Only for the first four years of his life was he not on Liverpool’s books, but now it is time to say goodbye and Layton Stewart has penned a touching farewell to the club that made his dream come true.
While officially at the club since the age of seven, Stewart’s pre-academy years mean he has, in fact, been at the club since the age of five.
Liverpool have seen him grow up and develop into the player he is, throughout his rise up the age groups and to the first team, a dream for any childhood Red.
There have been hardships too with two serious knee injuries but his next chapter takes him to Preston North End on a permanent deal, a move that he feels is the right time for him to make.
With the chapter now closed on his time at the club, Stewart took the time to thank everyone who has helped him along the way in a brilliant farewell message on social media.
“To Liverpool, where do I start… today is the day I say goodbye to the club that I’ve been at for the last 16 years of my life, this club has been all that I’ve known – but now I think it’s time for me to take the next step in my career,” the 20-year-old forward penned.
“What a journey it has been, from signing for Liverpool at the age of 5, with a dream of playing for the first team, to then getting the chance to make my debut at Anfield! With everything else along the way – I will hold these memories & feelings close for the rest of my career.
“I wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone involved with the club; from the coaching team, to the medical team & also the kitchen staff, both past and present, I would like to thank all the fans who have supported me during my time.
“And lastly to my team mates, the ones I’ve lived this journey with everyday, it’s been a pleasure and I’ve made friends & memories for life I want to wish you all the best of luck for the future & I’m sure our paths will cross again on the pitch!
“Thank you, Reds.”
Stewart’s post was immediately flooded with well wishes, with the likes of Harvey Elliott, Stefan Bajcetic, Tyler Morton, Kaide Gordon, Conor Bradley, Ben Doak and Bobby Clark all sending messages of their own.
Stewart made one senior appearance for the Reds, in the Carabao Cup against Derby in November, and featured prominently for the U18s and U21s in recent years.