*Steven Gerrard of Liverpool Football Club!!!*

Liverpool FC in 2006! The FA Cup Champions in the final against West Ham United!

Rafa Benitez, Steven Gerrard's Manager for Liverpool FC

Steven Gerrard's Club career

Early years
Gerrard started out with Huyton Juniors, but was picked up by Liverpool's scouts aged just 9,[4] and joined the Reds as a schoolboy in 1989. During his youth years Gerrard played relatively few games, with late growth spurts restricting him to only 20 games between the ages of 14 and 16.[4] Gerrard never made it into the England Schoolboys team, an odd quirk considering his successful professional career.

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 garden fork and could have lost his toe. Luckily this was not the case.[5]

Gerrard signed his first professional contract with Liverpool on the 5th of November, 1997. He made his debut for the Liverpool first team on 30 November 1998 as a second-half substitute for Vegard Heggem against Blackburn.

Steven Gerrard's Liverpool successful career

His first start as a Liverpool player, his first and current team came in the UEFA Cup against Celta Vigo and despite the Reds losing on the night, Gerrard's widely-praised performance belied his youth. Due to an injury to Jamie Redknapp, Gerrard went on to play 13 games for Liverpool that season.

The 1999–2000 season saw Gérard Houllier start with Gerrard partnering 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 an ugly 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 on 5 December 1999.

Treble season

2000–01 brought Gerrard his first trophy successes. Gerrard put his injury problems behind him and made 50 first team appearances, while scoring 10 goals, as Liverpool won the League Cup and FA Cup. 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.

Liverpool captain

Houllier handed the club captaincy to Gerrard for the 2002 season, 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.

Gerrard was approached by Chelsea to sign for them during the summer of 2004, but he eventually chose to stay at Liverpool. It is known that he was on the brink of signing for the London club but was persuaded to stay because of his family and friends. The arrival of new Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez also played a part in his decision.

Champions League winner

In the final game of that year's Champions League group stage, Gerrard scored a crucial 25-yard strike against Olympiakos. Liverpool needed to win by two goals to progress to the last 16 of the competition. They were 1-0 down at half-time, but grabbed two goals, Gerrard secured their place with their third with a late strike from outside the box. He claimed that it was his best goal for Liverpool.

Liverpool went on to reach the 2005 Champions' League final against AC Milan in Istanbul. At half-time Liverpool had been outplayed and were 3-0 down. In the second half, Gerrard headed a goal and kick-started Liverpool's comeback. Minutes later, Vladimír Šmicer scored again for the Reds. Gerrard then won Liverpool a penalty when he was fouled by Gennaro Gattuso in the penalty area. Xabi Alonso's penalty was initially saved, but he scored from the rebound to make it 3-3. Liverpool went on to win the match in a penalty shootout, making Gerrard the second youngest captain ever to lift the European Cup.

Liverpool beat West Ham on penalties to win the FA Cup at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday after the game ended 3-3 in normal time. A Steven Gerrard brace, including a late equaliser to send the game into extra time, helped the Merseysiders lift their seventh ever FA Cup.

Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina, who had put in a shaky performance for much of the day and was at fault for two of West Ham's goals, was the hero as he saved three Hammers' penalties to give Liverpool victory. Liverpool scored three of their four penalty shootouts, Sami Hyypia being the only player in red to miss.

But it all could have been so different.

The trophy seemed to be heading for East London after a Jamie Carragher own goal, a Dean Ashton strike and a lucky Paul Konchesky goal had given West Ham fans hope that this was to be their year. But up stepped Liverpool captain Gerrard in the dying minutes to put those ideas on ice as he bagged his second of the day with a crisply struck first time effort from outside the box.


Djibril Cissé had earlier pulled the score back to 1-2 with a sweet volley before Gerrard equalised twice to send the match into extra time. No further breakthrough could be made in the additional half hour period as, with all three substitutions already made by both teams, players tired and cramp set in.

So it was to be the cruel ending of penalties that finally separated these two teams, with Reina emerging as the toast of Liverpool. But if Reina was ultimately the hero, he could so easily have been the villain after his under-par performance in normal time.


Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez was equally pleased with his side's performance. "We kept going until the end," he said. "The team worked really hard. The players and supporters are fantastic. I think the players run more with supporters like that. "Before the game, we were talking about not making mistakes, and we've made some but for me this is amazing."


