Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has insisted that he'd have applauded Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard off the pitch if the midfielder was playing at Old Trafford last weekend.
Writing in his column for the Independent, Scholes backed Chelsea fans for showing Gerrard the respect that he deserves at Stamford Bridge in last weekend's Premier League showdown between the Blues and Liverpool.
Scholes has admitted, though, that some United fans would have looked at him in 'disbelief' at the thought of clapping the Liverpool skipper.
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The former United midfielder stated: "I wonder whether Steven Gerrard would have got a final round of applause at Old Trafford, had he been playing there last weekend instead of Stamford Bridge. Some of my United-supporting friends would look at me in disbelief if I suggested that.
"But I also know that many of them, like those Chelsea fans, have a respect for a one-club player who has been a brilliant footballer over the years.
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"I was glad that the Chelsea fans applauded Gerrard. It was just for a few seconds, but it did show that as fans we can look beyond our club rivalries when necessary. I don’t think it ever happened to me. Maybe when I got substituted at my testimonial!
"As a season-ticket holder in the Stretford End, I would have applauded Steven off the pitch – albeit just the once. There would have been a few in the seats around me who would object. But just as many who would have done the same."
Gerrard, of course, is set to star in his final league game at Anfield this weekend, before heading off to LA Galaxy, as Brendan Rodgers' side go in search of three points against Crystal Palace.
There's no doubt about it, it will be a special atmosphere on Merseyside tomorrow evening, in a game Gerrard will no doubt be hoping to win. Champions League qualification for next season is now near enough impossible, but victory tomorrow may well soften the blow for some fans, as they plan for life without their captain.
Two of the greats
One thing's for sure, Gerrard, much like Scholes, will go down as one of the Premier League's greatest ever midfielders. An inspiration on and off the pitch for Liverpool, the club's captain has enjoyed a remarkable stint with the club.
Of course, the debate will go on for a long time over the better player between Gerrard and Scholes, but they both have to be admired for their loyalty and class over many, many years.
Manchester United fans: Would you have applauded Gerrard off the pitch last weekend? Have your say in the comments section below!
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