Steven Gerrard: What's the real story behind Liverpool legend wearing an Everton kit?

Was Steven Gerrard really a boyhood Everton fan?

If you’re an avid football fan, chances are you’ve seen a picture of a very young Steven Gerrard in a full Everton kit at least once.

A quick search on Google is all it takes to view the image and it’s resulted in many questioning whether the Aston Villa manager actually cheered on the blue half of Merseyside as a youngster.

Gerrard certainly wouldn’t be the only Liverpool legend in that boat if it were to be the case.

Jamie Carragher, Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler and Steve Mcmanaman are just four Reds icons who grew up supporting the Toffees.

But was Gerrard – arguably Liverpool’s greatest ever player – really part of the Everton fan club as a boy as well?

Well, the man himself actually answered that question in his 2006 autobiography, revealing that the widespread picture was all due to his uncle Leslie, who most certainly was an Everton fan unlike Gerrard’s Liverpool-loving father.

Gerrard in an Everton kit as a kid

The story behind Gerrard in an Everton shirt

“A quick search on the Internet will reveal a photo of me as a schoolboy in a full Everton strip. Blue shirt, shorts, socks, the works,” Gerrard wrote, per Goal

“When I became big news with Liverpool, some enterprising Everton fanzines discovered the picture and printed it. They must have loved that! A huge debate broke out. Many people thought it was a fake. It isn’t. It’s a genuine photograph, taken in 1987. That is me, dressed as an Evertonian, and it wasn’t at a fancy-dress party or for a bet.

“Leslie took me to Goodison when I was six and I saw some of Everton games on the way to their league championship. I won a programme competition to have my picture taken with the league trophy and Charity Shield at Goodison. Uncle Leslie was buzzing. He knew it would send Dad through the roof, and it really did. Dad went ballistic at the thought of his son, all in blue, standing proudly in the Goodison trophy room.

“He’s not going, Dad kept telling Leslie. You’re not going, Dad kept telling me. But I did. I was seven by that time, mad about football, not that clued-up in those days about the intense rivalry between Everton and Liverpool. I ripped open the wrapping, put the crisp blue strip on and headed off for Goodison with Leslie, leaving an enraged Dad behind. Disowning me must have crossed his mind. Leslie guided me into the trophy room at Goodison, all smiles, and the photographer snapped away.

“Now that my heart belongs to Liverpool, I look back on the incident and wonder what the hell I was doing. Put it down to the naivety of youth. We all make mistakes.”

Gerrard celebrating vs Everton

So, there you go – it was all Leslie’s fault! Gerrard also spoke about the infamous trip to Goodison as a youngster back in 2020, when he was a guest on Carragher’s podcast.

Gerrard on Carragher’s podcast about him in an Everton shirt

“That was a competition. I won that. Penalty shoot-out captain…” Gerrard said, before Carragher interrupted him

“Competition to be an Everton fan?” Carragher replied in a teasing manner.

“No, no, no,” Gerrard continued. “It changed every year. So one year it was at Goodison, one year it was at Anfield.

“If you won it the year it was at Goodison, it was the Everton kit, picture with whatever they won that year.

“I see that picture every couple of days! It just pops up somewhere!

“I used to get all different kits for Christmas. I remember I had a Tottenham kit, was it Holsten [as the sponsor].

“I had a Norwich kit… Thank God, these pictures have never surfaced. But that Everton one keeps popping up.”

Carragher & Gerrard

Case closed.

As a player, Gerrard had a sensational record against Everton. He only lost to them five times in 33 games, winning 17 of them.

The former England international also scored 10 goals versus the Toffees, including a memorable hat-trick in a 3-0 win at Anfield in the 2011/12 season.

Gerrard will be hoping he can mirror his record as a player against Everton in management and it all starts with Villa’s trip to Merseyside on Saturday afternoon.

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