The Spaniard was at fault for West Ham's opening two goals, firstly as the unfortunate Carragher slid in to guide the ball into his own net when the 'keeper should have claimed, and then as he spilled a Mathew Etherington shot into the path of Ashton for the striker to slot home easily. "I think my game was horrible today," said Reina. "But in the lottery of penalties I was lucky. There is a small line between making saves and making mistakes - this time we were lucky." Before his penalty heroics, Reina had redeemed himself in the closing stages of the game as he athletically tipped a Nigel Reo-Coker effort onto a post to ensure the game was settled by spot kicks. "(The save in the final minutes) was not the best but was the most important," confirmed the shot-stopper.


Steven Gerrard believed his side's experiences in Istanbul a year ago - when they came from three goals down to beat Milan on penalties to claim the European Cup - helped them at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday. "The spirit of Istanbul got us through," said Gerrard. "West Ham put in a fantastic performance, but we have a great team spirit. "Istanbul made it better," he continued. "If we go behind we'll always fight back. It (The 2 goals) were nice goals. It was a good day for me."

Steven Gerrard's List of Favourites:

Music: Pop.
Food: Italian.
Clothes: Casual.
Movie: Scarface.
Actor/ actress: Robert de Niro/Jessica Alba.
Drink: Can't say beer, can I? Make it Lucozade.

And finally, he was asked:
Your dream final in World Cup 2006, and how will it go?
"England-Germany," came the animated reply. "Three-nil; Gerrard hat-trick."

National team
It was hugely disappointing for both Gerrard and England that injury ruled him out of the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals - especially as he scored one of England's goals in the famous 5-1 qualifying defeat of Germany in Munich. Gerrard made his England debut against Ukraine in May 2000.

Born in 1980 and signed as a trainee, Gerrard made his Liverpool FC debut in November 1998 as a substitute against Blackburn Rovers FC. In his first start, against RC Celta de Vigo in the UEFA Cup, Gerrard's ability to tackle, pass and shoot in equal measure shone through.

2001: He proved his worth with a selection of outstanding performances in 00/01 as Liverpool won the FA Cup, English League Cup and UEFA Cup. Gerrard was voted England's Young Player of the Year that year. He won a second League Cup in Cardiff in March 2003. Having replaced Sami Hyypiä as captain in 2003, Gerrard justified his promotion by almost single-handedly guiding Liverpool to fourth place.

Did you know?
Gerrard's superb strike against United in March 2001 was voted Liverpool's best Premiership goal.

England Career:
First match: No. 767, 31 May 2000, England 2 Ukraine 0, friendly match at the Empire Stadium, Wembley, London, substituted after 81 min.

Last match: No. 835, 1 March 2006, England 2 Uruguay 1, a friendly match at Anfield Road, Liverpool.

Major tournaments: European Championship Finals 2000, European Championship Finals 2004.

Team honours: -

Individual honours: England U21 (4 caps), England U18.

2001 European SuperCup winner (Liverpool)
2005 Champions League winner (Liverpool)
2001 UEFA Cup winner (Liverpool)
2001 FA Cup winner (Liverpool)
2001 League Cup winner (Liverpool)
2003 League Cup winner (Liverpool)
2005 League Cup Finals (Liverpool)
2006 FA Cup winner (Liverpool)

Monday, February 28, 2005

Liverpool Supporters break world record
Liverpool fans broke the record for the world's loudest fans yesterday when Cardiff City Council measured a maximum of 130.7 decibels coming from the fans in Red yesterday at the Millennium Stadium.

Despite losing the Carling Cup final to Chelsea, Liverpool fans didn't stop chanting and official readings meant they beat the Denver Broncos fans record set in October 2000 which measured 128.74 decibels.

Throughout the afternoon officials took readings in decibels of how loud each sets of fans were chanting. The chanting of Steven Gerrard's name made the loudest roar for any single player whilst the record was broken when John Arne Riise scored Liverpool's first minute goal.

Sam Ward, the Carling Cup sponsorship manager was pleased with the record being broken. He said, "The Carling Cup is all about the fans and what a performance from both sets of supporters. This year's competition has attracted more fans than any before and smashing the world record is a great way to top it off."

Liverpool Football Club will release a brand new re-working of the legendary Johnny Cash classic 'Ring of Fire' as their official song for the FA Cup final with all proceeds being donated to charity.

Originally penned by June Carter and Merie Kilgour, the song reached No.1 in the Country Charts when recorded by Cash in 1963 and now Liverpool Football Club are hoping to score a number one of their own when the new version is released next week.

