Steven Gerrard has not only been a sublime footballer – he is a study in humility and honesty

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If Steven Gerrard individually thanked all the people he wanted to thank, his retirement statement would have ran for ever.

One of the greatest English players of the last two decades is also a study in humility and honesty.

He genuinely feels fortunate.

It is a phenomenon common to so many iconic sportsmen and women.

Pull on the robes of combat and there is a confidence, a swagger, a self-belief, an aggression that defines a supreme athlete.

Stripped of them, their belligerence vanishes.

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That was Steven Gerrard the player and that is Steven Gerrard the man.

It was predictable and fitting that among those name-checked for significant gratitude were Steve Heighway, Dave Shannon and Hugh McAuley – his Liverpool mentors at youth level.

During his time under their tutelage, Gerrard had to write a letter of self-appraisal – at the age of 15 and three-quarters.

 

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