Former Liverpool captain, Steven Gerrard has announced his retirement from professional football.
The 36-year-old, who is also one of the most influential player of England’s golden generation, announced his retirement Thursday after an 18-year professional career.
He made more than 700 appearances for boyhood club Liverpool and won 114 England caps before playing the last season and a half with American club, LA Galaxy and decided to hang up his boots following the expiry of his contract with the MLS side.
He won every major club honour with Liverpool apart from the English Premier League title.
In a lengthy statement on Facebook, Gerrard said: ‘Following recent media speculation surrounding my future I can confirm my retirement from playing professional football.
“I have had an incredible career and am thankful for each and every moment of my time at Liverpool, England and LA Galaxy.
“As a teenager I fulfilled my childhood dream by pulling on the famous red shirt of Liverpool, and when I made my debut against Blackburn Rovers in November 1998 I could never have imagined what would then follow over the next 18 years.
“I feel lucky to have experienced so many wonderful highlights over the course of my career. I am proud to have played over 700 games for Liverpool, many of which as captain, and to have played my part in helping the club to bring major honours back to Anfield, none more so than that famous night in Istanbul.
“At an international level, I feel privileged to have won 114 England caps and to have had the honour of captaining my country. I will always look back with great pride at every time I pulled on the England shirt.
“I feel very fortunate to have had the career I’ve had but none of it would have been possible without the support of so many people.
“Firstly, I would like to thank everyone at Liverpool Football Club. I am proud to have played for and captained Liverpool for so many years and to have achieved what we achieved during my time at the club.
“I was lucky to play alongside some great players and under some fantastic managers during my time at Anfield and would like to thank each and every one of them, as well as all of the backroom staff at the club throughout my time there for the fantastic support they showed me.
“I would like to say a special thank you to Steve Heighway, Dave Shannon and Hugh McAuley for believing in me when I was making my way at Liverpool and for giving me the platform to go on and fulfil my dreams.
“Thank you to the amazing fans of Liverpool, England and LA Galaxy for the incredible backing you have given me throughout my career. Your loyalty and support has meant the world.
“I would like to thank Struan Marshall, my agent throughout my career, and the team at Wasserman for all of their support over the past 18 years.
“Away from football, I feel lucky to have had such a close group of friends that I have always been able to count and rely on throughout the course of my career. Thank you to all of you.
“Finally, the most important thank you; to my family. I cannot thank my mum, dad and brother Paul enough for their unconditional support over the years, it has meant everything to me. To my wife Alex and children Lily, Lexie and Lourdes, thank you for the constant love and support you’ve shown me. You’ve been there throughout both the good times and the bad and without you nothing would have been possible. Thank you for everything.
“I am excited about the future and feel I still have a lot to offer the game, in whatever capacity that may be. I am currently taking my time to consider a number of options and will make an announcement with regards to the next stage of my career very soon.”
The former midfielder made his Liverpool debut in November 1998 against Blackburn Rovers.
He was appointed captain of the club that trained him in 2003 under manager Gerard Houllier and went on to lead them to a number of successes, including the famous Champions League victory of 2005 in Istanbul.
He left Anfiled in 2015 after no longer being able to reach the formidable levels of his peak years and losing his place in the team. The final two seasons of his career were seen out with the Los Angeles Galaxy.