All proceeds from the sales of the download will go to the Marina Dalglish Appeal, an organisation set up by Marina and Kenny Dalglish to raise money for a new Oncology ward at University Hospital Aintree.

'Ring of Fire' Trivia: Did you know?

Johnny Cash's version of 'Ring of Fire' was first adopted by Liverpool supporters travelling to away matches as long ago as 2002 but grew in popularity as the Reds trailed a blaze through Europe on route to last season's Champions League final in Istanbul.

The song was played in the Liverpool players dressing room in the Atatürk stadium in Istanbul before the Champions League final against AC Milan in May 2005 and after winning the game on penalties, Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard were caught singing the song's tune 'Der-der-der-der-der-der-der-derrrrrr' live on TV.

FA Cup hero Steven Gerrard has reflected on another glorious season at Anfield and picked out his Liverpool players of 2005/06...

LFC Player of 2005/06

"There are so many players to choose from but I'll obviously be biased and say Carra because he's a good mate of mine. I thought to myself last season, 2004/05, he had his best season and that there'd be no way he could ever match that. But he has. He's been consistent in every game and this team just wouldn't be the same without Carra."

Most Improved LFC Player in 2005/06

"It's got to be Steve Finnan. I think he's just enjoyed his best season in a Liverpool shirt. He got a bit of stick when he first came and when Gerard Houllier left there was talk of him leaving. But Rafa decided not to sell him and I think he made the right decision. Like Carra, he's been really consistent this season."

LFC Young Player of 2005/06

"That's a difficult one. I think it would have to be between Sissoko and Reina. Pepe had been superb for us. I know he doesn't look young but he is still only 22. He's been fantastic for us, keeping all those clean sheets. Momo has strengthened the squad. He's given us more aggression and more energy. He's good to have in the team and good to play alongside. I really wouldn't like to choose between them so I'd have to say both."

Why is he a key player?:
Steven Gerrard is a commanding midfielder with an eye for the goal outside the area. Unafraid to commit himself to the hard tackle, he controls the middle of the pitch and picks apart attackers with brilliant long-ball passes.

During a season in which Liverpool fans tore their hair out in frustration at the team's performance, Gerrard remained a consistent bright spot at Anfield. The Liverpool faithful breathed a collective sigh of relief when Gerrard put pen to paper and committed himself to the club through 2007.

Gerrard's English debut came against the Ukraine in May, 2000, effectively earning him a place in the squad's 2000 Eurocup campaign. Unfortunately for Gerrard, injury kept him in England as his teammates traveled to Japan / South Korea for the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

Considering he is only 28, Steven Gerrard will continue to impress for club and country in the years to come. His Liverpool career includes two English League Cups, an Eurapean Cup, 2 FA Cups, a UEFA Cup and Supercup as well as the Young Player of the Year award in 2000/2001. And for posterity's sake he also holds the honour for Liverpool's greatest Premiership goal; a real beauty against arch-rival Manchester United in 2001.

Gerrard has been a wonderful, bright player for Liverpool as his career goes. His two goals in the FA final 06 will be remembered, as it was his hold on the team that made Liverpool win. His goal against AC Milan in the "Miracel of Istanbul 05" will also be remembered by The Kop and others for their lives, as he single-handidly encouraged his team to win, yet again, by a miracel.

Champions League final clockwatch

Liverpool beat AC Milan 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out to win the Champions League after sensationally coming from three goals down at half-time. Maldini gave Milan a first-minute lead and Crespo's double gave Milan a seemingly unassailable lead. Gerrard gave Liverpool hope and Smicer and Alonso levelled in a seven-minute spell. Dudek then saved from Andrea and Shevchenko in the shoot-out to clinch a stunning victory. It capped an amazing turnaround, with Liverpool looking out of contention after they were completely outclassed in the first-half. Liverpool's advance to the final was a major shock as they invaded the established order of Europe's footballing elite over-turning the odds against Juventus and Chelsea to reach Istanbul.

And in a show of character that broke Italian hearts they claimed the trophy for the fifth time - a feat that ensures the trophy will now stay at Anfield permanently. Liverpool's fans were determined to savour the occasion, with well in excess of their official 20,000 ticket allocation inside the Ataturk Stadium at kick-off. Manager Benitez made a bold team selection when he excluded Dietmar Hamann- so successful in the European campaign - on the sidelines in favour of Harry Kewell. It was a decision that back-fired in the worst possible fashion in a catastrophic first 45 minutes for Liverpool.

