Gerrard thanks 'father figure' Houllier ahead of final Anfield match

Steven Gerrard Celebrates

The Liverpool skipper has never forgotten the debt he owes to the man that gave him both his debut and the captain's armband.

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has been discussing the impending curtain falling on his career on Merseyside, and reminiscing about some of the talented managers he has worked under, in a press conference ahead of the weekend's meeting with Crystal Palace.

Gerrard has played under five bosses during his Liverpool career, all bringing some success in one way or another.

But when asked to pick the biggest influences during his 18-year spell at Anfield, the Reds captain had special praise for Gerrard Houllier, the man who gave him his Liverpool debut.

"I owe an awful lot to Gerard Houllier," admitted Gerrard as quoted by the BBC. "He was a father figure and I won three trophies under him. He gave me the captaincy at 23 and it was a brave thing to do. I owe an awful lot to him.

Houllier spent six years as Liverpool manager, and the Frenchman's faith in Gerrard undoubtedly played a prominent part in his rapid early development.

Highlights of his reign include the Uefa Cup and FA Cup wins in 2001, a time when Liverpool finally began to gather regular silverware once again. 

Gerrard also had kind words about Liverpool's present manager Brendan Rodgers, echoing sentiments he'd mentioned earlier in the season when he revealed that he would have likely accumulated more titles if the Northern Irishman had arrived at Anfield sooner.

"I wish I'd met Brendan Rodgers earlier in my career," added the 34-year-old. "I know I'd be talking about trophies now."

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