Gerrard family rivalry renewed at Wembley

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Football News

Providing the backdrop to the Carling Cup final between Cardiff City and Liverpool will be cousins Anthony and Steven Gerrard, who will be recreating scenes from their nan's back garden when they lock horns at Wembley.

The most high profile meeting between the two players comes on a stage neither player have featured before for their club, with Cardiff searching for their first major trophy for 85 years, and Liverpool hoping to end a six-year trophy drought.

Sparking the pair's back-garden face-offs was the brilliance of Hristo Stoichkov at the 1994 World Cup, but this weekend they will be the centre of attention.

“Hristo Stoichkov was one of the stars at the 1994 World Cup,” said Anthony Gerrard.

“He was banging in those amazing free-kicks for Bulgaria, just like he was doing regularly for Barcelona. Steven and I would be down at our nan’s garden and pretending we were him.

“You remember those little things about being a kid and cherish the innocence of playing. Thinking back to growing up as a kid I remember spending time down on the Bluebell Estate in Huyton at Steven’s house and listening to Verve.

“That was the first sort of music I discovered and found I enjoyed, though I’ll always remember Sunday Mornings being blasted out from downstairs while my mum was cleaning! I love Motown music still.”

While Steven has rarely come close to featuring at Wembley for the Reds, Anthony missed the crunch play-off final with Blackpool in 2010, which saw the Bluebirds narrowly miss out on promotion to the Premier League.

Injury to captain Mark Hudson means Gerrard is likely to play a role from the start at Wembley, with a family day out expected.

“The majority of my family are Liverpool fans,” he said.

“Liverpool had a fantastic team when I was growing up and it’s a real shame they never really went on to win anything together.

“The likes of Steve McManaman, Robbie Fowler, Jason McAteer and Jamie Redknapp were all young players with massive ability back then and the team had ridiculous levels of talent.

“Liverpool is a major football city. I think it has the highest number of registered leagues in Britain. That says it all about what football means to the place."

Meanwhile, Steven is set to fulfill something of a dream when leading out Liverpool on Sunday.

The England international has won four domestic finals with the club, but none at England's home of Wembley, one of the few missing achievements on Gerrard's resume.

"When growing up as a kid, I dreamed about playing in cup finals at Wembley," he said. "Then when I became captain of Liverpool, I dreamed about leading the team out there."

"Every time I played for Liverpool at Cardiff and led the team out there, there was a bit of me thinking 'if only this was Wembley'.

"Don't get me wrong, we had some great days in Cardiff and I've got some fantastic memories of playing at the Millennium Stadium, but I'd have preferred to have won those trophies at Wembley."

So when both Gerrard's take to the field this Sunday childhood memories will be relived, and childhood dreams realised.

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