Milan were ahead inside the first minute, when Pirlo's free-kick was met by the unmarked Maldini, who swept a finish high past Dudek. Liverpool's lack of a holding midfield player allowed Milan to cut a swathe past Gerrard and Alonso. And Kewell's ill-fated selection looked even more of a failed gamble when he limped off with a groin injury after only 22 minutes, to be replaced by Smicer. Milan ended the first half exerting almost embarrassing domination, with two strikes in the last six minutes of the opening period. Shevchenko broke away down the right flank in a sweeping attack, and crossed for Crespo to turn home from close range.

And four minutes later, Milan added a third when Brazilian Kaka, the most influential player in the first 45 minutes, unlocked Liverpool's defence with a brilliant pass that released Crespo for a clever chip over the onrushing Dudek. Benitez made a change at half-time - introducing Hamman for Steve Finnan, who had a thigh injury. Dudek produced a fine diving save from Shevchenko's free-kick to stop Liverpool going four down before Benitez's side launched an astonishing comeback.

Gerrard threw Liverpool a lifeline with a header from John Arne Riise's cross after 53 minutes, and when Dida fumbled in Smicer's tame 25-yard shot a minute later, they were alive again. And Liverpool's recovery was complete on the hour when Gennaro Gattuso pulled down Gerrard in the area as he was poised to equalise. Dida saved Alonso's spot-kick, but the Spanish midfield man followed up to score the rebound with Milan's defenders looking on in stunned disbelief.

The massed ranks of Liverpool supporters, who sat in desolation during the interval, were now in ecstasy and contemplating a victory that seemed impossible just 15 minutes earlier. The final then reverted to a cat-and-mouse affair, but Djimi Traore rescued a poor personal display when he cleared off the line from Shevchenko after Dudek fumbled Crespo's cross. Milan dominated possession in extra-time, and they were denied by a miracle double save by Dudek from Shevchenko with three minutes remaining. Serginho and Pirlo missed Milan's first two penalties, while Hamann and Cisse scored for Liverpool. Tomasson put Milan in contention before Riise missed for Liverpool. Kaka scored for Milan, and after Smicer scored for Liverpool, Shevchenko's kick was saved by Dudek to spark wild scenes of celebration by Liverpool and The Kop.

Steven Gerrard

Place of Birth:
Whiston, Merseyside, England

Date of Birth:
30 May, 1980


Liverpool (England, Premiership)

AskMen's Rating of Player:
(skills, leadership, etc., out of 100)85%

Importance to Team:
8 out of 10

How Stevie G defied nature to become star...while it was plain sailing for Rooney.

Steven Gerrard should never have made it as a professional footballer.

The odds were stacked against him from the day he was born. That is the conclusion of remarkable research by a Loughborough University team who reveal that only a tiny number of Britons born between March and August make it in elite sport. Sporting success, literally, may be an accident of birth. Gerrard, born in May, is one of the exceptions but he admitted yesterday that he struggled through his schooldays, failing to make it into the England Under 16 team and being rejected for the FA Academy.

The research, commissioned by a new independent think-tank, Sportnation, discovered that around thre - quarters of those who make it to the top in sport in Britain are born between September and February. Incredibly, almost half of those selected by the FA Academy were born in three months, September, October and November. Just two in 100 were born in June, July and August. It is, therefore, hardly surprising that more than half of all professional footballers and cricketers born in Britain were born in the last four months of the year. Wayne Rooney, for example, has an October birthday. Similar percentages were found in other sports. More than half of the under 15 finalists in the English Schools Athletics Championships ships came from the same three months, and almost half in swimming. Three-quarters of Britain's elite junior tennis players were born between September and February.

The reason, it seems, is that teachers and coaches, seeking instant results, pick the biggest children and those are the oldest in the school year. The research found that at 14 a child born at the beginning of the year is 7cm taller and 6kg heavier than one at the end of the same academic year. Gerrard was born six months later than Michael Owen, who not only made it into the England Under 16 team but was selected for the Academy at Lilleshall. Gerrard said: 'I was lucky because even though I didn't make it to the FA school at Lilleshall, my parents and the coaches at Liverpool kept complete faith with me until I developed more physically. But it cannot be fair that many of the youngest kids in the school year are left on the sidelines.' The think-tank, chaired by former world champion athlete Steve Cram, believes Britain is wasting a huge pool of talent because of the 'relative age effect'. Cram said: 'What is required is a sea change in perceptions of age in sport to eliminate what amounts to unfair and damaging ageism.'

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