I love Daniel Sturridge. That’s a thing that’s probably not in question for anyone who’s known me for very long, as I’ve written many a breathless phrase - and post - extolling his virtues. He is, by some margin, my favorite player in the first 10 years of my Liverpool fandom.
With my time here coming to and end, though, I came to a question about how I’d like to leave my virtual desk. What little note to the next writer to move in would I like to leave. What parts of this community do I want to hold up as the parts that I loved?
I thought I’d ask some of my TLO friends to help me decide what to write, and the answer seemed clear: Sturridge. I am absolutely delighted that my brand is this strong and so, without further ado, here is the first part of my list of favorite Daniel Sturridge moments.
10. Daniel Sturridge at Bolton
Right off the bat I’m about to throw y’all off, which makes sense for the writer most loudly asked to “stick to sports,” I guess. But this period in Sturridge’s development is important not only in his story, but in my fandom.
For those who don’t remember, Sturridge was sent on loan by Chelsea to Owen Coyle’s Bolton in 2011. This coincided with the presence of US Men’s National Team midfielder, Stu Holden on the club, which is how I got roped into paying attention.
I remember seeing his returns coming in - 8 goals in 12 appearances - and thinking he genuinely looked to be a real player. Someone that any team would count themselves lucky to have sit at the tip of their attack.
Then, I saw an interview he had with Coyle and Holden. He exuded the same sense of dedication to the craft and noble honor for the sport that he’s shown in his time as a Red. It was that specific interview that made me think: I want him on my team.
9. The Sturridge Dance
We all know it. It’s amazing. Iconic. My life would be less with out it. I am grateful to have seen it in my life.
8. The Opening Goal in the 2016 Europa League Final
We didn’t win this match. But, my God, the absolute skill and confidence to pull that off. Wow. Wow. Wow.
7. The Opening Goal in Liverpool 3-PSG 2, Champions League 2018-2019
It wasn’t as awe inspiring as the one in the EL final, but it ranks higher because of its place in both Liverpool and Sturridge’s history. We, of course, went on to lift Number 6 at the end of this run in the Champions League. It is also, perhaps, the biggest name and biggest stage that Sturridge would end up scoring for us.
I think of this goal as the thing that kick started the Champions League run that season. Seeing Sturridge be apart of those celebrations after being one of the senior players remaining from the Brendao era was special.
6. Whenever Sturridge Interacts w/ Kids
There are a ton and this is maybe not the best of the bunch but whatever, he’s freaking charismatic and sweet and honestly pretty perfect.