“Saying goodbye hasn’t been easy.”
It’s no longer news that Steven Gerrard is leaving Liverpool FC, the club he’s played for his entire football career, for US Major League Soccer team LA Galaxy this summer. The 34-year-old legend has written a farewell letter to Liverpool fans and it’s as touching and bittersweet as you’d expect. *sniff*
To all my fans,
Saying goodbye hasn’t been easy.
Liverpool Football Club has been such a massive part of my life since I was eight years old and I know how much I’m going to miss it.
It’s been an emotional time for my family and I with my final game at Anfield against Crystal Palace and then my last appearance away to Stoke City.
But I’ve been blown away by the send-off I’ve been given by the supporters and I’d like to thank every one of you. It’s been very humbling and it’s something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.
It’s been an absolute privilege to represent this football club for so long.
When I was a kid, kicking a ball around in Ironside Road in Huyton, all I ever wanted to do was play for Liverpool. I dreamed of pulling that shirt on just once.
I never thought I’d get close to achieving that so to be able to look back on a first-team career of 710 appearances spanning 17 years I’m immensely proud.
I’ve loved every minute of playing for the best supporters in the world.
It’s been an amazing journey. There have been some glorious highs and some crushing lows, but throughout you have given me fantastic support and I’ll never forget that.
The highs have been all the sweeter because they have been achieved with my boyhood club. We have shared those special moments together.
Of course the pinnacle of my career arrived in Istanbul 10 years ago. That was the best night of my life. When I lifted the European Cup, there was no prouder man on the planet.
It meant so much to me to deliver that trophy for you. The supporters played such a big part in helping to inspire that famous comeback against AC Milan. I’ll never forget how they helped to lift our chins off the floor after that nightmare first half.
People have often asked me about the pressure on my shoulders to deliver for Liverpool but I’ve never seen that as a burden. There’s been huge responsibility on me but I’ve always loved and embraced that.
It’s been a massive honour to be captain of this club for so long. I’ve always given my best and tried to lead by example.
I’ve been very fortunate to play alongside some incredible players and for managers who have all helped me to improve and develop. I’m proud of what I’ve given back – the sacrifices, the dedication and the loyalty over the years.
But more than anything I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to play in front of these fans for so long.
Liverpool is my home and I love this city. But I believe the time is right to open a new chapter as I prepare to move to America.
I want to keep playing every week in the final few years of my career and I’m looking forward to embarking on a new challenge with Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS.
I’ll be away for the next couple of years but this isn’t the end of my long association with Liverpool FC. I’ve been a supporter all my life and that will continue.
I hope to get the opportunity to come back and serve the club again one day. I feel that I can make a contribution in some role in the future.
But today is all about looking back and saying thank-you to the fans for the magnificent support you have given me over the past two decades. You have helped me to fulfil my dreams over and over again and given me memories I wouldn’t swap for anything.