This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019
Advertisement

'I hadn't cried for years but I couldn't stop' - How THAT slip affected Steven Gerrard

The former Liverpool captain opens up about his costly error in his latest book.

Gerrard watches on as Demba Ba scores the first goal in Chelsea's 2-0 win at Anfield in 2014, which helped cost Liverpool the title.
Gerrard watches on as Demba Ba scores the first goal in Chelsea's 2-0 win at Anfield in 2014, which helped cost Liverpool the title.
Image: Associated Press

I SAT IN the back of the car and felt the tears rolling down my face. I hadn’t cried for years but, on the way home, I couldn’t stop. It was very quiet as we moved further and further away from Anfield.

I can’t remember now how long that journey lasted. I can’t even tell you if the streets were thick with traffic or as empty as I was on the inside. Our second-last home match of the season was meant to have been the title-clincher. We had beaten our closest rivals, Manchester City, in the previous game at Anfield. We had just reeled off our eleventh straight win. One more victory and we would be almost certain to win the league for the first time since May 1990.

I felt numb, like I had lost someone in my family. It was as if my whole quarter of a century at this football club poured out of me. I did not even try to stem the silent tears as the events of the afternoon played over and over again in my head. In the last minute of the first half against a cagey Chelsea a simple pass rolled towards me near the halfway line. It was a nothing moment, a lull in our surge to the title.

I moved to meet the ball. It slid under my foot. The twist came then. I slipped. I fell to the ground. I clambered to my feet and ran with all my heart. I chased Demba Ba as though my life depended on it. I knew the outcome if I couldn’t catch him. But it was hopeless. I couldn’t stop him. Ba scored. It was over. My slip had been costly.

The fate of the title was now in Manchester City’s hands and they would not blow it. There would be no comeback for Liverpool. There would be no Miracle of Istanbul.

I had given absolutely everything of myself to Liverpool FC: in training, in almost 700 games, off the pitch, around the squad and as part of the city. In the end, it had not been quite enough to help us win the title everyone at Liverpool craved.

Instead of hitting a crossfield pass to set up a goal, making a decisive tackle or curling the ball into the back of Mark Schwarzer’s net to seal our victory, I had fallen over.

The Kop, and the whole of Anfield, had sung ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ but, in the car, I felt isolated. I felt very alone. The Liverpool anthem reminds you to hold your head up high when you walk through a storm. It reminds you not to be afraid of the dark.

It reminds you to walk on through the wind and the rain, though your dreams be tossed and blown, and to walk on with hope in your heart. I did not feel like I had much hope left.

It seemed like I was heading for suicide watch instead.

This is an extract from My Story by Steven Gerrard and Don McCrae and the book can be purchased here.

One of the most iconic football computer games is making a comeback

Here’s how much the GAA, FAI and IRFU pay the gardaí for policing events

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

The42 Team

Read next:

COMMENTS (26)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel