We all saw that. We all were touched by that gesture. By we, I didn’t mean Liverpool fans only, but everyone who saw Reds skipper Steven Gerrard almost in tears after Liverpool’s 3-2 victory against Manchester City last Sunday, which arguably was their most important victory of the season till now.
Gerrard is a great footballer and a role model. His emotional outburst immediately drew attention, with all sections of media proclaiming in unison that he deserves a Premier League winners medal.
However, many forgot that it was also an extraordinarily emotional day at Merseyside. It was the 25th Anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy.
Gerrard’s 10-year-old cousin, Jon-Paul Gilhooley, was the youngest of the 96 victims in 1989 tragedy, and the England skipper reveals it was the timing of the game and not just the relief after victory that brought out such reactions spontaneously.
“The reason I was so emotional was because of when this game fell,” the Liverpool captain said as quoted in The Times.
“It wasn’t just because it was a big match in our season; it was because this week is always about more than football for everyone associated with Liverpool. It’s emotional for so many people.”
Gerrard will attend today’s memorial service at Anfield along with his team-mates and has dedicated the victory to the Hillsborough victims and their families.
“I’m speaking on behalf of everyone when I say the win was dedicated to the victims and families of Hillsborough. All the squad will be present at the service to pay our respects as we should.”
That victory on Sunday took Liverpool to the top of the Premier League table, and with only four games left to play, Gerrard has urged his team-mates to take Norwich City, their next opponent, as the “best team in the world”, and take every game as “cup finals” or risk damaging their chances of winning the Premier League title for the first time in 24 years.