Eleven years. Eleven years of successes. Eleven years of celebrations. Eleven years of blood and thunder.
Eleven years of Steven Gerrard, captain of Liverpool.
Today marks the eleventh anniversary of Gerard Houllier naming Gerrard as Liverpool's captain, handing the reins to the local lad made good, in acknowledgement of his strong work and character as a leading member of the squad in 2003.
The decision was made ahead of a UEFA Cup match against Slovenian side Olimpija Ljubljana. In the announcement press conference, Gerrard had some emotional things to say. "I was captain of my school side and I used to go along to Anfield to watch the team. I used to watch [John] Barnes with the captain's armband and dream that one day it would be me captaining the team I love."
Well, Stevie, you did it.
And now, we have eleven years of priceless memories of Gerrard wearing the armband. Wins at Old Trafford, dramatic comebacks, massive wins, and more have dotted the path that he and the club have traveled since that day in October of 2003.
Against Olympiakos, when Liverpool needed a miracle to win and advance. Gerrard had already had one potentially vital goal ruled out, but then his right leg worked it's magic and lead to Andy Gray's famous exultation: "OHHHHHHHHH YA BEAUTY!"
In Istanbul, facing down AC Milan with Liverpool staring down the barrel at half-time, Gerrard lead his side to one of the most epic comebacks of all time, scoring a dramatic header, winning a penalty, and with everything on the line, even stepping back to play right back when there was no one else who could. Watching him lift the Champions League trophy that day... to call it magical doesn't even begin to describe the feeling.
Beating West Ham in the FA Cup, leading Liverpool past Chelsea in some epic Champions League duels, his hat trick in the 2012 edition of the Merseyside Derby at Anfield, and many, many more moments would follow. When the pressure was at it's highest, Liverpool and it's fans could always count on their captain when they needed him. After all, "we go again."
Liverpool fans haven't just been fortunate to have Steven Gerrard as the face and leader of the club, they've been blessed. While now he's on the downslide of his career, for a very long time he was one of the best players in England. He's a special player, and a special human being.
11 years ago today I became the captain of my boyhood team one of the proudest days of my career . It's a huge honour to captain this great club #YNWA
What are some of your favorite memories of Steven Gerrard over the last eleven years?
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