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Liverpool prepares for life after Gerrard as his final match nears

Scousers preparing for a final goodbye to legend Steven Gerrard

sports Updated: May 24, 2015 15:53 IST
Prerna Madan
Prerna Madan
Hindustan Times
Liverpool,Steven Gerrard

Scousers are preparing to bid a tearful final goodbye to their beloved legend Steven Gerrard when he adorns the Liverpool jersey for the last time on Sunday against Stoke City.

This will be his last away game for the 122-year-old club where he has spent 17 seasons and scored 185 goals so far. Fans will be ruing the day the veteran leaves for the US to play for Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy.

However, there is still a silver lining: Gerrard has confirmed that he is likely to return to Liverpool for training after MLS season ends in December. Many are hoping desperately that he will return for good once he realises what he is missing in the States. Meanwhile, Liverpool FC are also preparing for a life without the familiar face.

Current manager Brendan Rodgers had last year, in an interview with The Telegraph, said "What he gives to this club is more than the football aspect. He never turns down anything he has to do for the club and he takes great pride in his role as captain. You've seen the great captains this club has had down the years who have led by example and he does that for all the players. He is a unique guy who is a proper legend of this football club."

Popularly known as ‘Stevie G’ in the football community, tributes are pouring in from fans, players, managers and football pundits alike to celebrate the player who has won 10 trophies with Liverpool, including captaining the team to a UEFA Champions League victory in 2005.

Further, Dailymail reports stories of fans appearing outside the Melwood ground to witness him training for the last time.“One fan in particular climbed on a bin lorry parked outside the training ground so he could watch Gerrard participate in one of his final sessions,” it reads.

Supporters had already thronged in masses to give him a memorable send-off at Anfied last week in his last home match against Crystal Palace. Standing with his daughters, he looked emotional as the stadium erupted with thunderous claps, incessant chanting and of course, Liverpool’s song ‘You’ll never walk alone’.

Gerrard has made his intention clear of pursuing managerial training as he embarks on a new journey in the US, following the footsteps of his former English teammate David Beckham. However, reports quoted him as saying that he would not return to Liverpool as a manager without being confident of his skills and ability to make a positive impact, while citing Kenny Danglish as an example – former Liverpool legend who was sacked in 2012 after one season into the managerial position.

Even though Gerrard has tasted European and FA Cup victories, Premier League is the one title that has eluded his long list of trophies and awards. He told Football Focus that not winning EPL was “not his only regret, I think it is the biggest”.

First Published: May 24, 2015 12:14 IST