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Steven Gerrard bids farewell to Liverpool

There were no tears. Not in public any way. He had admitted it would be difficult to keep his emotions under check but Steven Gerrard just about managed it as he said goodbye to his beloved Anfield for the final time.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 16, 2015: Liverpool's captain Steven Gerrard waves goodbye to the supporters after his final game for the Reds at Anfield during the Premier League match against Crystal Palace. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

In truth, he probably felt more like crying after losing 3-1 to Crystal Palace in his last appearance on the ground he has graced with such distinction for 17 years.

The Kop sang his name as he walked around the ground just once more after the final whistle and, with his three daughters, Lilly-Ella, Lexie and Lourdes, he soaked up every moment.

“It felt very strange. As I say I have been dreading this moment and the reason being because I will miss it so much,” he said.

“I’ve loved every minute of it and I’m absolutely devastated I’ll never play in front of these fantastic supporters again.

“First and foremost I’d like to thank everyone at the club who has helped me in the last 17 years.

“I’d like to thank all my team-mates today, all the ex-players who I have played with over the years – they have made me the player I am.

“I’ll save my last thank you for these supporters – they stand out.

“Just before I go, before the tears come, I’ve played in front of most supporters around the world but let me tell you, you’re the best.”

The whole day had been geared up to celebrating the career of one of the club’s greatest, if not the greatest, players ahead of his summer move to Los Angeles Galaxy.

From the pre-match playlist, which included the likes of The Stranglers’ ‘No More Heroes’, REM’s ‘End of the World’, Echo and the Bunnymen’s ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’, to the guard of honour and two mosaics in the crowd – ‘SG 8’ in the Kop and ‘Captain’ in the Lower Centenary Stand – this was all about one man.

A man Liverpool will find it impossible to replace. But it is a mark of the man that he has never lost his humility or forgotten where he came from.

He was not even last to leave the pitch, quietly slipping down the tunnel after posing for photographs with team-mates, friends and family.

“The first time you play for LFC is a dream come true and everything else after that was a bonus,” he added.

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