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Wednesday, 24 October 2012
Liverpool FC skipper Steven Gerrard recalls his Merseyside Derby highs and lows - win a copy of his new book
Sunday’s lunchtime showdown at Goodison Park will be the 28th Merseyside derby of Steven Gerrard’s career. The Liverpool skipper’s record against Everton is impressive, having helped the Reds win 16 and draw six highly-charged tussles. His stunning hat-trick in the fixture at Anfield back in March – the first derby treble since 1982 – took his tally against the Blues to eight goals. Gerrard’s new book ‘My Liverpool Story’ is a pictorial look back on his 15 seasons at Anfield with candid commentary from the midfielder. In it he discusses some of the glorious highs and the painful lows of derby day, and how he spurned the Blues’ advances during his childhood before signing for Liverpool.
ON HIS DERBY HAT-TRICK AT ANFIELD BACK IN MARCH
“We were under pressure. Our form hadn’t been good. Everyone was telling us Everton were going to win at Anfield for the first time since I was sent off in 1999.
“David Moyes rested players ahead of an FA Cup tie, but I still think we would have won had he picked a full strength team.
“It proved a good night for me personally. I grabbed a hat-trick and to do that against Everton rates high in my career.”
Steven Gerrard hat-trick hands Liverpool FC the 217th Merseyside derby honours
ON STICKING THE MATCHBALL UP HIS SHIRT
Steven Gerrard celebrates his hat-trick against Everton
“It was one back at the Everton fans who target my family in their songs. I had been given the ball for scoring a hat-trick against them.
“It was just my way of saying ‘all go home and sing your songs, but remember who scored the hat-trick’.
“I’ve done quite well against Everton over the years, but the treble I got last season was hugely satisfying. As good as it was, it’s gone now. If you linger on your achievements in football, you’ll go backwards.
“I know I won’t score a hat-trick against Everton every time I face them, but the odd goal wouldn’t go amiss.”
ON EVERTON’S INTEREST WHEN HE WAS A SCHOOLBOY
“I didn’t realise it at the time but when my dad told me of the interest from Anfield one night at home in Huyton everything altered for me: my direction in life, the path I’d take growing up, the choices I’d make from that day on.
“I was just a baby – eight years old – but that was that. A full blown love affair had been ignited.
“Liverpool’s support didn’t stop me from trying out different clubs. Going elsewhere allowed me to see what those clubs were like compared to Liverpool, but I never got the same feeling.
“Everton were keen on offering me a deal, but they never had a chance. They were pestering my dad all the time to get me to go in and have a look around and play in a game for them and eventually I did just that, to ensure my dad got a break from them as much as anything.
“I started a game for them, but at half-time I was taken off. To this day I don’t know why.
“Maybe they had seen enough, but there were a lot of kids there that day so they could have wanted to give someone else a chance. But I took it as an insult. Everton had been asking me to go there for months and months and then they dragged me off.
“Steve Heighway was happy for me to go and try other places, test the water, but he’d always have a message for Dad before I went anywhere.
“Don’t do anything stupid because we want Steven,” he’d say. “And we want him for a long time.”
James Pearce Liverpool Echo
Oct 24 2012