Steven Gerrard hails Reds fans after massive testimonial effort


Saturday, 3rd August was a very special day for one man and one club. Steven Gerrard was honoured with a testimonial game in his name for his outstanding contributions and his incredible loyalty to the club.

Olympiacos returned to Merseyside for the first time since a truly memorable night for all Reds fans, in which a late strike from Gerrard sealed their progression through to the knock-out rounds of the Champions League after coming back from 1-0 down to win by a required two goal advantage.

That year, Liverpool also went on to win their fifth Champions League and Gerrard received many plaudits for his strike against the Greeks and his undoubted beneficence in the final itself, as he inspired an astounding comeback against AC Milan.

The skipper has since praised the sensational support that helped raise almost £1million for his charity. 45,000 people packed into Anfield to witness a fantastic spectacle.

The largest testimonial crowd since Roger Hunt's swansong in 1972 gathered at Anfield to honour the Liverpool No.8 and Gerrard was overwhelmed by the support he received.

"It has been more than I expected. The fans always produce and they have always been behind me since day one. I've got a huge thank-you for them today,” he said.

"Just a huge thank-you on behalf of myself and my family, and all the charities that this money is going to.

"I'm sure they would like to thank all the wonderful supporters we've got as well for being so generous and coming today. Thank-you."

Funds raised from the match itself and the subsequent gala dinner will be contributed to several charities including the Steven Gerrard Foundation. 

Goals from Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson secured a comfortable 2-0 victory following a thoroughly pleasing performance. The captain himself was substituted late on in the game so that he could receive a standing ovation from a raucous crowd. 

"It was an amazing day. The reception 45,000 fans gave me at Anfield was unbelievable," Gerrard told the Liverpool Echo.

"I was blown away by the support. The atmosphere was great and it was emotional. I was holding back at times. To share it with my three little girls, family and close mates, who have followed me from when I was a young lad, was special.

"The foundation will be able to use the money we've raised to help a lot of kids who are in bad situations. It will make a big difference. My name is attached to the foundation but it's not just about me. There are some great people working for it.

"The testimonial had been a year in the planning and I'm very grateful to have had that network of support. It went perfectly."

Among the monumental fundraising was a generous £100,000 pledge by Olympiacos president Evangelos Marinakis - a gesture the England international will not forget.

Gerrard added: "It was an amazing gesture and I'm very grateful.

"I need to give a huge thank-you to all the Olympiacos team and staff for coming over and giving us a good test. They were brilliant."


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