Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has been speaking ahead of his testimonial match against an Everton XI at Anfield on Saturday.
The Reds stalwart is in his 15th season at the club and all proceeds from the match will go to the 23 Foundation.
Carragher, 32, is expected to agree a new two-year contract extension soon and admits his character and dedication to the game has allowed him to play for a club the size of Liverpool for so long – 634 appearances and counting. “To play for Liverpool I probably needed to add something and I think my dedication, desire and commitment has made me play at the level I’ve played,” says the Bootle born defender.
While the testimonial doesn’t signal the end of his playing career, Carra has been asked to pinpoint his highlight and lowlights of his career so far. “The obvious highlight is Istanbul in 2005,” he said. “But I think my first full league game when I scored against Aston Villa [was significant] because without that who knows what I would have achieved?”
Asked to pick a low point he said: “There have been plenty of those – the more you play the more bad ones you have. I remember losing 3-0 to Everton and having a nightmare, I didn’t sleep for a week afterwards!”
The match will see former Liverpool striker Michael Owen, now at Man United, wearing a Reds shirt again and Carragher has urged supporters not to give the player a tough time. “He left in difficult circumstances, but when he went to Manchester United, his career was on a bit of a downward spiral and he’ll admit that himself.”
“I think he deserves a great one [reception] for what he did for Liverpool,” Carragher said. “He was a fantastic player, right up there with the greats for what he did.”
Along with Owen, a host of former Liverpool players will be turning out, including defenders Steve Finnan and Stephen Warnock, Istanbul hero Jerzy Dudek, midfielder Danny Murphy, striker Emile Heskey and Carragher is also hoping Luis Garcia can make the match.
Fans are urged to get to Anfield early for the pre-match build-up that begins from 12:30.