I’ll just come out and say it — even as a Manchester United fan, this video gave me goosebumps.
Steven Gerrard, one of the greatest, most dominant midfielders the English Premier League has ever seen, struggled to contain his emotions while talking about the club he has loved and served all his life — Liverpool Football Club. It is almost heartbreaking.
And I say almost because it is also inspiring. The interview wasn’t just sad. It’s not like he’s going out with a whimper. It’s not like anyone is begrudging him this final adventure away from Liverpool.
Far from it. The interview gave a reminder that the next few months will be a celebration of Gerrard’s career, of his immense talent, of his goals and heroics; of an earnest, hard-working footballer’s remarkable loyalty and dedication to a footballing institution that has inspired millions, if not billions, across the world.
If you didn’t already respect him before (as I did, quietly wishing he would join United over the years), this video will certainly change that. He still talks determinedly about winning one last title for the “best supporters in the world”. He explains how he timed his announcement just right, so it wouldn’t be a distraction to the team. He also refuses to listen to the tributes that have been pouring in from the fans — because he said the emotions would simply “break” him.
We’ve transcribed some of those parts below, but you can also watch the full interview right below. Here’s to Stevie G!
Highlights from the interview
The key moment that convinced him the time was right to leave Liverpool.
(Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers) sat me down not so long ago and said that it was time to manage me games for me, and for the team.
I’m bright enough to realise it’s the right thing for everyone, but when you’ve been a starter and a mainstay in the team for such a long time, it was a very difficult conversation to have with the manager.
I accept it, obviously. I’ll continue to give everything I’ve got, whether I’m starting or coming off the bench. But that was the key conversation which swung me to go away for a short while.
He had known for some time a decision had to be made.
I had an idea that it was going to come for some time. I’m not a robot, I’m not 24. I wish I was 24, I wish I had met Brendan when I was 24, because we’d be sitting here talking about a lot of titles that we had won, but the reality is Brendan came to this club when I was 32. It’s just a shame that relationship didn’t start ten years ago.
But I had an idea the conversation was coming for some time, but it was a painful conversation to have. That was the key moment, along with other things.
The decision was made with his family’s best interests in mind, and breaking the news to them was very emotional.
It was tough to tell the girls, even though they’re not big football fans. but to tell them that their dad ain’t gonna play for Liverpool anymore, it still hit them hard. That’s when the emotions started in the house.
But at the same time, it was a great opportunity for the family and meself.
It’s gonna be an incredible opportunity for me to try something different, because I’ve lived in Liverpool all me life, and never been out. So it’ll be a change, but certainly one I’m looking forward to.
He timed the announcement so it wouldn’t affect the club’s season, and he did it mid-season to avoid prolonged speculation over his future.
I think they were a bit shocked. It was like the whole club had some bad news, but for me, I don’t want it to be like that. I wanted to announce it after the Leicester game, because I didn’t want it to affect our game (there was a considerable between games then). But you know, life goes on. We carry on working hard for each other.
He will make an announcement once his new club is confirmed, but main focus is still on winning one last title with Liverpool.
I can tell the supporters at the moment that it will be America. But I’m not over the line with any team just yet. I’m close, but as soon as I know, I’ll make the announcement. I’ll do the bits and bobs, then we can focus on winning a trophy, and forget about Steven Gerrard.
He hopes to be back, but was typically modest about his chances.
(Speaking about his potential return as a coach or ambassador) That’s more in hope. I’ll only come back if I feel I can help. I’ll always be a fan of course, no matter what happens in the future.
How he’ll feel packing up his locker and walking out of Melwood, Liverpool’s training ground, for the last time.
I’m sure it’ll be tough. […] But I’m really proud of what I’ve done. Hopefully, I can write a few more chapters with the team from now and the end. But the last game, the last couple of training session, it’s gonna be torture. Because it’s so tough to say goodbye. Hopefully, it’ll be more of a “see you “soon” rather than a goodbye.
AND FINALLY… The LFC TV host asks if he has read any of the tributes written about him by the fans.
I can’t (read any tributes) at the moment. I keep switching the TV over. I’m replying to messages and stuff, but it’s tough. I didn’t realise it’d be as big as this. But yeah (shrugs), everyone’s gotta move on.
Host: We would like to read a few to you…
Nah, I don’t wanna listen to it. It’ll probably break me. It’ll break me.
The important people here are the supporters. They are the key to any football club. I’m lucky enough to play in front of the best ones in the world. It’s tough to move on.