Steven Gerrard: Liverpool legend gave an emotional farewell speech in final Anfield match

Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard will return to Anfield this afternoon in what is sure to be an emotional occasion.

Taking the Aston Villa managerial role, Gerrard knew he would have to compete against his boyhood Liverpool at some point.

It’s come just a few weeks into his reign at Villa Park.

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Gerrard has got off to a fantastic start to life as a Premier League manager with three wins from his opening four matches - a narrow 2-1 defeat to Manchester City being the only loss.

But whatever the result on Saturday, Gerrard will get a hero's reception - and rightly so.

Gerard joined Liverpool as a nine-year-old and played more than 700 matches for the club over 17 seasons. He is arguably the greatest player to have played for the club having led them to nine trophies during his time - including the unforgettable 2005 Champions League.

QUIZ: The ultimate Steven Gerrard quiz

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Steven Gerrard

Which squad number did Steven Gerrard wear before taking over the number 8 shirt at Liverpool?

If you wanted an indicator of what Liverpool means to Gerrard and what he means to the fans, you simply need to watch his farewell speech after his final appearance at Anfield.

In May 2015, Gerrard played his final competitive match at Anfield as Liverpool lost 3-1 to Crystal Palace. But the result didn’t matter. The day belonged to Gerrard.

And his farewell speech at full-time is still emotional to watch today.

Gerrard was close to tears as he spoke to the Liverpool fans who chanted his name throughout.

Check it out:

VIDEO: Steven Gerrard's farewell speech at Liverpool

Gerrard’s farewell speech in full: "[This moment] felt very strange. I've been dreading this moment and the reason being is because I'm going to miss it so much. I've loved every minute of it. I'm absolutely devastated I'm never going to play in front these supporters again.

"I think it's very difficult to pick one [moment to live again at Anfield]. I think the very first time I ran out thanks to this man here to my left [Gerard Houllier] is a moment I'll never forget. The first time you'll ever play for Liverpool Football Club is a dream come true. Everything else after that was a bonus for me. The very first time playing for Liverpool was an absolute dream.

Steven Gerrard

"Listen, the club is in good hands. We've got two fantastic owners, we've got Ian [Ayre, chief executive] underneath that and we have got a fantastic manager in Brendan [Rodgers]. As you can see, there is an unbelievable potential in the squad. I'm sure there are going to be some new signings in the coming weeks and I just look at the players in front of me, who I shared the dressing room for many, many years and I have loved them to death and I wish them every success for the future.

"I think first and foremost I would like to thank everyone at the club who has helped me over the last 17 years. From top to bottom, there is no order. There is too many people to name. I'd like to thank all my team-mates today in the squad, even the players that never got on, all the ex-players that I have played with over the years, they have made me the player I am today.

"But I have to save my last thank you to the most important people at any football club but these supporters stand out more than any of them. 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 are the best. Thank you very much, all the best. "

It’s going to be a very emotional afternoon at Anfield whatever the result.

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