â€œCut my veins open and I bleed Liverpool Redâ€â€” he is a one-club player regarded as one of the best leaders ever to grace the football pitch.
A natural central midfielder, he loves to make darting runs from the centre of the park and his long range passing and shooting, coupled with his tackling ability makes him a player every manager would love to have in their side.
HeÂ has collectedÂ almost every club medal during 15 years in the first team and in 2006 was awarded an MBE by the Queen. The one piece of silverware that eludes him is the Premier League title.
Steven George GerrardÂ was born on May 30, 1980 in Merseyside.Â He started out playing for hometown team Whiston Juniors, where he was noticed by Liverpool scouts.
At the age of nine, he joined theÂ Liverpool Academy. A serious injury whilst playing football could have ultimately ended his career before it begun.
A young Gerrard kicked his football into a bush full of nettles and tried to kick it out but accidentally kicked a garden fork which ended up going through his trainers and straight into his big toe.
The doctor at first thought his toe would have to be removed but that was not the case and he was allowed to join Liverpool soon.
He signed his first professional contract with Liverpool on November 5, 1997. He made his first-team debut a year later in aÂ Premier LeagueÂ match as a last-minute substitute.
He made thirteen appearances in his debut season, but he scarcely contributed in the short on-pitch time he received, due to nervousness affecting his play.
His second season at the club did not go well as injuries kept him out of the game. He suffered from nagging back problems due to accelerated growth, coupled with excessive playing, during his teenage years. Then, he was beset by groin injuries that required four separate operations.
In 2000-01, he came back strong and cemented his place in the first team with fifty starts in all competitions, scoring ten goals as he won his first major honours with Liverpool â€“ theÂ FA Cup,Â League Cup, and theÂ UEFA Cup.Â
Gerrard became the captain of the team in 2003 as his managerÂ recognised Gerrard his leadership qualities. This turned out to be a fantastic decision as Gerrard took his own game to new levels and acquired the name â€œCaptain fantasticâ€ from a number of pundits.
After a trophy less campaign 2003-04 campaign, Gerrard was linked with a move to rivalsÂ ChelseaÂ during the off-season. He was disappointed with progress his club made, however, in the end, he turned down a Â£20Â million offer from Chelsea to stay with Liverpool.
Miracle of Istanbul
During a six-minute stretch in the second half of theÂ 2005 Champions League finalÂ againstÂ AC Milan, Liverpool came back from a three-goal deficit to tie the match at 3â€“3 after extra time, with Gerrard scoring one of the goals.
Liverpool’s third goal was gained as a penalty from a foul awarded to Liverpool when Gerrard was pulled down in Milan’s penalty box.
Gerrard did not participate in the penalty shootout (he was the designated fifth penalty taker) which Liverpool won 3â€“2 as they claimed their first Champions League trophy in twenty years.Â Dubbed theÂ Miracle of Istanbul, the match is widely regarded as one of the greatest finals in the competition’s history, and Gerrard was lauded as the catalyst for the second half comeback.Â
Gerrard was named the Man of the Match, and later received theÂ UEFA Club Footballer of the YearÂ award.
After bringing home the Champions League, Gerrard turned down a club-record Â£100,000-a-week offer from Chelsea and signed a four year deal with Liverpool.
He scored 23 goals in 53 appearances inÂ 2005â€“06 season. He continued to find the net as he played his 400th game for Liverpool in the next season.
He underwent a groin surgery before the start of the new season. He joined the team and went on to make his 100th appearance in European club competition for LiverpoolÂ scoring twice.
In the 2009 season, he made his 500th appearance and ended the season with a total of 12 goals and nine assists from 46 matches.
Three years later, Gerrard went on to help Liverpool to reach their first cup final in 6 years as Liverpool beat Manchester City 3â€“2 on aggregate in the semi-finals. Gerrard scored a penalty in both legs to send Liverpool to theÂ 2012 Football League Cup Final, which Liverpool won on penalties. Â
Gerrard made his international debut againstÂ UkraineÂ on May 31, 2000. Gerrard scored his first international goal in the famousÂ 5â€“1 victory over GermanyÂ in aÂ 2002 World Cup qualifier in 2001.
He was a regular starter inÂ Euro 2004, scoring once to make it 3â€“0 in England’s win overÂ Switzerland. Then, he went on to participate in his firstÂ World CupÂ in 2006 and scored two goals, both in the group stage.
Gerrard helped England qualify for theÂ 2010 World Cup, scoring two goals in England’s 5â€“1 win overÂ Croatia. When the England team left for the 2010 World Cup, Gerrard was the most experienced player in the squad with 80 caps.Â
Gerrard is a practisingÂ Catholic. He and his wife,Â Alex Curran, married in a CatholicÂ ceremony in June 2007. They have three daughters.
In 2006, Gerrard published his autobiography,Â â€˜Gerrard: My Autobiographyâ€™, which went on to win the Sports Book of the Year honour at theÂ British Book Awards.
The autobiography ends with “I play for Jon-Paul.” Gerrard’s cousin, Jon-Paul Gilhooley, was killed in the 1989Â Hillsborough disaster, when Gerrard was eight.Â
In October 2007, Gerrard was involved in a low-speed collisionÂ when the car he was driving hit a ten-year-old cyclist.
He later visited the boy in the hospital and presented him with a pair of boots signed by footballerÂ Wayne Rooney, the boy’s favourite player, after which he stayed to sign autographs for other young patients.Â