Steven Gerrard says Liverpool supporters are the best but he will never forget West Ham fans

Steven Gerrard In 2014

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard was full of praise for the Anfield faithful ahead of his move to the USA, but he will forever respect West Ham United fans.

An emotional Gerrard described Liverpool fans as 'the best in the world’ before leaving the Anfield pitch where he has so often been the hero during his time with the club.

It comes a week after the England great hit out at Chelsea fans who goaded him throughout the champions' 1-1 draw with the Reds.

They did later applaud the superstar midfielder but Gerrard blasted the Blues faithful afterward saying they paled into insignificance next to his own supporters.

He told Sky Sports: "I'm not going to get drawn into wishing the Chelsea fans well, it was nice of them to turn up for once today.

"I was more happy with the ovation from the Liverpool fans. I think the Chelsea fans have shown respect for a couple of seconds, but they've slaughtered me all game.

"If you get a standing ovation at a stadium it is always nice, but what is always important is the support from the Liverpool fans, and they've been with me since day one."

So after nearly 17 years of service, 709 appearances, 185 goals and 10 trophies, the 34-year-old is heading to the MLS with LA Galaxy. But do any of the opposition fans he has come up against get close to his beloved Liverpool followers?

Well according to the man himself one set of supporters will forever have his respect - those of West Ham United.

Speaking in his autobiography, Gerrard said the Hammers supporters are the kind that 'make football special' after the way they conducted themselves despite watching their side agonisingly miss out on what would have been their first trophy for 26 years back in the 2006 FA Cup final.

The match, held at The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff while Wembley was being rebuilt, was dubbed the Gerrard Final such was the Liverpool skipper's influence in dragging his side back from 2-0 and then 3-2 down to eventually win on penalties.

It was one of the greatest FA Cup finals of all time, but for Gerrard the Hammers fans gave him his most cherished memory of that day.

He said: "Everyone associated with West Ham behaved with real dignity in Cardiff, just like the way I try to be in defeat.

"If they had won, Liverpool could not have complained. Too many of our players were too disappointing. West Ham were desperately unfortunate to lose. Having played so well, it must have been gut-wrenching to go home without the FA Cup, yet they were all gracious.

"It really moved me that in their hour of utter desolation, West Ham fans stayed behind to applaud as I lifted the FA Cup. I’ll never forget that sporting gesture.

"I’m Liverpool through and through, head to toe, but I have a place in my heart for West Ham supporters after Cardiff. Fans like West Ham United’s make football special.

"Usually when we do a lap of honour with a cup, the opponents’ section is empty. The fans have disappeared, dragging their heartache with them. Not in Cardiff on 13 May 2006.

"The West Ham fans were tremendous, clapping us as we paraded the cup."

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