Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has announced his retirement from football after a sensational 18-year playing career.
The 36-year-old called time on his playing days earlier today, just 24 hours after turning down the managerial vacancy at Sky Bet League One side MK Dons.
Gerrard spent 17 years at Anfield as a professional, making his debut all the way back in 1998 against Blackburn, and going on to make a further 709 appearances and score 186 goals for the club, right up until his final game against Stoke in May 2015, in which he netted the last of those goals.
The former Reds captain helped inspire the club to two FA Cup crowns, three League Cup titles, and a UEFA Cup success in his time on Merseyside, and of course who can forget the role he played in helping Rafa Benitez’s side come from 3-0 down to win the Champions League on penalties in 2005.
Gerrard ended his long association with Liverpool, which dates back to 1987, in the summer of 2015, and embarked on a career in the MLS with LA Galaxy, looking to win a domestic title for the first time in his career.
However, it wasn’t to be for the 36-year-old, who saw his Galaxy side lose in the play-offs against Colorado Rapids on penalties, which turned out to be his final game for the club, and indeed before retirement, as his contract expired a few weeks later.
Gerrard is also one of a just nine men to have earned over 100 England caps, with the midfielder’s tally of 114 seeing him fourth on the all time list behind Peter Shilton, Wayne Rooney, and David Beckham.
He had the privilege of captaining his country in three of the six major tournaments he played in and, although England were never successful in those competitions, Gerrard will go down as one of the best to wear an England shirt.
What his next move is remains to be seen, but speculation is building that he could return to Liverpool as part of Jurgen Klopp’s coaching staff, given that Gerrard is currently working towards his UEFA A licence.
Gerrard has called time on a stellar career which saw him make 862 appearances and score 215 goals for club and country – it’s a career which should be celebrated.