of the lowest points of his
Anfield career and once again, media speculation arose that he would be
moving on from Liverpool at the end of the season.
Final in Istanbul
Liverpool played AC Milan in the 2005 Champions' League final in
Istanbul. The game started badly. At half-time Liverpool were 3–0 down.
It appeared that AC Milan had the trophy won already. Rafa Benitez made
a number of tactical changes at half time, including the substitution of
Dietmar Hamann for Steve Finnan which allowed Gerrard to push further
forward, and Liverpool launched one of the most famous comebacks in
During a six minute stretch in the second half, Liverpool scored three
times to level the game at 3–3. Gerrard headed in the first goal in from
a John Arne Riise cross in the 54th minute. Two minutes later Vladimír
Šmicer scored the Reds' second goal. Moments later, Gerrard was brought
down in the box by Gennaro Gattuso and won a penalty. Xabi Alonso's spot
kick was saved by Dida, the goalkeeper, but he failed to hold the ball
and Alonso scored from the rebound to make it 3–3.
There were no further goals in the game. Liverpool went on to win the
match via a penalty shootout. Gerrard became the second youngest captain
ever to lift the European Cup (Didier Deschamps is the youngest).
Gerrard did not take a penalty, he would have taken Liverpool's fifth
spot kick if Jerzy Dudek had not already saved from Andriy Shevchenko to
win the match for Liverpool. Gerrard's goal made him one of only two
people this century to score in both the UEFA Cup and Champions League
finals (Dmitri Alenichev for FC Porto is the other).
Gerrard was named as UEFA's Most Valuable Player for the 2004–05
Champions' League season. He was also in the running for French sport
newspaper L'Equipe's prestigious Ballon D'Or award. Gerrard came third
in the 2005 BBC Sports Personality of the Year behind Ellen MacArthur
(second) and Andrew Flintoff. He later finished third in the 2005
European footballer of the year award.
2005–06: FA Cup winner
In the 2005–06 season, Gerrard scored 23 goals in 53 games from
midfield. In April, Gerrard received his greatest personal accolade to
date, when he was voted PFA Player of the Year by his fellow players,
becoming the first Liverpool player to win the award since John Barnes
Gerrard capped the season by captaining Liverpool to victory in the FA
Cup. He scored twice in the Final against West Ham, including an
equalizer in stoppage time to send the game into extra-time. The 35-yard
strike (past Shaka Hislop) has been called the greatest goal in FA Cup
final history, and was named Match of the Day's Goal of the Season.
Gerrard also scored in the penalty shoot out.
His goals in the 2006 FA Cup final makes Gerrard the only player to have
scored in all four major cup finals that it is possible for an
England-based player to take part in. Gerrard's goals were: FA Cup (2006
vs West Ham United), League Cup (2003 vs Manchester United), UEFA Cup
(2001 vs Deportivo Alaves), and European Cup (2005 vs AC Milan).
2006–07: Champions League Runners-Up
Gerrard playing for Liverpool during the 2006–07 season Liverpool
claimed the first domestic silverware of the 2006–07 season by beating
Chelsea 2–1 to win the FA Community Shield. As Gerrard was rested from
the starting line-up, Jamie Carragher was made captain for the match and
thus lifted the cup; Gerrard replaced Boudewijn Zenden on the hour mark,
and so added another medal to his collection.
Liverpool were unsuccessful domestically. They finished 3rd in the
Premiership, 21 points adrift of the champions Manchester United and on
equal points with 4th placed Arsenal. In the FA Cup, they were defeated
by Arsenal at the third-round stage.
In the Carling Cup they were again knocked out by Arsenal at the
quarter-final stage. Gerrard scored in the match but could not prevent
his side suffering a 6–3 defeat at home.
However, Liverpool fared better in the Champions League. Defending
Champions and favourites FC Barcelona were beaten in the last 16, and
joint favourites Chelsea in the semi-final. In the semi, Gerrard
provided the assist for Daniel Agger to score Liverpool's equalizer and
later scored the third penalty for Liverpool in the shoot-out. Liverpool
faced AC Milan for the title on 23 May, in a repeat of the 2005 final,
but lost 2–1.
In Liverpool's first game of the new campaign against Aston Villa at
Villa Park, Gerrard secured Liverpool three valuable points after
scoring a curling free kick into the top-right corner from 25 yards out
at the 87th minute, just two minutes after Gareth Barry had equalized
for Villa through a penalty. Gerrard was awarded the Man of the Match
award. The win marks Liverpool's first opening day victory in the
Premiership since 2002.
In the Champions League qualifier versus Toulouse F.C., Gerrard was
substituted in the 65th minute with a suspected injury. While this was
later confirmed as a hairline fracture in his toe he would return to
play only four days later versus Chelsea. Gerrard played the entirety of
the match as it finished in a 1–1 draw.
