Congratulations Steven Gerrard on 500 Liverpool Appearances
It was on 29 November 1998, in the final minute of a game against Blackburn Rovers, that an 18-year-old Steven Gerrard made his debut for Liverpool Football Club.
On 5 December 2009, coincidentally once again against Blackburn Rovers, Steven Gerrard now captain of his beloved Liverpool, made his 500th appearance for the Reds.
His 500 appearances, over 11 years at his only club have been laced with so many great performances, so many great goals and so many great moments.
Since that debut, Gerrard has gone on to be considered one of the best defensive midfielders, central midfielders and now attacking midfielders the club has ever seen.
In the Liverpool Football Club fan poll "100 Players Who Shook the Kop," fans voted Steven Gerrard second only to the great Kenny Dalglish.
After being installed as captain in 2003, Gerrard has gone on to become a talisman, with his most defining moment coming on a night in May 2005 in Istanbul, when it was his inspiration that saw Liverpool win the Champions League trophy for a fifth time.
After scoring the first goal that saw Liverpool peg back a three goal deficit in six minutes of football history, it was the awesome sight of Captain Gerrard geeing up his fellow teammates and fans to achieve what many thought was not possible.
That night Steven Gerrard lifted the greatest trophy of his Liverpool career to date. The sight of him lifting the European Cup and the shear ecstasy on his face is forever engraved in all Liverpool fans' hearts and minds.
But it was the winner in the group stage match against Olympiacos, that secured Liverpool's progression into the knock out stages, that Gerrard claims is his most important goal for the Reds. Who can forget that superb strike and the celebrations that followed on the pitch and by Andy Gray in the commentary box.
The following year saw Liverpool take on West Ham in the FA Cup Final, in what was later to become known as "The Gerrard Final." Steven Gerrard, almost single handed, pulled his team kicking and screaming through to victory.
He laid on the inch perfect pass for Djbril Cisse to reduced the deficit to 2-1, then hammered in an unstoppable volley to bring the scores level at 2-2.
But heartbreak seemed on the cards for Gerrard and his Reds as West Ham made it 3-2.
With Liverpool staring defeat in the face, Gerrard went down suffering from exhaustion induced cramp. He limped and struggled on as the stadium announcer told the crowd that there would be a minimum of four added minutes.
Then with the pain of cramp still coursing through his body, Gerrard saw Liverpool's long hopeful ball into the box get cleared away. The ball traveled 37 yards away from goal before Gerrard ran on to it to hit the most awesome shot in FA Cup Final history.
The ball flew past Shaka Hislop, the power and precision that Gerrard generated while still suffering terrible cramp was awe-inspiring.
Gerrard went on that day to lift the FA Cup for Liverpool after a penalty shootout.
Steven Gerrard is an indisputable Liverpool Football Club legend. His inspirational and talismanic leadership of the team has saved the Reds on numerous occasions. His importance to the team is immeasurable.
All Liverpool Football Club fans should send their heartiest congratulations to Steven Gerrard on his fantastic milestone of 500 appearances for the Reds. May there be many many more.
Congratulations Steven Gerrard!
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