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Steven Gerrard Biography

. May 14, 2008
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Steven Gerrard was born in Whiston, Merseyside and brought up in Huyton, Merseyside. While attending Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School in West Derby, Liverpool, Gerrard was known to go on scouting trips to check out rival school teams. In 1994 — when he was in Year 9 — he was part of the Liverpool YTS scheme and almost made it into the England Schoolboys team, an odd quirk considering his now massively successful career. He is regarded as one of the best English footballers of his era.

Unlike many other Liverpool legends such as Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen, and Jamie Carragher, Gerrard was actually a Liverpool fan as a youth.

Incidentally, his younger cousin, Anthony Gerrard, is a professional footballer who began his career with city-rivals Everton, and now is a highly-rated squad member at League Two side Walsall.

Gerrard is currently engaged to Alex Curran from Merseyside. The couple started dating in 2002, getting engaged in 2004, and plan to marry in the summer of 2007. The live in Formby, and have two daughters: Lily-Ella (born 23 February 2004) and Lexie (born 9 May 2006).

Gerrard joined Liverpool as a schoolboy in 1989 and has come up through the ranks to the first team, in the footsteps of fellow homegrown youth academy seniors like Steve McManaman and Robbie Fowler. Gerrard made his Reds debut on the 30 November 1998 as a second-half substitute for Vegard Heggem against Blackburn. His full debut came in the UEFA Cup against Celta Vigo and despite the Reds losing on the night, Gerrard's widely-praised performance belied his tender years. He scored his first goal for the club on 5 December 1999 against Sheffield Wednesday in a match where Liverpool were inspired by their younger players when several of the more senior players missed the game through injury.

Gerrard was one of three Liverpool players that scored in the famous World Cup qualifying game in September 2001 against Germany (1–5 away victory), which was his first international goal. That season, he started all three of Liverpool's Cup Finals, scoring the second goal against Alaves in the UEFA Cup Final. At the end of the season he was named PFA Young Player of the Year.

Gerrard was approached by Chelsea to sign for them during the summer of 2004, but he eventually chose to stay at Liverpool. It is known that he was on the brink of signing for the London club but was persuaded to stay because of his family and friends. It was also alleged in the British tabloid press that Gerrard had been the target of death threats from aggrieved Liverpool fans. The arrival of new Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez also played a part in his decision.

It is widely thought that the club captaincy was handed to Gerrard in 2003–04 season so that he could inspire his teammates, and to compel him to take responsibility for his own indifferent disciplinary record, which apparently worked as in the 2003–2004 season, he was booked only twice. Former Liverpool team mate, Michael Owen, expressed relief in his autobiography at Gerrard being named captain in 2003–2004, as it took some pressure off his own shoulders.

A foot injury sustained against rivals Manchester United on 20 September 2004 ruled him out of first team football until late November 2004. In the final game of that year's Champions League group stage Gerrard scored a crucial twenty-five-yard strike against Greek team Olympiakos. Liverpool needed to win by two clear goals to progress to the last sixteen of the competition. They were 1–0 down at half-time, but scored two goals before Gerrard secured their place with their third. He has since claimed that this was his best, if not his most important, goal for Liverpool to date.

Another notable goal, and an example of his drive and inspirational ability, was his contribution during the 2005 Champions' League final against AC Milan in Istanbul. Unmarked by the opposition, he headed a goal that kickstarted Liverpool's comeback from a 3–0 deficit. Minutes later, former teammate, Vladimir Smicer, would score again for the Reds. Gerrard was also crucial in the winning of a penalty when he was fouled by Gennaro Ivan Gattuso in the penalty area. Xabi Alonso scored from a rebound, having his penalty saved initially, to make it 3–3.

Liverpool went on to win the match via a penalty shootout, making Gerrard the second youngest captain (after Didier Deschamps) ever to lift the European Cup. After the match he gave a hint of his future when he said to the press: "How can I leave after a night like this?" In July 2005, however, contract negotiations broke down between Gerrard and the club. Reports stated that Gerrard was about to leave Liverpool and Chelsea were again reported to have tabled a British record bid of thirty-two million pounds for the player, which was ultimately rejected. Throughout the episode, Liverpool remained insistent that they wanted Gerrard to stay. However on 5 July Gerrard stated publicly that he wished to leave the Reds.

To the delight of Liverpool fans, Gerrard changed his mind the next day and pledged his future to the club. He also apologised to the club's supporters and insisted that there were no get-out clauses in the new contract that he would be signing. He also offered to give up his captaincy, but was told by Rafael Benítez that it was not necessary. On the morning of 8 July, Gerrard signed a new four-year deal with Liverpool alongside teammate, Jamie Carragher.

To cap Gerrard's great year in the Champions' League he was named as UEFA's Most Valuable Player for the 2004–05 Champions' League season. He was also in the running for French sport newspaper L'Equipe's prestigious Ballon D'Or award. Rounding out 2005, Gerrard came third in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year behind Ellen MacArthur (second) and Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff (first).

At the end of the 2005–06 season Gerrard received his greatest personal accolade to date, when he was voted PFA Player of the Year by his fellow players, becoming the first Liverpool player to win the award since John Barnes in 1988.

Real Madrid director Benito Floro was recently quoted as saying: "I've recommended (to club president Fernando Martin) as priority signings a powerful central striker like Adriano, and a top midfielder in case Zinedine Zidane leaves. Gerrard is the football player that I included on the list, a player that the club has already wanted to sign in previous seasons". Gerrard quashed any transfer rumours, publicly stating, "I'm not going to get involved in all that kind of speculation again, I'm settled and happy at Liverpool, and I'm not going to go through another summer like the last two. "I'll be staying here until the day someone tells me they don't want me."

Gerrard capped off what he called his most successful season to date by captaining Liverpool to victory in the FA Cup. He scored twice in the Final against West Ham, including a dramatic equaliser in injury time to send the game into extra-time. The 35-yard blast (past Shaka Hislop) has been called one of the greatest goals in FA Cup final history, and was Match of the Day's Goal of the Season for 2005–06. It had been reported that it took just one second for the 35-yard strike to hit the back of the net, which would mean that the ball was travelling at approximately 68 miles per hour (about 109 km/h) when it was struck.

Scoring in the 2006 FA Cup Final meant that Gerrard had managed the impressive feat of scoring in all four major cup finals: FA Cup (2006 vs West Ham), League Cup (2003 vs Manchester United), UEFA Cup (2001 vs Alaves), and European Cup (2005 vs AC Milan).

Gerrard suffered an injury scare days before the 2006 World Cup in Germany, when it was suggested that he might be ruled out of England's first game of the tournament. He was deemed fit to make his first ever World Cup appearance (having missed the entire 2002 tournament through injury), and started in the side that beat Paraguay 1-0. He then went on to score twice in the group stages of the tournament - first netting England's second goal in a 2-0 victory over Trinidad & Tobago with a long-range, curled strike (coincidentally, again past Hislop) in injury time. This victory, in which Gerrard's Liverpool team-mate Peter Crouch also scored, ensured England's progress to the second round of the tournament with a game to spare. Gerrard was then rested for the final group game against Sweden, as a precaution against picking up a second booking that would have ruled him out of the second round match (having already received one against Paraguay). He came off the bench to score a powerfully headed goal in the 85th minute, giving England the lead in a game that finished 2-2. Gerrard was one of three England players to see their penalty saved by Ricardo Pereira in the quarter-final penalty shoot-out which was won by Portugal.

In August 2006, the new England national football team manager, Steve McLaren, appointed Gerrard vice-captain of the national side.

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