On October 28, 2007, Gerrard played his 400th game for Liverpool against
Arsenal, scoring a goal. Gerrard was elected fans player of the match.
Gerrard scored in nearly every game [quantify] during November and by
scoring in the away Champions League tie against Olympic Marseille he
became the first Liverpool player since John Aldridge in 1989 to score
in 7 games in a row.
On April 13th 2008 he made his 300th Premier League appearance against
Blackburn Rovers F.C., and marked the occasion by scoring the opening
goal. Liverpool finished fourth in the League and reached the
semi-finals of the European Champions League eventually going out to
Gerrard ended the season with 22 goals surpassing his goals total of the
06-07 season and was one of the nominees for the PFA player of the year
alongside teammate Fernando Torres. He was also selected for the PFA
Team of the year for the fifth year in a row and sixth overall.
Gerrard was given his international debut by Kevin Keegan against
Ukraine on 31 May 2000. It was 18 months and only 44 games since his
debut for the Liverpool first team. That summer, he was picked for the
England squad for Euro 2000. In an unsuccessful campaign for England,
Gerrard only made one substitute appearance, coming on for Michael Owen
after 61 minutes, in the team's sole victory — a 1-0 defeat of Germany.
Gerrard was one of three Liverpool players including Michael Owen (3
goals) and Emile Heskey (1 goal) who scored in the World Cup qualifying
game in September 2001 against Germany (1– 5 away victory), this being
his first international goal. England successfully qualified for the
2002 World Cup, but Gerrard was forced to pull out of the squad to
undergo surgery on a problematic groin injury.This operation finally put
an end to injury problems that had plagued Gerrard since his early
The 2004 European Football Championship saw Gerrard finally get a
starting role in a major international tournament. Late in England's
first game against France, Gerrard's back-pass was intercepted by
Thierry Henry, who was then brought down by David James, winning France
a penalty. Zinedine Zidane duly scored to give France victory 2-1.
England went on to win their next two group games to progress in second
place, with Gerrard scoring his first goal at a finals competition with
the third goal against Switzerland. England lost in the next round to
Portugal, with Gerrard being substituted in the 81st minute.
Gerrard suffered an injury scare days before the 2006 World Cup in
Germany, when it was suggested that he might be ruled out of England's
first game of the tournament; however, he was deemed fit to make his
first ever World Cup appearance, and started in the side that beat
Paraguay 1-0. He then went on to score twice in the group stages of the
tournament – first netting England's second goal in a 2-0 victory over
Trinidad & Tobago with a long-range, curled strike (coincidentally,
again past Hislop) in injury time. This victory, in which Gerrard's
Liverpool team-mate Peter Crouch also scored, ensured England's progress
to the second round of the tournament with a game to spare.
Gerrard was then initially rested for the final group game against
Sweden, as a precaution against picking up a second booking that would
have ruled him out of the second round match (having already received
one against Paraguay). He came off the bench to score a powerfully
headed goal in the 85th minute, giving England the lead in a game that
finished 2-2. Gerrard was one of three England players to see their
penalty saved by Ricardo Pereira in the quarter-final penalty shoot-out
which was won by Portugal. Gerrard finished the tournament as England's
top goalscorer with two goals.
Gerrard was regarded by both the footballing media and bookmakers to be
one of the prime candidates for the England captaincy after David
Beckham resigned the post. William Hill gave odds of 2/1 for Gerrard
(with John Terry as favourite on 1/2 odds). With 47 caps at that time,
Gerrard was a more experienced international player (as opposed to
Terry's 29), but Steve McClaren chose to give the post to the Chelsea
skipper, with Gerrard as vice-captain.
On October 13, 2007, Gerrard captained the England squad for the first
time in a competitive match. Due to England failing to qualify for The
European Championships in 2008, Steve McClaren was fired by the F.A.
Fabio Capello was hired and is responsible for deciding who the captains
arm band will be given to. (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Oct. 1: Steven Gerrard's fantastic 25-yard free-kick vs. PSV at
Anfield provides the Liverpool skipper with a memorable 100th goal for
the club. And Reds won 3-1.
Apr. 3: Gerrard has agreed a new
two-year contract extension - barely a fortnight after talks opened with
The Reds skipper has agreed terms on a deal which will keep him at
Anfield until 2013.
May: Gerrard named the 2009 Football Writers' Association
Footballer of the Year.
July 8: Gerrard has put pen to paper on a new four-year contract
that will ensure he remains at Liverpool for the rest of his career.
This new contract runs until 2013 and is worth an estimated £26million.
Feb. 25: Gerrard has set a new goal-scoring record in Europe.
The midfielder's goal against Unirea in the Europa League means he's now
scored more goals than any other English player in Europe.
Gerrard scored Liverpool's third goal in his side's 3-1 win, taking his
goal-scoring tally in European competitions to 33.
Former Newcastle player and Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer
previously held the record with 32 goals.
Thor Zakariassen ©